Who and what lives in our conservation area?

Common Banded Demoiselle

Can be found in most of England, Wales and Ireland

 

Common Toad

Latin name: Bufo bufo

 

 

Size: A male toad is around 65 mm in length. The females are around 25mm longer. Sometimes larger toads can be found, and these are usually females.

Distribution: Found throughout England, Scotland and Wales, but not in Ireland.

Months seen: All year round.

Habitat: Fields, hedgerows, gardens and woodlands.

Food: Worms, slugs and insects.

Special features: Common Toads are Britain's largest and heaviest amphibians.

The colouring of the toad varies according to the colour of the soil in it s habitat. If the soil is a greyish colour, the toads skin tends to be greyish to blend in. If the soil is more brownish, then so is the toad.

 

 

Common Frog - Latin name: Rana temporaria

 

Size: The male is approximately 70mms from head to tail, and the female is slightly larger.

Distribution: Can be found in most parts of the UK.

Months seen: March to October. Hibernates through the winter, often underwater.

Habitat: Damp woodland and meadows.

Great Crested Newt - Latin name: Triturus cristatus

 

Size: Grows up to 17cms in length.

Distribution: Found in most parts of England, Wales and southern Scotland.

Months seen: March to October.

Habitat: During spring and summer they can be found in, or near, ponds and streams. In early October they come out of the water to hibernate on dry land.

Special features: The great crested newt is a protected species. It is illegal to handle great crested newts unless they are in immediate danger.  During springtime, the male has a large crest running along its back (hence the name) and a bright orange belly. They are sometimes called the 'warty newt' as their skin is very bumpy. Special glands in the skin release a foul-tasting

Smooth Newt - Latin name: Triturus vulgaris

Smooth newts grow to a length of around 9cms.

Distribution: Found throughout the UK.

Months seen: March to October.

Habitat: They can be found in, or near, ponds and streams during spring and summer. In early October they come out of the water to hibernate on dry land through to spring time. They spend the winter under a stone, under a log, or in compost heaps, where the temperature can be a little warmer.

Food: Slugs, worms and insects

Special features: When they emerge from hibernation in the spring, they head for their breeding ponds. Smooth newts are fairly slow moving, and if they have to cross roads to get to their ponds, this creates a problem for them. Where the kerb stones are too steep for them to climb, they can get trapped in gutters. In addition, some carelessly fall into drains. If you see one in a road, and it looks like it's in trouble, give it a helping hand by putting it out of the way of road, and foot traffic.

Where frogs and toads lay a mass of spawn, in the hope that a few will survive, newts carefully deposit single eggs, which they hide under the leaves of aquatic plants.

In the summer months, the undersides of their tails and their bellies become bright orange, however, this colouration fades in autumn and winter.

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Food: Insects, slugs and small worms.

Special features: Although called the common frog, this animal is now becoming quite rare in Britain. The widespread use of insecticides, and the diminishing number of breeding sites has greatly reduced their numbers.

Frogs are different in appearance to toads in that their skin is quite smooth, and it has a moist feel.