University of Florence

Nov 16, 2021

2 min read

First report of Bufo bufo (Linnaeus, 1758) from Sardinia (Italy)

From Firenze University Press Journal: Acta Herpetologica

Ilaria Maria Cossu, Sezione Sardegna SHI, Societas Herpetologica Italica, Oristano, Italy

Salvatore Frau, Sezione Sardegna SHI, Societas Herpetologica Italica, Oristano, Italy

Massimo Delfino, Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra, Università di Torino

Alice Chiodi, Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra e dell’Ambiente, Università di Pavia

Claudia Corti, Sezione Sardegna SHI, Societas Herpetologica Italica, Oristano

Adriana Bellati, Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra e dell’Ambiente, Università degli Studi di Pavia

The Common toad Bufo bufo (Linnaeus, 1758) is widespread in the western Palearctic region, from North Africa to the 68°N in Finland and from the western Iberian Peninsula to the Baikal Lake in Siberia (Lizana, 2002; Böhme et al., 2007). The only exceptions are Ice-land, the coldest northern parts of Scandinavia, Ireland and several Mediterranean islands, among which Malta, Crete, Corsica, Sardinia and the Balearic Islands (Böhme et al., 2007).Until recently, the evolutionary history of this species has been controversial and so far molecular studies have revealed the existence of distinct subspecies and delimited their respective ranges (Litvinchuk et al., 2008; Garcia-Porta et al., 2012; Recuero et al., 2012; Arntzen et al., 2013a,b).

In Europe, several distinct evolutionary lineages occur (at least 7, according to Garcia-Porta et al., 2012) which diversified between the late Miocene and early Pliocene (11.6–3.6 Ma). For instance, distinct phylogroups have been detected in the Italian Peninsula, one in the South, including Sicily, and the other in the northern central regions, as a result of the persistence of populations in multiple refugia during the Pleistocene glaciations (according to the “refugia within refugia” hypoth-esis, Gómez and Lunt, 2007).Bufo bufo has been discovered in north-central Sar-dinia in late summer 2016.

Several surveys, carried out in the area of the first detection, revealed a high density of both adults and larvae. Later on, adults and juveniles have been also detected far from the original detection point, suggesting the occurrence of a stable and viable population in the region. According to the composition of the Sardinian amphibian community, the species could be classified as allochthonous, likely resulting from one or multiple human-mediated introductions from the mainland.

Therefore, in order to provide information concerning the geographic origin of the Common toad found in Sardinia, informative mitochondrial molecular markers were selected to compare insular haplotypes with the mainland ones.


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