Salamanders and newts (Salamandridae)
Triturus macedonicus – Macedonian crested newt (Μακεδονικόσ Τρίτων, Δυτικός Λοφιοφόρος, Δυτικός Χτενοτριτωρνας)
The Macedonian crested newt is the largest of Corfu’s newts and the females can occasionally reach a size of 18 cm in length whereas males rarely exceed 15 cm. It is a robust looking species with a broad head and a usually granulated skin which is dark brown or gray on the dorsal side and orange with dark spots on the belly. The flanks lack or have very few white stipples. Breeding males have a ragged crest with a gap between the body and the tail. The female has a low tail crest during breeding season and a red or yellow dorsal line during the terrestrial phase. The species breeds in large, permanent, stagnant waters or slow flowing streams with plenty of underwater vegetation.
Lissotriton vulgaris graecus – Smooth newt (Κοινός Τρίτωνας, Τελματοτριτωνας)
The smooth or common newt is widespread in Europe and the subspecies indigenous to Corfu, L.v. graecus, can be found in many different damp habitats. It is the most terrestrial of the European pond newts and spends quite some time on land. The species breeds in still, often shallow waters such as small weedy ponds, ditches and temporarily flooded fields. L.v. graecus is the smallest of the smooth newt subspecies and it rarely exceeds 7 cm in length. The breeding male has a low and smooth crest on its back, flanked by an additional crest on each side of the body. The center of the belly is orange or reddish and the tail has a thin filament at the tip. The females are generally heavily spotted and the juveniles, about 4 cm long when newly metamorphosed, often have an orange stripe on the back.
Typical toads (Bufonidae)
Bufo bufo spinosus – Common toad (Χωματόφρυνος, ζάμπα)
Bufotes viridis – Green toad (Πρασινόφρυνος)
The green toad is beige-coloured with green, irregular dark-edged blotches. It rarely has any bright yellow line on its back but sometimes a dull green line can be present. The colour in females is often more vivid than in males. The species can reach 10 cm in length, female being larger than males, but most individuals are smaller. The paratoid glands on the cheeks are prominent and nearly parallel and the pupil of the eye is horizontal. The green toad is nocturnal except during spring when it often is active during the day. The species is mainly found in low-land areas but it has been found as high as 2400 m. It prefers shallow waters without much vegetation and often breeds in temporary pools and it is also very tolerant to brackish or salty water and arid and sandy conditions. The males sing in chorus at night from the bank of the pond or from the shallow water. The song starts quietly, is high pitched and often lasts for up to 10 seconds. The song differs from other amphibians, resembling a sound of an insect.
Tree frogs (Hylidae)
Hyla arborea arborea – Common tree frog (Δενδροβάτραχος)
The common tree frog is a small, smooth skinned, green frog with long limbs and disc-like pads on its fingers and toes which enable it to climb trees and bushes. The frog can reach 5 cm in length but is often smaller and the female is generally bigger than the male. The colour can vary from bright green to a yellowish or brownish green and there is a dark stripe, often edged with white or cream, extending from the nostril trough the eye and eardrum and along the side of the body to the groin where the stripe often branches upwards and forwards. The belly and throat are are whitish and the frogs have dark stripes on their limbs. The male has a single yellowish or brownish vocal sack under his chin. The mating ”song” can be heard for quite some distance during late winter and early spring. The common tree frog breeds in temporary waters or small shallow ponds surrounded by bushes and low trees.
Typical frogs (Ranidae)
Rana dalmatina – Agile frog (Ευκίνητος Βάτραχος, Πηδοβάτραχος)
The agile frog, the only brown frog found on Corfu, can reach a length of 9 cm, females being larger than males, but most individuals are smaller. This species is a rather elegant looking frog with long hind legs, pointed snout and a large eardrum positioned close to the eye. The frog’s brown colour pattern resembles that of a dead leaf and there is no marked variation in the colouration among individuals. This frog has few distinct markings on the body but faint vertebral stripes may be present and some slightly darker blotches may be found on the back, including a v-shaped mark between the shoulders. The song of the agile frog is fast with 4 to 6 calls per second and at first rather low but tends to increase in strength at the end. The agile frog can be found in meadows, thickets and broad leaf woods in low laying areas but it has been found as high as 1700 m. It is often nocturnal but can also be active during the day. In Corfu the frog can breed in rather shallow ponds, ditches and temporary waters and out of breeding season it can be found in, for the species, rather unusual habitats such as dry, sandy places.
Pelophylax ridibundus (P. kurtmuelleri) – Marsh frog (Βαλτοβάτραχος, Αιμνοβάτραχος)
- Pelophylax epeiroticus – Epirus waterfrog (Ηπειρωτικός Βάτραχος, Αιμνοβάτραχος της Δυτικης)