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Last Updated: Thursday, 1 November 2007, 12:15 GMT
French toad crosses a new border
The male midwife toad (picture: Louise Lang)
The male midwife toad carries the eggs on his back
A toad accidentally introduced into England more than 100 years ago now seems finally to have moved into Wales.

Julian Jones of Radnorshire Wildlife Trust said the midwife toad had been found in areas of south Powys.

It arrived in Bedfordshire in 1903 in a delivery of plants from France, and he said this was thought to be the first time it had been spotted in Wales.

But it poses no threat to native toads and, although smaller, it looks similar to those found naturally in the UK.

Mr Jones explained that the toad was quite distinctive as the male cared for the eggs, which he carried wrapped around his back legs until they hatched.

"They have been spotted in Howey, a pond in Newbridge-on-Wye (both near Llandrindod Wells), a pond in Llandrindod and in a garden in the town, so there are at least four sites," said Mr Jones.

"I'm not sure how the toads spread to Wales, but they may have been introduced deliberately - someone may have taken a shine to them.

"That's been done with fish in the past."

As well as Powys and its original British home of Bedfordshire, the toad can also be found in Yorkshire, Northamptonshire, Devon, Hampshire, Surrey and London.



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