Illustration and Mural by Sara Francisco

Halobatrachus didactylus (Bloch & Schneider, 1801)

EN - Lusitanian toadfish
PT - Charroco ou Xarroco
FR - Crapaud-lusitanien
ES - Sapo lusitánico

References and scientific facts of the animals represented by Ana Marta CostaGraduate in Biology, Master in marine resources - artisanal fishing. Enthusiast for life science, working in various areas of biology and passionate about scientific dissemination, environmental education, nature conservation and active citizenship. He loves working for a good cause!

︎︎︎    50 cm
︎   10 - 50 m
︎︎︎    9 - 10 years
︎  Solitary
︎  Mud, Sand and Rocks
︎  Crustaceans, Molluscs and Small Fish
︎  Gillnets and Trawl

Least Concern (LC) means it has been evaluated against the Red List criteria and does not qualify for Critically Endangered, Endangered, Vulnerable or Near Threatened.

  • Resembling batrachians, the Lusitanian toadfish, has a relatively short and robust body with a large head and mouth, a scaleless skin covered in mucus. The eyes are small at the top of the head 
  • It has a variable color, generally brown, with numerous dark brown spots of different sizes that form irregular transverse bands on the body and longitudinal and radial lines of small dark spots on the fins
  • They live in coastal waters and shallow water estuaries, they are solitary and sedentary fish and ambush predators, partially burying themselves in sand or mud and hiding in rock holes where they await their prey
  • Males make nests close to each other and, through their swim bladders, produce sounds during the reproductive process. They form very audible choruses, similar to “snoring”, to attract females into the nests. 
  • The female deposits the eggs in the nest, the male releases his sperm and is responsible for parental care until the larvae become independent 
  • There are larger, dominant males and smaller males, however, the latter have a different reproductive strategy, pretending to be females and trying to enter a nest with eggs, fertilizing them opportunistically 
  • The rhythms and alternations form an important acoustic landscape for males and females, as they “sing” to attract them, but they also compete between neighboring males, adjusting their own song in order to stand out 
  • Due to its “singing”, this species is widely used to study acoustic communication in fish. A recent study proved that the activity of boats is affecting the reproduction of this species, males hear each other less and encounters with females are more difficult due to noise pollution 
  • Although Lusitanian toadfish has a low commercial value, it is widely used in stews. Its presence indicates good water quality, it is not resistant to polluted waters 
  • Charroco is also a dialect from the Setubal region, also known as speaking Sadino or Setubalense. It was influenced by immigrants and is still used today by Setubal inhabitants, especially by the fishing community, it is characterized by an over-pronouncing of the R's

Spawning March-August
Type Oviparous
Female maturation 26,2cm
Male maturation 30,2cm
Fecundity 227-1233 eggs
Incubation period 2 months


Sara D Francisco has been developing her digital artistic work since 2007, a Portimão’s illustrator and designer transforms concepts by challenging visual norms with her distinct style. With training in traditional art, a degree in Communication Design and a professional course in Illustration, Sara created a variety of work, including logos, digital paintings, illustrations for children, character design and murals. In addition to visual pieces, the artist seeks to understand the essence of each project, ensuring that each concept tells its story.


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