Fun Common Toad Facts For Kids

Moumita Dutta
Oct 20, 2022 By Moumita Dutta
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Monisha Kochhar
Common toad facts tell us about their breeding season

The common toad, or commonly called the European toad or simply the toad in Anglophone areas of Europe, is an amphibian that can be found almost everywhere in Europe (except Ireland, some of the Mediterranean islands, and Iceland), as well as the western part of North Asia and a tiny area of Northwest Africa.

These toads have descended from an ancestral line of toads which form a larger complex of species.

The toad is a quiet creature who prefers to stay concealed during the day.

It comes out at dusk and passes the night searching for the insects it eats.

It has brown and gray skin and legs coated with wart-like chunks. It used its legs to have a long, ungainly walk or quick hops.

Carl Linnaeus, a Swedish biologist, first named the common toad Rana bufo in the 10th edition of 'Systema Naturae' in 1758. He classified both frogs and toads into the genus Rana in this work.

After it became clear that this genus needed to be split, Austrian naturalist Josephus Nicolaus Laurenti positioned the common toad in the genus Bufo and named it Bufo bufo in 1768. Keep reading to know more interesting facts about the common toad.

You can find more similar content in our marine toad and Mantella facts articles.

Common Toad Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a common toad?

The common toad is a type of toad.

What class of animal does a common toad belong to?

The common toad belongs to the class of amphibians.

How many common toads are there in the world?

Although the numerical population of common toads remains unknown, it has been studied that their numbers are decreasing. Since the 1980s, the number has declined by over two-thirds. Environmentalists in Spain deem common toads as being Near Threatened owing to enhanced aridity. They are classified as a priority species in the UK Biodiversity Action Plan.

Where does a common toad live?

European toads are found in forests of Europe, with the exception of Iceland, Ireland, and areas of Scandinavia. Irkutsk, Siberia, is their eastern zone boundary, while a set of mountain ranges covering Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia serve as their southern operational limits.

Crete, Malta, Sardinia, Corsica, and the Balearic Islands are among the Mediterranean islands where they can be found. They are also found in the northern grounds of Asia.

What is a common toad's habitat?

The common toad habitat tends to be in areas with a lot of vegetation, such as woods, woodlands, rural countryside, farms, playgrounds, and gardens. Common toads bury themselves in lairs beneath trees, stems, and stones throughout the day.

Common toads can also be challenging to detect since they like to hide in areas where they merge in with their surroundings. Since the skin of a common toad serves as a disguise, a gray toad can like to take naps of stones.

Who do common toads live with?

Common toads live in solitude till the breeding season.

How long does a common toad live?

The common toad life cycle goes on for 10-12 years in wildlife. They will live up to 50 years in confinement. The females of the genus have a greater chance of dying than the males whether it be in the wildlife or outside the wildlife.

How do they reproduce?

To mate and spawn, common toads use scent and direction signs to relocate to the ponds where they were bred. Males develop 'nuptial pads' on their fingertips in the springtime.

In the process to produce toad tadpoles, the males will remain in the mating position for several days. The common toad attains maturity at the age of three to seven years.

Females produce clusters of eggs or toad spawn. The toad spawn resembles black pearls after they have been fertilized.

About 3,000-6,000 eggs can be found on this toad spawn in ponds, which can be 10-15 ft or 3-4.5 m long. Water rushes into the larvae, and common toad tadpoles emerge in two to three weeks, based on the season.

Parents rarely stay to care for their offspring, but the toad tadpoles may form shoals of toad tadpoles. Overall, common toads tend to breed in bodies of water with more depth, such as fish ponds, reservoirs, village ponds.

Males have been appearing at breeding grounds earlier in past decades as the weather has warmed up. Between breeding seasons, females also take a year's break.

What is their conservation status?

These animals are listed as Least Concern on the International Union for Conservation of Nature or IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. This is due to the vast distribution of the common toad and the fact that the common toad is a common animal in much of its range.

Since these animals are capable of adapting, it is present in coniferous and deciduous, meadows, scrubland, gardens, and parks, and is not especially endangered by habitat loss.

Common Toad Fun Facts

What do common toads look like?

Common toads have noses that are somewhat protruding and have and two nostrils. They have protruding, bulb-like eyes. The irises of these animals are yellow or copper in color. Common toads have stilted pupils.

There is a gland behind each eye that contains a noxious liquid called bufotoxin or bufogin. Common toads excrete this when they sense a predator or a threat around. Common toads do not have any teeth or necks. These toads have olive-brown and warty skin.

Common toads have foul-tasting skin.

How cute are they?

Common toads can look quite cute because of their bulbous eyes and their roundish builds.

