Field experiments at Castel Porziano, Rome, Italy, have shown that L. barbarus populations are highly philopatric, their return to their native ponds being based on homing behaviour. Some ponds lacking any barbarus may prove suitable for larval growth up to emergence, but precocious drying up would often cause the extinction of larvae. Short-range dispersal is so scarce that colonization of non-populated ponds is not promptly obtained.