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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Breeding, rearing and raising the red-bellied toad Bombina bombina in the laboratory

Published source details

Kinne O., Kunert J. & Zimmermann W. (2004) Breeding, rearing and raising the red-bellied toad Bombina bombina in the laboratory. Endangered Species Research, 1, 11-23


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Captive breeding toads Amphibian Conservation

A replicated study in 1999–2003 of captive European red-bellied toads Bombina bombina in northern Germany (Kinne, Kunert & Zimmermann 2004) found that toads bred successfully, particularly outdoors where they were more active, started calling earlier and had higher reproductive success than those indoors. In 2001, 20 indoor females produced an average of 31 eggs/batch (range: 15–40), compared to a total of 1,100 eggs from three outdoor females. Mortality of eggs (8–20%; n = 380), tadpoles (4–7%; n = 1,680) and juveniles (8%; n = 250) was lower in captivity than the field. However, disease could kill all juveniles within 3–5 weeks. Few adults died in captivity, with some living 12 years. All toads successfully over-wintered (at 4–7°C). Breeding enclosures were glass tanks (150 x 60 x 60 cm) with aquatic and terrestrial areas, each housing two adult males and 3–5 females. Eggs were moved to plastic dishes and then outdoor aquaria for hatching. Metamorphs were moved to tanks (60 x 30 x 30 cm). Day temperature was increased to 21°C and daylight periods lengthened to induce breeding.