How do they communicate?

The adult toads communicate primarily through vocalizations and common toad sounds. Vocalizations are used by toads for a number of purposes.

The high-pitched 'qwark-qwark-qwark' sounds are the homage of the common toad to the amphibian symphony. Common toads primarily resolve disputes by croaking, and the tone of their croak indicates their size. The deeper the 'qwark,' the larger the animals.

How big is a common toad?

The average size of a common toad varies from 4-7 in (10-18 cm) in length. Females are generally larger than males, and southern common toads are generally larger than northern common toads.

How high can a common toad jump?

The common toad has the ability to leap 14 ft (4.2 m) in a single jump.

How much does a common toad weigh?

The common toad weights about 0.04-0.18 lb (20-80 g).

What are their male and female names of the species?

There are no particular names for males and females of the adult toads. They are simply called male common toad and female common toad.

What would you call a baby common toad?

Baby toads are called tadpoles. The baby toad holds on to the fluid of the egg strings as they are hatched.

The toad then snacks on it for protein. The baby toad switches onto the lower part of water leaves after a few days and finally begins swimming. The toad gradually grows legs and their bodies resorb their tails within the first few weeks of life.

What do they eat?

While common toads are small, they are voracious eaters. Woodlice, slugs, flies, caterpillars, beetles, grass snakes, slow worms, and earthworms are examples of the common toad diet. The toad also eats little mice on occasion.

The toad does not have any teeth, but they eat their food whole. Additionally, common toads have a slick paste on their tongues that makes them capture prey. Toads, however, must be selective in their beetle picking.

After being eaten, bombardier beetles, secrete a toxic substance. The toad is sickened by the substance, and most spit up the beetles after 12-107 minutes of digestion. Surprisingly, as the bombardiers leave the system of the toad, the bulk of them are still alive.

Are they poisonous?

Yes, common toads can be poisonous as they contain within themselves certain venomous substances. Bufotoxin is the primary toxic agent present in the skin and parotoid gland of these animals.

In mammals, including humans, the skin of one toad can produce enough toxin to induce significant effects or even mortality. Extreme inflammation and discomfort in the eyes, lips, throat, nose, as well as respiratory and cardiovascular complications, paralysis, vomiting, seizures, increased salivation, hyperkalemia, hallucinations, and cyanosis, are typical health effects. There is no anti-venom that has been discovered yet.

Would they make a good pet?

Toads can make great pets. However, they also secrete poisonous substances. Hence, toads should only be kept as a pet with adult supervision. You should always wash your hands after touching your common toad pet. Hence, common toad care is difficult.

Did you know...

The common toad, like many other native animals in mainland Britain, has been harmed by habitat loss, especially the deficit of breeding ponds. The amount of wet forest has declined as a result of drainage, and human structures such as roads pose a significant danger by disturbing migration routes.

During the spring, as they try to migrate to breeding grounds, a growing number of toads are killed by traffic.

Migration routes are often lined by busy highways, making it impossible for the common toads to access their breeding ponds.

Annually, it is predicted that 20 tons of unfortunate toads are killed on UK highways. A 'toad crossing' is described as a location where more than 1,000 toads are known to jump across a lane.

To discourage predators from consuming them, the common toad has a foul-tasting body. When they are attacked, they puff up as well.

A common toad (Bufo bufo) is not the same as a common frog. The color of an amphibian's body is one of the best ways to know which one you're looking at. Toads have olive-brown, warty skin of lumps and scratches, while the common frog is smooth and shiny.

How many teeth does a toad have?

The common toad (Bufo bufo) does not have any teeth.

Types of common toads

These amphibians are members of a complex of species, that is, a community of similar species that is difficult to distinguish. Several modern organisms are thought to be related to an ancient group of preglacial taxa.

The spiny toad (B. spinosus), the Japanese common toad (B. verrucosissimus), and the Caucasian toad (B. verrucosissimus) are the three types. The European common toad appears to be a newer variation.

It is thought that the ancestor form's distribution reached into Asia, but that the creation of the Central Asian Deserts during the Middle Miocene triggered separation between the east and west complexes.

Their precise taxonomic relationships are still unknown. Other kinds of common toad apart from the European toad include the African common toad, common American toad, Asian common toad, and South American common toad.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other amphibians including pool frog, or caecilian.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our Toad coloring pages.

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Written by Moumita Dutta

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

Moumita Dutta picture

Moumita DuttaBachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

A content writer and editor with a passion for sports, Moumita has honed her skills in producing compelling match reports and stories about sporting heroes. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta University, alongside a postgraduate diploma in Sports Management.

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