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Amphibia

a cura della dott.ssa Laura Rinetti  Questo indirizzo email è protetto dagli spambots. È necessario abilitare JavaScript per vederlo.

Thanks to their peculiar ecological needs, Amphibians are generally considered to be "state of health indicators" (= bio-indicators) of the environments they live in.

Unfortunately, the progressive reduction of wetlands, where these animals go to breed and where several species live all year round, water pollution, the introduction of alien predators, the effects of the ongoing climate change and different other causes have brought about a considerable reduction in amphibian populations not only in Italy.

SYSTEMATIC LIST

The list of the species of amphibians present in the Luino area may be subject to changes as a result of specialized studies which are still underway. However, it is important to remember that since 1992 the GEV (Voluntary Ecological Guards) of the Mountain Community Valli del Luinese, have arranged, as a first unit in the province of Varese, measures of protection for frogs and toads which in the spring cross roads with heavy traffic to get to their breeding sites (Project TOADS Lombardia).

ANURA

Rana esculenta Common water frog /Green frog
Rana dalmatina Agile frog
Rana temporaria Common frog
Hyla arborea European tree frog
Bufo bufo Common toad

URODELA

Triturus carnifex Italian crested newt
Triturus vulgaris Smooth newt
Salamandra salamandra Fire salamander

GREEN FROG

Rana verdeOf gregarious habits, a typically diurnal species, it lives its entire life in the water. It spends many hours of the day on lily leaves or along the shores of ponds and ditches hunting insects or controlling its thermostatic condition. Endowed with vocal sacs, it emits a croak which can be heard at a distance. It can be observed from mid-April to mid-November.

COMMON RED MOUNTAIN FROG

Rana Rossa OvatureIt is a woodland frog, typically terrestrial, which is present only during the breeding season (late February - mid-March) in ponds, pools, old troughs, temporary puddles of water in which it breeds. Its eggs, about 4,000, are laid in characteristic spherical clusters (egg masses) in shallow water. It feeds on invertebrates. It is a common species in the Alps, where it lives up to 2,700 metres.


AGILE FROG

Rana AgileEspecially active in the daytime, this red frog lives on land and moves in long jumps of up to 2 metres. It is present in ponds only during the breeding season (late February - mid-March). Its floating egg masses are similar to those of the Common Frog. It feeds on invertebrates.


EUROPEAN TREE FROG

It is an arboreal species of small size living among the leaves of reeds. It is well-known for its distinctive bright green colour. It can easily climb on a smooth surface thanks to suckers present on its fingertips. Despite its nocturnal habits, it is often active during the day. The breeding season takes place in late spring and in the summer.

COMMON TOAD

RospoIt is a terrestrial species and has nocturnal habits. It is present in ponds and puddles only during the breeding season (March ). Females are significantly larger than males and lay up to 10,000 eggs in characteristic jelly-like cords anchored to the aquatic vegetation. It feeds on insects, worms, molluscs.

CRESTED NEWT

It is a terrestrial species living in pools rich of aquatic vegetation in the breeding season (April to July). Oviparous, it lays up to 400 eggs attaching them each to each to the leaves of the submerged vegetation. It presents an evident sexual dimorphism. It feeds on invertebrates and tadpoles of other amphibians.

SMOOTH NEWT

Tritone PunteggiatoIt is a terrestrial species present in forests, gardens, farmland and only during the breeding season (April to July) in ponds of water rich in vegetation. Oviparous, it lays its eggs by wrapping them to the leaves of the submerged vegetation. It feeds

FIRE SALAMANDER

salamandraDespite being a nocturnal species, it is possible to observe it in the daytime on damp or rainy days. Ovoviviparous, it "gives birth" to larvae that feed on aquatic microorganisms. It feeds on insects, earthworms, spiders, snails.


Typical inhabitants of wetlands, amphibians received little attention from the scientific world for a long time. As a matter of fact, relevant research programs carried out by prestigious scientific institutions started only about twenty years ago with the aim of better understanding the biology and the ecology of many species of Anura (Frogs and Toads) and Urodela (Newts and Salamanders) present in the various ecosystems of our planet. The Italian Herpetology Society was founded in the early '90s and has become a reference point both for professional zoologists and amateur herpetologists. A project of data collection was immediately launched with the aim of drawing up a provisional National Herpetological Atlas, through which it may be possible to know the actual distribution of the different species of amphibians in our peninsula.

BIBLIOGRAFIA

  • In Quaderni del Servizio Volontario di Vigilanza Ecologica - Regione Lombardia, n. 3 , 1998

  • Ferri V. - Protezione e situazione degli Anfibi in Lombardia, pp. 11-16

  • Barbieri F. - Problemi di salvaguardia degli Anfibi in Lombardia, pp. 17-20

  • Marangon L. - Dalla parte dei rospi, pp. 123-128

  • Danini G. & Macchi P. - L'attività di salvaguardia Rospi in provincia di Varese, pp. 129-135

  • Arnold E.& Burton J. – Guida dei rettili e degli anfibi d'Europa. Muzzio Ed .

  • Bernini F., Bonini L., Ferri V.,Gentili A., Mazzetti E., Scali S. – Atlante degli Anfibi e dei Rettili della Lombardia , Monografie di Pianura, n. 5 , Provincia di Cremona, 2004.

  • Macchi S. – Analisi delle migrazioni riproduttive di una popolazione di Rospo comune (Bufo bufo) nel territorio della Comunità Montana Vali del Luinese: aspetti ecologici e strategie di conservazione. Tesi di laurea 2004-2005 Università degli Studi dell'Insubria, sede di Varese.

  • Macchi S., Scali S., Martinoli A., Tosi G. - Effect of moolight on the reproductive migrations of a commom toad ( Bufo bufo) population- 6° Congresso Naz. di Erpetologia, 2004, Roma.

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