Pelobates balcanicus Karaman, 1928

Class: Amphibia > Order: Anura > Family: Pelobatidae > Genus: Pelobates > Species: Pelobates balcanicus

Pelobates syriacus balcanicus Karaman, 1928, Bull. Soc. Sci. Skopkje, Sect. Sci. Nat., 4: 130. Type(s): Mus. Zool., Skopkje, Macedonia; destroyed in 1963 earthquake according to C. Dufresnes, personal commun., 4 July 2019). Type locality: Environs of the Lakes of Prespa at Dojran, as well as of Skilje and Stip [Serbia]; restricted to Doiran Lake, Macedonia, by Mertens and Müller, 1940, Abh. Senckenb. Naturforsch. Ges., 451: 16. Status rejected by Eiselt, 1988 "1986", Ann. Naturhist. Mus. Wien, Ser. B, 90: 51-59.

Pelobates balcanicusDufresnes, Strachinis, Tzoras, Litvinchuk, and Denoël, 2019, ZooKeys, 859: 145. 

Pelobates balcanicus balcanicus — Dufresnes, Strachinis, Tzoras, Litvinchuk, and Denoël, 2019, ZooKeys, 859: 146.

Pelobates balcanicus chloeae Dufresnes, Strachinis, Tzoras, Litvinchuk, and Denoël, 2019, ZooKeys, 859: 146. Holotype: NHMC, by original designation. Type locality: "Strofylia meadows, near the village of Metochi, Peloponnese, Greece (38.1239°N, 21.3858°E, 1 m a.s.l.). Coastal sandy meadows with shallow ponds". 

English Names

Balkans Spadefoot (Dufresnes, 2019, Amph. Eur., N. Afr., & Middle East: 58). 


Balkan Peninsula, 0–920 m elevation in allopatric segments; 1) northern to central Serbia, (2) southern Romania in the Danube valley to the Black Sea coast towards the Bessarabian coast and (3) south to eastern and western Bulgaria as well as extreme east-central Albania, North Macedonia, east into European Türkiye, and south along the Ionian coast and then west to the Adriatic coast of Greece; isolated population on the Pelopennesian peninsula. 

Geographic Occurrence

Natural Resident: Albania, Bulgaria, Greece, North Macedonia, Romania, Serbia, Türkiye


Prior to the publication of Dufresnes, Strachinis, Tzoras, Litvinchuk, and Denoël, 2019, ZooKeys, 859: 131–158, the species was considered a race of Pelobates syriacus or not distinct from that species whatsoever (Eiselt, 1988 "1986", Ann. Naturhist. Mus. Wien, Ser. B, 90: 51-59). Szabolcs, Mizsei, Jablonski, Vági, Mester, Végvári, and Lengyel, 2017, Amphibia-Reptilia, 38: 435–448, provided a dot map and discussion of range in Albania (as Pelobates syriacus). Phylogeographic study of Pelobates provided the evidence whereby Dufresnes, Strachinis, Tzoras, Litvinchuk, and Denoël, 2019, ZooKeys, 859: 131–158, recognized this species. Dufresnes, Strachinis, Suriadna, Mykytynets, Cogǎlniceanu, Székely, Vukov, Arntzen, Wielstra, Lymberakis, Geffen, Gafny, Kumlutaş, Ilgaz, Candan, Mizsei, Szabolcs, Kolenda, Smirnov, Géniez, Lukanov, Crochet, Dubey, Perrin, Litvinchuk, and Denoël, 2019, Mol. Ecol., 28: 3257–3270, reported on the hybrid zone with Pelobates syriacus. See Dufresnes, 2019, Amph. Eur., N. Afr., & Middle East: 58, for brief summary of identifying morphology and biology, a range map, as well as a photograph. Koynova, Marinova, and Natchev, 2022, Herpetol. Notes, 15: 303–305, reported specimens from Vetrishte, Shumen Province, northeastern Bulgaria. Mollov, Natchev, Koynova, Kambourov, Rashkov, Dimitrov, Todorov, Petrova, Vladov, and Uzunov, 2022, Ecol. Balkanica, Spec. Edit. 5: 43–74, discussed the presence of this species (as Pelobates syriacus) in protected areas of southeastern Bulgaria.


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