Egypt is a country located in northeastern Africa. The Nile River runs through Egypt, creating fertile land on either side. The rest of the country is arid and made up of desert. For this reason, reptiles outnumber amphibians. Of the 106 reptile and amphibian species inhabiting this country, less than 20 are amphibians. This article takes a look at some of the amphibian species in Egypt.
The marsh frog is a relatively common frog that lives not only in Egypt, but also throughout much of Europe across the Mediterranean to the north. It is a green frog with a light green stripe running from its nose down its back . Generally, the marsh frog grows to around 5 inches in length. They mainly eat insects, worms, and spiders, but larger specimens have been known to eat small rodents, fish, and other amphibians. This species can tolerate a wide range of habitats and is thought to have a large, increasing population with no serious threats.
The Degen’s toad is believed to live as far south as Uganda, and some researchers believe that the specimens inhabiting Egypt may actually be a different species altogether. For now, it remains classified as an Amietophrynus vittatus. This toad species prefers swampland and fertile land, such as that surrounding the Nile. Its appearance is a dark greenish brown in color with noticeable red and dark brown spots on its stomach. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature has insufficient information regarding this species to be able to classify its population size or any threats.
Nile Delta Toad
The Nile delta toad has been confused with the previously mentioned Degen’s toad. Some scientists believe that the toads identified as Degen’s toads in Egypt are actually Nile delta toads, or Amietophrynus kassasii. This toad is small in size with females growing to 1.5 inches and males growing to 1.3 inches. They appear to be a greenish grey color with spots between their eyes, dark red blotches near their hind legs, and a white underside. It is a nocturnal species that has successfully adapted to several habitats, including agricultural land and urban areas. Its population is considered stable and not threatened.
African Common Toad
True to its name, the African common toad can be found throughout much of Africa in large numbers. Males grow between 2.4 and 3.6 inches while females, slightly bigger, grow between 2.8 and 5.1 inches. Their olive green skin is covered in bumps and and darker patches. Males have a black throat. This toad species breeds in the shallow edges of rivers and can inhabit a wide range of environments, including montane grasslands, forests, moist and dry savannas, and agricultural lands. The African common toad is also very popular in the pet industry with some being exported as far as Canada. This activity is not yet considered a threat as it does not appear to have negatively affected the population.
The Dodson’s toad prefers drier habitats than many amphibians, such as dry grasslands, tropical shrublands, and deserts, where it lives in deep burrows. It breeds in temporary water sources immediately after rainfall. By avoiding large bodies of water, it is able to avoid many predators. This toad has a very light, sand colored appearance with small black and light orange spots. More common in Somalia, this toad species is considered rare in Egypt and is threatened by habitat degradation. Its entire population, however, is still identified as large and stable.
Nile Valley Toad
The Nile valley toad is olive green in color with a white stripe running down its back. Females present bright red patches. Observed only in Egypt, this species is abundant throughout the Nile valley and has even been found in Cairo. Some habitat loss and pollution in its range do occur although it is not yet considered a serious threat.
The green toad is unique in appearance and covered in dark colored spots. Depending on the heat and sunlight, its coloration can change throughout the day. The habitat of this species ranges from very arid regions to moist and wet as it is highly adaptable. Its diet consists of insects such as crickets, worms, and moths. During breeding season, the female can lay between 9,000 and 15,000 eggs. Its population is currently listed as stable although habitat destruction may lead to its decline.