Tuesday 18 June
Spanish painted frog (Discoglossus jeanneae)
Spanish painted frog fact file
- Find out more
- Print factsheet
Spanish painted frog description
The Spanish painted frog (Discoglossus jeanneae) is a medium-sized amphibian with quite variable colouration. Its upperparts are predominantly dark, often with spots or stripes, and the underparts are whitish or yellowish. The skin is generally smooth, but there are two lines of glandular skin running along the length of the back from behind the eyes (2).
The snout of the Spanish painted frog is fairly pointed, while the tympanum is inconspicuous and the pupils of the eyes are somewhat rounded (2) (3). The male Spanish painted frog has webbing between the hind toes, but this is absent in the female and in juveniles. During the breeding season, the male also has blackish calluses on the throat, belly, first and second fingers, and on the toe webbing (2).
Although sometimes considered to be the same species as the related Iberian painted frog (Discoglossus galganoi) (1) (2), the Spanish painted frog can generally be distinguished by its proportionately shorter snout and smaller forefeet (2). The tadpoles of the Spanish painted frog are very similar to those of the Iberian painted frog (2), which are usually dark brown, becoming lighter brown as they develop (4). The calls of the two species are also similar (2). In general, the calls of male painted frogs are described a sounding like a quiet, rolling laugh (3).
- Also known as
- East Iberian painted frog.
- Discoglossus galganoi jeanneae.
- Sapillo Pintojo Meridional. Top
Enciclopedia Virtual de los Vertebrados Españoles: Sapillo pintojo meridional - Discoglossus jeanneae:
http://www.vertebradosibericos.org/anfibios/pdf/disjea.pdf (In Spanish)
Atlas y Libro Rojo de los Anfibios y Reptiles de España - Discoglossus jeanneae:
http://www.marm.es/imagenes/es/0904712280003ce9_tcm7-21366.pdf (In Spanish)
IUCN/SSC Amphibian Specialist Group:
- A species or taxonomic group that is only found in one particular country or geographic area.
- Relating to or bearing glands, organs that make and secrete substances used by the body.
- Animals with no backbone, such as insects, crustaceans, worms, molluscs, spiders, cnidarians (jellyfish, corals, sea anemones) and echinoderms.
- Also known as the eardrum. A thin membrane that transmits sounds from the air to the middle ear.
IUCN Red List (May, 2011)
Martínez-Solano, Í. (2009) Sapillo pintojo meridional - Discoglossus jeanneae Busack, 1986. In: Salvador, A. and Martínez-Solano, Í. (Eds.) Enciclopedia Virtual de los Vertebrados Españoles. Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales, Madrid. Available at:
- Halliday, T. and Adler, K. (2002) The New Encyclopedia of Reptiles and Amphibians. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
Martínez-Solano, Í. (2009) Sapillo pintojo ibérico - Discoglossus galganoi Capula, Nascetti, Lanza, Bullini y Crespo, 1985. In: Salvador, A. (Ed.) Enciclopedia Virtual de los Vertebrados Españoles. Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales, Madrid. Available at:
Frost, D.R. (2011) Amphibian Species of the World: An Online Reference. American Museum of Natural History, New York. Available at:
Martínez-Solano, Í. and García-París, M. (2002) Discoglossus jeanneae Busack, 1986. Sapillo pintojo meridional. In: Pleguezuelos, J.M., Márquez, R. and Lizana, M. (Eds.) Atlas y Libro Rojo de los Anfibios y Reptiles de España. Dirrección General de Conservación de la Naturaleza - Asociación Herpetologica Española, Madrid. Available at:
Council of Europe: Bern Convention (May, 2011)
EU Habitats Directive (May, 2011)
- view the contents of, and Material on, the website;
- download and retain copies of the Material on their personal systems in digital form in low resolution for their own personal use;
- teachers, lecturers and students may incorporate the Material in their educational material (including, but not limited to, their lesson plans, presentations, worksheets and projects) in hard copy and digital format for use within a registered educational establishment, provided that the integrity of the Material is maintained and that copyright ownership and authorship is appropriately acknowledged by the End User.
Spanish painted frog biology
Relatively little is known about the biology of the Spanish painted frog. It appears to be active year-round and its breeding season is thought to be quite extensive (2). Like the related Iberian painted frog, the Spanish painted frog usually lays its eggs in small, shallow water bodies (1) (2) (4). Other aspects of its breeding behaviour may also be similar to that of the Iberian painted frog, in which the female produces between 326 and 687 eggs per clutch, but can lay up to 1,500 in total. The eggs of the Iberian painted frog hatch in 2 to 9 days, and the tadpoles complete their development in 20 to 60 days (4).
