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Common toad (Bufo bufo)

Tailless amphibian. Warty Skin.

Distinct bulges on back of head, known as the parotoid glands

Tends to walk not jump

Covered in obvious warts

Horizontal slit pupil yellow/golden brown iris

Dorsal surface and flanks, fairly uniform brown/greenish grey

May appear light sandy brown in warm weather

Ventral surface, dirty white/cream with speckles

Some colour variation occurs and individuals have been recorded with brick red spots.

Length: males up to 8 cm females up to13 cm


Toads crossing road in Little Leighs, Chelmsford


Males have dark nuptial pads on three inner fingers that are very noticeable in the breeding season. Females are generally larger than males.

The spawn of the common toad is easily distinguished from that of the common frog as it is laid in strings not clumps. Closer examination shows that the spawn string contains a double row of eggs. Toadlets metamorphose in June and July.

Breeding and Spawn

Common Toads emerge from hibernation in late February and start a hazardous journey to their breeding ponds. Many toads are killed, as they attempt to cross busy roads. Toads return to the same pond year after year. Males clasp the females in a special hold known as "Amplexus" during mating. They remain like this for a few days as the female lays her spawn.

The male Common Toad has a loud release call that he will use if he is grasped by another male. This sound is the most commonly heard from breeding toads, though the males will croak occasionally to attract a mate.

Text source RAUK http://www.herpetofauna.co.uk/common_toad.htm