Morphological differentiation of the common toad Bufo bufo (Linnaeus, 1758) in the central part of the Balkan Peninsula
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This study analyzes the degree of morphological differentiation among populations of the common toad Bufo bufo in the central part of the Balkan Peninsula. Variations in a number of morphometric and qualitative characters in 14 population samples were analyzed using univariate and multivariate statistics. We found a high degree of female-biased sexual size dimorphism. Morphological variation among the samples was more expressed in morphometric than in qualitative characters. The significant size differences that exist between northern and southern population groups could be the result of phenotypic plasticity. Our results do not support a clear split between northern and southern populations, contrary to the current taxonomic treatment of these groups as B. b. bufo and B. b. spinosus, respectively.