Alytes dickhilleni


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Alytes dickhilleni
Species Authority: Arntzen & García-París, 1995
Common Name(s):
English Betic Midwife Toad
Spanish Sapo Partero Bético

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable B2ab(iii,iv) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2009
Date Assessed: 2008-12-14
Assessor(s): Jaime Bosch, Miguel Tejedo, Miguel Lizana, Iñigo Martínez-Solano, Alfredo Salvador, Mario García-París, Ernesto Recuero Gil, Jan Willem Arntzen, Rafael Marquez, Carmen Diaz Paniagua, Richard Podloucky
Reviewer(s): Cox, N. and Temple, H.J. (Global Amphibian Assessment)
Listed as Vulnerable, because its Area of Occupancy is less than 2,000 km2, its distribution is severely fragmented, and there is a continuing decline in the extent and quality of its habitat and in the number of subpopulations.
2004 Vulnerable
1996 Vulnerable

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is restricted to the mountains of south-eastern Spain. It occurs at altitudes of 700-2,140m asl (Sierra Nevada, Almería).
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Populations of this species are very fragmented, many of them confined to isolated mountains and valleys. It is relatively common in the Alcaraz, Segura, and Cazorla mountains, but it is rare in drier mountains (Filabres, Baza, Gádor), where it is associated with springs. Populations in drier areas can consist of only a few adults.
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: The species is present in pine and oak forests, most often on calciferous substrate, in open, very rocky landscapes. Adults occur in rock fissures and on stones next to water sources. Reproduction and larval development takes place in permanent mountain streams, man-made reservoirs and cattle troughs, and the larvae may take a long time to mature. Almost all known breeding habitats are human-modified water bodies.
Systems: Terrestrial; Freshwater

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The species is threatened by loss of suitable breeding habitat as a result of excessive water withdrawal, droughts, and modernization of agricultural practices leading to the abandonment of cattle troughs and other man-made water sources. A potential future threat is the fungal disease chytridiomycosis, which has already impacted the related Alytes obstetricans in Spain.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species is listed on Appendix II of the Bern Convention (as part of obstetricans). It is listed in regional Red Data Books and is present in the protected areas of Parque Nacional Sierra Morena, Parque Nacional de Sierra Nevada, and the Natural Park of Cazorla, Segura y las Villas. Protection measures in Castilla-La Mancha, Andalusia, such as restoration and construction of new breeding habitats, are under way.

Bibliography [top]

1997. Atlas of Amphibians and Reptiles in Europe. Societas Europea Herpetologica & Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Paris.

Arnold, E.N. 2003. Reptiles and amphibians of Europe. Princeton University Press.

Arntzen, J.W. and García-París, M. 1995. Morphological and allozyme studies of midwife toads (Genus Alytes), including the description of two new taxa from Spain. Contributions to Zoology: 5-34.

Benavides, J., Viedma, A., Clivilles, J., Ortiz, A. and Gutiérrez, J.M. 2000. Albinismo en Altyes dickhilleni y Salamandra salamandra en la Sierra de Castril (Granada). Boletín de la Asociación Herpetológica Española: 83.

Fromhage, L., Vences, M. and Veith, M. 2004. Testing alternative vicariance scenarios in Western Mediterranean discoglossid frogs. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution: 308-322.

García-Cardenete, L., González de la Vega, J.P., Barnestein, J.A.M. and Pérez-Contreras, J. 2003. Consideraciones sobre los límites de distribución en altitud de anfibios y reptiles en la Cordillera Bética (España), y registros máximos para cada especie. Acta Granatense.

IUCN. 2009. European Species on the IUCN Red List. Available at: (Accessed: 22 June 2009).

Márquez, R. and Bosch, J. 1996. Advertisement call of the midwife toad from the Sierras BéticasAlytes dickhilleni Arntzen & García-Paris, 1995 (Amphibia, Anura, Discoglossidae). Herpetological Journal: 9-14.

Martínez-Solano, I., Gonçalves, H.A., Arntzen, J.W. and García-París, M. 2004. Phylogenetic relationships and biogeography of midwife toads (Discoglossidae: Alytes). Journal of Biogeography: 603-618.

Martínez-Solano, I., París, M., Izquierdo, E. and García-París, M. 2003. Larval growth plasticity in wild populations of the betic midwife toad, Alytes dickhilleni (Anura: Discoglossidae). Herpetological Journal: 89-94.

Pleguezuelos, J.M. 1997. Distribucion y Biogeografia de los Anfibios y Reptiles en España y Portugal. Asociacion Herpetologica Española, Las Palmas de Gran Canarias.

Pleguezuelos, J.M., Márquez, R. and Lizana, M. 2002. Atlas y Libro Rojo de los Anfibios y Reptiles de España. Dirección General de la Conservación de la naturaleza-Associación Herpetológica Española, Madrid.

Citation: Jaime Bosch, Miguel Tejedo, Miguel Lizana, Iñigo Martínez-Solano, Alfredo Salvador, Mario García-París, Ernesto Recuero Gil, Jan Willem Arntzen, Rafael Marquez, Carmen Diaz Paniagua, Richard Podloucky 2009. Alytes dickhilleni. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. <>. Downloaded on 31 August 2015.
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