Overview of taxonomy and prediction potential distribution of Bufotes sitibundus (Anura: Bufonidae) using environmental factors


  • Fatemeh Fakharzadeh Department of Biology, Faculty of Sciences, Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz, Ahvaz, Iran
  • Mahboubeh sadat Hosseinzadeh Department of Biology, Faculty of Sciences, University of Birjand, Birjand, Iran




species distribution models, bioclimatic variables, distribution, Bufotes viridis complex


Bufotes sitibundus spreads from Greece eastwards through Turkey, to Syria, Jordan, and Lebanon. It is also reported from Iraq and Iran and is distributed through the Caucasus and Russia to Kazakhstan. Formerly, this species was considered Bufotes viridis with three subspecies, but recent molecular studies have changed the name of the taxon. However, with respect to the patchy distribution range of the species, species distribution models (SDM) are useful methods to predict and identify the potential distribution and suitable habitat for the species. In this study, 62 coordinates of B. sitibundus with 30 variables including six informative bioclimatic environmental variables, namely Bio1 (annual mean temperature), Bio2 (mean diurnal range), Bio4 (temperature seasonality), Bio15 (precipitation seasonality), Bio16 (precipitation of wettest quarter), Bio19 (precipitation of coldest quarter and water vapor pressure (kPa), solar radiation (kJm-2 day-1) for each month of the year, were analyzed. Results show that the solar radiation of the seventh month, the water vapor pressure of the third month, and bio19 (Precipitation of Coldest Quarter) have the highest contribution in distribution patterns of the B. sitibundus. It seems that B. sitibundus is a flexible species and can adapt to different habitats, different altitudes, and different environmental conditions. Therefore, the distribution range of this species is likely to be larger than what has been reported so far.


Allmon, W.D. (1991). A plot study of forest floor litter frogs Central Amazon Brazil. Journal of Tropical Ecology, 7( 4), 503–522. https://doi.org/ 10.1017/S0266467400005885

Allouche, O., Tsoar, A., & Kadmon, R. (2006). Assessing species distribution models' accuracy: prevalence, Kappa, and the true skill statistic (TSS). Journal of Applied Ecology, 43(6), 1223-1232. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2664.2006.01214.x

Araújo, M.B., Thuiller, W., & Pearson, R.G. (2006). Climate warming and the decline of amphibians and reptiles in Europe. Journal of Biogeography, 33(10), 1712–1728. https://doi.org/ 10.1111/j.1365-2699.2006.01482.x

Avci, A., Tuniyev, B., Crnobrnja Isailovic, J., Lymberakis, P., Andrén, C., Cogalniceanu, D., Wilkinson, J., Ananjeva, N., Üzüm. N., Orlov, N., Podloucky, R., Tuniyev, S., Uğur, K., Nilson, G., Sharifi, M., Papenfuss, T., & Shafiei Bafti, S. (2018). Bufotes variabilis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2018-2. http://www.iucnredlist.org. Downloaded on 14 November 2018.

Baloutch, M., & Kami, H.G.(1995). Amphibians of Iran. Tehran, Iran.Tehran University Press (in Persian).

Beçak, M.L. (2014). Polyploidy and epigenetic events in the evolution of Anura. Genetics and Molecular Research, 13 (3), 5995-6014. https://dx.doi.org/10.4238/2014.August.7.15

Carey, C., & Alexander, M.A. (2003). Climate change and amphibian declines: is there a link? Diversity and Distributions, 9(2), 111–121. https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1472-4642.2003.00011.x

Crump, M.L., & Scott, N.J, J.r. (1994). In: Heyer W.R., Donnelly M.A., M.c Diarmid R.W, Donnelly Heyek L.C., Foster M.S. (Eds.), Measuring and Monitoring Biological Diversity. Standard Methods for Amphibians. Washington DC, Smithsonian Institution Press.

Dubois, A., & Bour, R. 2010. The nomenclatural status of the nomina of amphibians and reptiles created by Garsault (1764), with a parsimonious solution to an old nomenclatural problem regarding the genus Bufo (Amphibia, Anura), comments on the taxonomy of this genus, and comments on some nomina created by Laurenti (1768). Zootaxa, 2447, 1–52. https://doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.2447.1.1

Dufresnes, C., Mazepa, G., Jablonski, D., Caliari Oliveira, R., Wenseleers, T., Shabanov, D.A., Auer, M., Ernst, R., Koch, C., Ramírez-Chaves, H.E., Patrick Mulder, K., Simonov, E., Tiutenko A., Kryvokhyzha, D., Louis Wennekes, P., Zinenko, O.I., Korshunov, O.V., Al-Johany, A.M., Peregontsev, E.A., Masroor, R., … Litvinchuk, S. (2019). Fifteen shades of green: The evolution of Bufotes toads revisited. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 141, 1–25. https://doi.org/ 10.1016/j.ympev.2019.106615

Elith, J., & Burgman, M.A. (2003). Habitat models for PVA. In : C.A. Brigham& M.W. Schwartz, (Eds.), Population Viability in Plants. (Chapter 8).Springer-Verlag, New York press.

