Natterjack Toad

Scientific name: Bufo (Epidalea)Calamita

The Natterjack Toad is native to sandy and heathland areas of Northern Europe. It is the only species of toad native to Ireland and is found here in Castlegregory. They are distinguished from the common toad by a yellow line down the middle of the back, and they have relatively long legs, which gives them a distinctive gait, contrasting with the hopping movement of many other toad species.

Natterjack Toad

Natterjack Toad

The Natterjack toad has a very loud and distinctive mating call, amplified by the single vocal sack found under the chin of the male animal. Male Natterjack toads have a loud rasping call, which sounds like rrrrRup, rrrrRup, the call of the male being audible over several kilometres. Adult Natterjack toads reach 6-8cm in length. Although they can reach 10cm in rare cases. Female’s are larger than males. The adults feed on insects, particularly moths, as well as spiders, woodlice, snails and worms. They may lay 3000-4000 eggs, which may hatch in 5– 8 days.The tadpoles feed on algae and vegetation until they are about 38 days old when they begin to feed on animal tissue. Natterjack Toads can live for 12-15 years but they have many predators and so few have survived to now. When the golf course was being built there was concern that the toads would leave the area. Contrary to that idea, they moved to the other end of the lake, near the golf course. an interesting study of the Natterjack Toad can be read on https://www.npws.ie/sites/default/files/publications/pdf/IWM10.pdf