Syrian Spade Foot Toad (Pelobates syriacus)

World wide Distribution: Found in Turkey to Transcaucasia , Syria, Lebanon and Palestine.

In Lebanon: Very rare. It has so far only been discovered in two locations, both in the East of the country.

Description:  Body length 80 to 90mm. The head is large and triangular with a flat area between the prominent eyes which have vertical pupils – an easy way to separate this species from the other Lebanese frogs and toads.

Behavior: This species spends much of its time underground, in burrows, that it constructs in loose, soft soil. The burrowing is done by the hard horny spur on the underside of the hind feet. The burrows can go down a meter into the soil.

This toad is only likely to be seen in the breeding season as it spends much of its time underground.

Photos courtesy of R. Sadek