lpearce's picture


We have toads and frogs moving at last here in Northern Scotland and have come across one that looks odd. I posted it on iSpot see http://www.ispot.org.uk/node/114570?nav=users_observations - the second photograph.

I looked at the Amphibian Ark website - http://www.amphibianark.org/the-crisis/chytrid-fungus/.
I understand that you cannot do a certain diagnosis visually but wondering if it is a possibility of chytridiomycosis any ideas??
Are there other reasons for it to have a smooth reddish skin.



anonymous spotter's picture


There is at least one diagnostic test, but it needs a sterile skin swab and a laboratory - as far as I know it is not cheap or readily available at the moment. Some amphibian groups are surveying using this technique.
Unfortunately, the disease isn't easy to spot, as it doesn't always produce reddening, it seems.
Why else would a toad be an unusual colour? Well, there are some possibilities, including -
Natural variations in colour - seen a lot in frogs (and any oddly-coloured toad is worth a second look for this very reason!)
Contact with chemicals - pelletised fertiliser, f'rinstance, is very bad for amphibians, and contact can be fatal.

Additional: took my own advice and checked your new picture - as another member has noted, it is indeed a reddish frog.

lpearce's picture

Thanks Roger

0K Frog it is.
It certainly seemed an odd colouration and shape.
Mike says Malcolm Smith writes that Scotland is 'noted' for its red-coloured frogs - that maybe but its the first I have seem in 13 years here.
I have asked our local ranger how common they are and will post his reply
Thanks again

Les Pearce
Photos- http://www.flickr.com/photos/assyntnature/
Videos http://www.youtube.com/user/assyntnature
Wildlife of Assynt