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Species native to the United Kingdom
Introduced or alien species
Alien species that present a threat to wildlife

Midwife Toad - Alytes obstetricans - Alien


Tailless Amphibian - warty skin

Appearing much like a small Common Toad, the Midwife Toad can be distinguished by its vertically slit pupil, lack of parotoid glands and more pointed snout.

The sexes are difficult to tell apart, though during the spring and summer the males often have a string of eggs wrapped around their hind limbs, females may have red spotting on flanks.

Dorsal surface is usually a drab grey or brown occasionally spotted with dark green.

Ventral surface is whitish with grey spots.

Call is a distinctive high pitch whistle.

Adults up to 5 cm

Tadpoles suprisingly large, upto 9 cm with proportionally long, blunt ended tail.

Midwife Toad - adult
© Tony Phelps Reptile Research & Imagery
Adult Midwife Toad. Note vertically split pupil
Midwife Toad - male with spawn
© Chris Davis

Male Midwife Toad carrying spawn string

UK Distribution

Isolated introduction into Bedfordshire, Yorkshire, Northamptonshire, Hampshire, Devon and South-West London. Bedfordshire colony has persisted for a century.


Exotic - The Midwife Toad was originally introduced to a Bedfordshire nursery in 1903. It is not considered to be a threat to native species.

Release of exotic species into the wild is a criminal offence under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

This includes introduction of exotic or alien species that may already have become established.

The interpretation of "wild" in the act includes private gardens from which escape is possible.

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