Characteristic of wet places, amphibians are cold blooded with moist skin, no scales or claws. Adult amphibians can be found a long way from water, the Tree Frog (Hyla savignyi) right, for example climbs into trees and other vegetation. However, these animals live a double life, as all species need to return to water to breed. Hence, even if the adults can live in dry places (there are even species adapted to deserts) they must have access to pools of water to breed. Amphibians are useful animals for us as they eat invertebrate pests such as slugs and flies – farmers’ friends!
Tree Frog (Hyla savignyi)
These Green Toads (Bufo viridis) left, like all other amphibians have returned to water to mate and lay their eggs. Obviously wetlands are great places to find amphibians but not all species need large pools. Small temporary pools and mountain springs can be used for breeding. Most eggs are laid in the spring and sometimes it is a race against time to develop before the pool dries up.
|Female Adult Marsh Frogs (Rana ridibunda) top left, lay their eggs in large pools, these are externally fertilized by the males and develop into small tadpoles (larvae). The tadpoles grow quickly, first feeding on plant matter and later becoming omnivorous, and change (metamorphose) into miniature versions of their parents. First the two back legs appear (bottom middle) followed by the front legs (bottom right) finally the tail disappears.|
|Two, of the three major orders of amphibians are represented in Lebanon, these are the Salamanders – the adults have tails and the frogs and toads, whose adults are tail less. Check out the species accounts following the links below:|