Elith, J., Ferrier, S., Huettmann, F., & Leathwick, J. (2005). The evaluation strip: A new and robust method for plotting predicted responses from species distribution models. Ecological Modelling, 186(3), 280–289. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2004.12.007

Elith, J., Graham, C.H., Anderson, R.P., Dudik, M., Ferrier, S., Guisan, A., Hijmans, R.J., Huettmann, F., Leathwick, J.R., Lehmann, A., Li, J, Lohmann, L.G., Loiselle, B.A., Manion, G., Moritz, C., Nakamura, M., Nakazawa, Y., Overton, J.M., Peterson, A.T., Phillips, S.J., Richardson, K., Zimmermann, N.E. (2006). Novel methods improve predictions of species distribution from occurrence data. Ecography, 29(2), 129–151. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.2006.0906-7590.04596.x

Elith, J., Phillips, S.J., Hastie, T., Dudĺk, M., Chee, Y., &Yates, C.J. (2011). A statistical explanation of Maxent for ecologists. Diversity and Distributions, 17(1), 43–57. https://doi.org/ 10.1111/j.1472-4642.

Fakharzadeh, F., Darvish, J., Kami, H.G., Ghasemzadeh, F., Rastegar-pouyani, E. (2014). New karyological and morphometric data on poorly known B. surdus and B. luristanicus in comparison with data of diploid green toads of the Bufo viridis complex from South of Iran. Asian Herpetological Research, 5(3), 168 – 178. https://doi.org/ 10.3724/SP.J.1245.2014.00168

Fakharzadeh, F., Darvish, J., Kami, H.G., Ghassemzadeh, F., Rastegar-Pouyani, E., & Stöck, M. (2015). Discovery of triploidy in Palearctic green toads (Anura: Bufonidae) from Iran with indications for a reproductive system involving diploids and triploids. Zoologischer Anzeiger, 255, 25 – 31.http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jcz.2015.01.001

Fakharzadeh, F., Darvish, J., Kami, H.G., Ghassemzadeh, F., & Rastegar-Pouyani, E. (2018). Karyological investigation of Bufo variabilis (Anura: Bufonidae) populations from northwest and southeast of Iran. Russian Journal of Herpetology, 25(1), 56–60. https://doi.org/0.30906/1026-2296.

Fielding, A.H., & Bell, J.F. (1997). A review of methods for the assessment of prediction errors in conservation presence/absence models. Environmental Conservation, 24, 38–49. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0376892997000088.

Franklin, J. (1995). Predictive vegetation mapping: geographic modeling of biospatial patterns in relation to environmental gradients. Progress in Physical Geography, 19(4), 474–499. https://doi.org/10.1177/030913339501900403

Frost, D.R., Grant, T., Faivovich, J., Bain, R.H., Haas, A., Haddad, C.F.B., de Sá, R.O., Channing, A., Wilkinson, M., Donnellan, S.C., Raxworthy, C.J., Campbell, J.A., Blotto, B.L., Moler, P., Drewes, R.C., Nussbaum, R.A., Lynch, J.D., Green, D.M. and Wheeler, W.C. (2006).The amphibian tree of life. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History, 297, 1-291. https://doi.org/ 10.1206/0003-0090(2006)297[0001:TATOL]2.0.CO;2

Frost, D.R. (2019). Amphibian Species of the World: An Online Reference. Version 6.0. American Museum of Natural History, New York, USA. http:// research.amnh.org/ herpetology/amphibia/index.html.

GBIF. (2020). Occurrence download https://www.gbif.org/species/5216588 accessed via GBIF.org on 2020.

Graham, C. H., Ferrier, S., Huettman, F., Moritz, C., & Peterson, A. T. (2004). New developments in museum-based informatics and application in biodiversity analysis. Trends in Ecology and Evolution, 19(9), 497–503. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tree.2004.07.006

Graybeal, A., & Cannatella, D. (1995). A new taxon of Bufonidae from Peru, with descriptions of two new species and review of the phylogenetic status of supraspecific bufonid taxa. Herpetologica, 51(2), 105–131.

Graybeal, A. (1997). Phylogenetic relationships of bufonid frogs and tests of alternate macroevolutionary hypotheses characterizing their radiation. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 119 (3), 297–338. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1096-3642.1997.tb00139.x

Guisan, A., & Zimmermann, N.E. (2000). Predictive habitat distribution models in ecology. Ecological Modelling, 135,147–186. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0304-3800(00)00354-9

Guisan, A., & Thuiller, W. (2005). Predicting species distribution: offering more than simple habitat models. Ecology Letters, 8, 993- 1009. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1461-0248.2005.00792.x

Hijmans, R., Guarino, L., Mathur, P.,& Jarvis, A. (2009). Diva-Gis version 7.1. 7.2: Geographic information system for biodiversity research. Manual available at: https://www. diva-gis. org.

