Latin Name: Bufo bufo
Description: The common toad is an amphibian. They are normally grey-brown in colour although they do camouflage themselves with their background so their skin colouring can vary according to the type of soil in their habitat. Their skin is not a moist and smooth texture but dry and warty. They have short legs which they use for crawling around rather than hopping. The male toad is usually slightly shorter than the female toad. The common toad generally grows to about 8-15cm long. The eyes on the toad are orange with black horizontal pupils.
Habitat: The common toad lives on land in the damp and dark areas of fields, hedgerows, parks, gardens, orchards and woodlands. During the breeding season they can be found in ponds, lakes, ditches and some rivers.
Food: The common toad eats slugs, worms, snails and other insects. They seize their food with their long sticky tongue.
Breeding: In the Spring, the common toad returns to the breeding pond and will often walk long distances to get to the pond, making themselves more visible at this time of year. The toad returns to the water to spawn with another toad of the opposite gender. The spawn is laid by the females in a long strand of single eggs numbering 600-4000 which grow into tadpoles after about 10 days. The tadpoles are a dark colour which then grow into toads within 2-3 months.
Distribution: The common toad can be found throughout the UK, but not Ireland. It can also be found throughout most of Europe.
Did You Know?
The common toad hibernates in the Winter (October-March) on land.
They are nocturnal and shelter under vegetation during the day and feed at night.
The common toad has a poison gland, so that when another animal tries to eat the toad, the poison will burn their mouths.
The toad is a solitary creature, except during the breeding season.
Only the male common toad croaks.