Saturday, 9 March 2013

In amplexus

Two common toads (Bufo bufo) in amplexus, a form of pseudocopulation found in amphibians and limulids.

A male common toad grasps a female with his front legs as part of the mating process. Common toads stay in amplexus for several days. As the female lays a long, double string of small black eggs, the male fertilises them with his sperm; the gelatinous egg strings, which may contain 3000 to 6000 eggs and be 3 to 4.5 metres (10 to 15 ft) in length, are later tangled in plant stalks.

Two Bufo bufo in amplexus. Credit: Bernie Kohl

The common toad  is one of the many amphibians known for its amplexus as part of the mating process. The larger female toad often has to carry the male for days. From head to abdomen the female in the picture is about 95 mm long – the male only 65 mm.

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