The diet of the adult Spanish painted frog includes insects, worms and the young of other frogs and toads (2). Like the Iberian painted frog, it may also possibly take a range of other invertebrates, including spiders, snails and slugs, and is likely to be most active at night or at dawn and dusk (4). The tadpoles of the Spanish painted frog eat plant material (2).Top
Spanish painted frog range
The Spanish painted frog is endemic to southern, eastern and north-eastern Spain (1) (2) (5) (6). It has a rather patchy distribution, and is generally most common in the south of its range (1) (2) (6).Top
Spanish painted frog habitat
This species typically inhabits open areas, such as pastures, meadows and agricultural land, and is also found in pine groves and shrubland. The Spanish painted frog is usually associated with the presence of limestone or gypsum soils, and occurs from sea level to elevations of just over 2,000 metres (1) (2) (6).Top
Spanish painted frog status
The Spanish painted frog is classified as Near Threatened (NT) on the IUCN Red List (1).Top
Spanish painted frog threats
The Spanish painted frog is quite patchily distributed throughout its range, and its population is believed to be in decline. The main threat to this amphibian is the loss of its habitat due to increasing aridity and drought, which may potentially be exacerbated by climate change. Some isolated populations are likely to have already become extinct (1) (2) (6).
Other threats to the Spanish painted frog include pollution, the loss of its habitat to agriculture, infrastructure development and the overexploitation of water resources. Introduced species such as predatory fish and the red swamp crayfish (Procambarus clarkii) (1) (2) (6) may also pose a threat to the Spanish painted frog. In many areas, this species depends on the adequate maintenance of artificial breeding sites, such as fountains and drinking troughs (2).Top
Spanish painted frog conservation
The Spanish painted frog is listed as Near Threatened on the Spanish Red Book (6) and is protected under national legislation (1). It is also listed on Annex II of the Bern Convention (7) and on Annexes II and IV of the EU Habitats Directive (8).
This endemic frog occurs in at least one protected area, in the Parque Nacional de Sierra Nevada (1). Recommended conservation measures for the Spanish painted frog include determining the exact extent of its distribution (1).Top
Find out more
Find out more about the Spanish painted frog and its conservation:
Find out more about amphibian conservation:
This information is awaiting authentication by a species expert, and will be updated as soon as possible. If you are able to help please contact:
More »Related species
Play the Team WILD game
© Gabri Mtnez
MyARKive offers the scrapbook feature to signed-up members, allowing you to organize your favourite ARKive images and videos and share them with friends.
Terms and Conditions of Use of Materials
Copyright in this website and materials contained on this website (Material) belongs to Wildscreen or its licensors.
Visitors to this website (End Users) are entitled to:
End Users shall not copy or otherwise extract, alter or manipulate Material other than as permitted in these Terms and Conditions of Use of Materials.
Additional use of flagged material
Green flagged material
Certain Material on this website (Licence 4 Material) displays a green flag next to the Material and is available for not-for-profit conservation or educational use. This material may be used by End Users, who are individuals or organisations that are in our opinion not-for-profit, for their not-for-profit conservation or not-for-profit educational purposes. Low resolution, watermarked images may be copied from this website by such End Users for such purposes. If you require high resolution or non-watermarked versions of the Material, please contact Wildscreen with details of your proposed use.
Creative commons material
Certain Material on this website has been licensed to Wildscreen under a Creative Commons Licence. These images are clearly marked with the Creative Commons buttons and may be used by End Users only in the way allowed by the specific Creative Commons Licence under which they have been submitted. Please see http://creativecommons.org for details.
Any other use
Please contact the copyright owners directly (copyright and contact details are shown for each media item) to negotiate terms and conditions for any use of Material other than those expressly permitted above. Please note that many of the contributors to ARKive are commercial operators and may request a fee for such use.
Save as permitted above, no person or organisation is permitted to incorporate any copyright material from this website into any other work or publication in any format (this includes but is not limited to: websites, Apps, CDs, DVDs, intranets, extranets, signage, digital communications or on printed materials for external or other distribution). Use of the Material for promotional, administrative or for-profit purposes is not permitted.