Glen Parva & Glenhills Nature Reserve - Species List

Key to the list at the end of each section:
Black - Bio Blitz 2015 not photographed
Blue - Bio Blitz 2015 photographed
Red - photographed & identified by Volunteers
Green - from NatureSpot
All pictures are taken on the reserve.
Hover over the following pictures to enlarge


Amphibians - the living ones are frogs (including toads), salamanders (including newts) and caecilians. They are four-legged vertebrates which are cold blooded.

Amphibians lay their eggs in water, usually in a foam nest. After hatching they are tadpoles, which live in the water and have gills. The tadpoles change into adults in a process called metamorphosis. When they are adult, they have lungs to breathe instead of gills, and legs. Adult amphibians also use their skin to take in oxygen, and some species of salamanders do not have lungs.

Common Frog - Rana temporaria
Sue & Roy 20140421

Common frogs metamorphose through three distinct developmental life stages — aquatic larva, terrestrial juvenile, and adult. They have corpulent bodies with a rounded snout, webbed feet and long hind legs adapted for swimming in water and hopping on land. Common frogs are often confused with the Common toad Bufo bufo, but frogs can easily be distinguished as they have longer legs, hop, and have a moist skin, whereas toads crawl and have a dry 'warty' skin. The spawn of the two species also differs in that frogspawn is laid in clumps and toadspawn is laid in long strings.

Frog spawn

The frogspawn that you see floating in ponds is made up of thousands of single eggs, each one having a tiny black tadpole embryo surrounded in jelly.
Frogs lay so many eggs because as they do not look after their young most do not survive to adulthood. From the three thousand eggs that one female lays, only around five will become adult frogs. The rest of the eggs or tadpoles may be eaten by birds, fish, newts, water beetles, dragonflies or simply dry up before hatching.
At first each tadpole embryo will eat the jelly that is around it until it is ready to hatch.

Common Toad - Bufo bufo
Sue & Roy 20140502

The toad is an inconspicuous animal as it usually lies hidden during the day. It becomes active at dusk and spends the night hunting for the invertebrates on which it feeds. It moves with a slow ungainly walk or short jumps and has greyish brown skin covered with wart-like lumps.
Although usually a solitary animal, in the breeding season large numbers of toads converge on certain breeding ponds, where the males compete to mate with the females. Eggs are laid in gelatinous strings in the water and later hatch out into tadpoles.

Toad spawn
John F 20150411

Toad spawn can be easily identified.
Rather than the dense clusters of spawn laid by frogs, toad-spawn is laid out in strings containing a double or triple row of eggs (a single row of eggs would indicate a natterjack toad, though these are rare and not likely to be found in gardens). Tadpoles of the two species are more difficult to distinguish between, but toad tadpoles are generally darker, often black, unlike the brown tadpoles of frogs. Both of these can be distinguished from newt tadpoles by the absence of external feathery gills.
Bio Blitz ------ 26-06-2015 blue & black

Common Frog - Rana temporaria

Common Toad - Bufo bufo
Smooth Newt - Lissotriton vulgaris


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