Litvinchuk, S.N., Skorinov, D.V., Mazepa, G. O., &Borkin, L. J. (2018). Distribution of Bufotes latastii (Boulenger, 1882), endemic to the Western Himalaya. Alytes, 36 (1–4), 314–327.

Manel, S., William, H.C., Ormerod, S.J. (2001). Evaluating presence-absence models in ecology: the need to account for prevalence. Journal of Applied Ecology, 38(5), 291–931. https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1365-2664.2001.00647.x

Malone, J.H., & Fontenot, B.E. (2008). Patterns of reproductive isolation in toads. Plos ONE, 3 (12), e3900. https://doi.org/ 10.1371/journal.pone.0003900 Marsh, D.M.

Pearman, P.B. (1997). Effects of habitat fragmentation on the abundance of two species of leptodactylid frogs in an Andean montane forest. Conservation Biology, 11(6), 1323–1328. https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1523-1739.1997.95519.x

Moisen, G.G., & Frescino, T.S. (2002). Comparing five modeling techniques for predicting forest characteristics. Ecological Modelling, 157(2-3), 209–225. DOI: 10.1016/S0304-3800(02)00197-7

Otto, C.R., Snodgrass, J.W., Forester, D.C., Mitchell, J.C., & Miller, R. (2007). Climatic variation and the distribution of an amphibian polyploid complex. Journal of Animal Ecology, 76(6),1053–1061. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2656.2007.01300.x

Pearce, J., &Ferrier, S. (2000). Evaluating the predictive performance of habitat models developed using logistic regression. Ecological Modelling, 133(3), 225–245. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0304-3800(00)00322-7

Peterson, A.T., Egbert, S.L., Sanchez-Cordero, V., & Price, K.P. (2000). Geographic analysis of conservation priorities using distributional modeling and complementarity: endemic birds and mammals in Veracruz, Mexico. Biological Conservation, 93(1), 85-94. DOI: 10.1016/S0006-3207(99)00074-9

Phillips, S.J., Anderson, R.P., & Schapire, R.E. (2006).Maximum entropy modeling of species geographic distributions. Ecological Modeling, 190(3-4), 231–259. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2005.03.026

Phillips, S.J., Dudík, M. (2008). Modeling of species distributions with Maxent: new extensions and a comprehensive evaluation. Ecography, 31(2), 161–175. DOI: 10.1111/j.0906-7590.2008.5203.x

Rodríguez, M.Á., Belmontes, J.A., & Hawkins, B.A. (2005). Energy, water, and large-scale patterns of reptile and amphibian species richness in Europe. Acta Oecologica, 28(1), 65-70. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.actao.2005.02.006

Rushton, S.P., Ormerod, S.J., & Kerby, G. (2004). New paradigms for modeling species distributions? Journal of Applied Ecology, 41(2), 193–200. DOI: 10.1111/j.0021-8901.2004.00903.x

Stuart, S.N., Chanson, J.S., Cox, N.A., Young, B.E., Rodrigues, A.S., FIschman, D.L., & Waller, R.W. (2004). Status and trends of amphibian declines and extinctions worldwide. Science, 306, 1783–1786. DOI: 10.1126/science.1103538

Stöck, M., Günther, R., & Böhme, W. (2001a). Bufo viridis group: current status of nominal taxa and unsolved problems (Amphibia: Anura: Bufonidae). Zoological Abhandlungen Staatliches Museum fur Tierkunde Dresden, 51(18), 253 – 319.

Stöck, M., Frynta, D., Grosse, W-R., Steinlein, C., &Schmid, M. (2001b). A review of the distribution of diploid, triploid, and tetraploid green toads (Bufo viridis complex) in Asia, including new data from Iran and Pakistan. Asian Herpetological Research, 9, 77 – 100. https://doi.org/10.5962/bhl.part.15562

Stöck, M., Steinlein, C., Lamatsch, K., Schartl, M., &Schmid, M. (2005). Multiple origins of tetraploid taxa in the Eurasian Bufo viridis subgroup. Genetica, 124(2), 255 –272. doi: 10.1007/s10709-005-3085-9.

Stöck, M., Moritz, C., Hickerson, M., Frynta, D., Dujsebayeva, T., Eremchenko, V., Macey, J. R., Papenfuss, T. J., & Wake, D. B. (2006). Evolution of mitochondrial relationships and biogeography of Palearctic green toads (Bufo viridis subgroup) with insights in their genomic plasticity. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 41(3), 663 – 689. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ympev.2006.05.026




How to Cite

Fakharzadeh , F. ., & Hosseinzadeh, . M. sadat . (2021). Overview of taxonomy and prediction potential distribution of Bufotes sitibundus (Anura: Bufonidae) using environmental factors. Journal of Wildlife and Biodiversity, 5(3), 20–34. https://doi.org/10.22120/jwb.2021.138255.1191