10 Provence amphibians – May 2024

Here are a few amphibians that can be found in Provence.

What is an amphibian?

  • An amphibian is a naked-skinned tetrapod vertebrate.
  • Amphibians live in a wide variety of habitats, but most prefer terrestrial, freshwater or arboreal ecosystems.
  • Amphibians appeared on Earth 360 millions years ago.
  • An amphibian is poikilothermic: its body temperature fluctuates in relation to that of its environment.
  • Amphibians have moist glandular skin. Some of them have spots, wrinkles, warts and / or skin folds.
  • Amphibians breathe using their lungs or through their skin.
  • Amphibian eyes are quite characteristic and a great help when identifying them (patterns, iris colour, or pupil orientation).
  • Amphibian eggs have no protective shell and grow in the water.
  • Amphibian larva(e) or tadpoles undergo several metamorphoses before reaching their final adult state.
  • In France (mainland), we have two main orders of amphibians:
  • Domain: BIOTA
  • Kingdom: ANIMALIA
  • Phylum: CHORDATA
  • Class: AMPHIBIA

Anurans

  • Anurans (frogs and toads) are part of the ANURA order.
  • ANURA stems from two Greek words put together: “a” (= absence of something) and “oura” (= animal tail).
  • Anurans have no tails.
  • Anurans sing during breeding season.
  • Fertilisation is external in anurans. Their reproduction is oviparous.
  • Frogs typically jump to get around, as toads walk instead.

Here are 7 anurans you’d typically find in Provence:

Urodeles

  • Urodeles (salamanders and newts) are part of the URODELA order.
  • URODELA stems from two Greek words put together: “oura” (= animal tail) and “delos” (=visible).
  • Urodeles have a tail.
  • Urodeles parade during breeding season.
  • Unlike salamanders, newts have a flat tail.
  • Newts are carnivorous.