Monday, 11 November 2013


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Often you will see a frog in the garden and watch it for a while, but how can you be sure it is a frog rather than a toad? Frogs are smooth skinned and hop right?  Toads are warty and stout.  Is it that simple?

No.  First of all, all toads in fact are frogs and belong to the frog family.  You can find frogs with warty skin that aren't toads, or toads with slimy skin so it can be hard to distinguish between the two.  Sometimes the physical distinctions between them can be less than obvious. 

Frogs and Toads are both amphibians that make up the order Anura in the animal kingdom, but there are some key differences to look out for to help you distinguish between the two.


Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Amphibia
Clade: Salientia
Order: Anura
Suborders: ArchaeobatrachiaMesobatrachiaNeobatrachia 

Frogs have two bulging eyes and a stout body. Their hind legs are long with webbed feet, making them well adapted for swimming and leaping. Frogs have smooth or slimy skin which is often covered in mucus and so looks moist even when out of the water.

Frogs are carnivorous, eating often small Invertebrates.  They are great companions in a garden as they eat slugs, snails and other pests.  Unlike toads they have a long sticky tongue that helps them secure food.

They can range significantly in colour from modest green to vivid colours such as red, yellow or black, with a whitish coloured throat. The skin on a frog is glandular and can produce toxic or distasteful secretions to ward off predators. 

They live in moist environments and so keep close to ponds.  You are much  more likely to spot a frog in the water than on land. Frogs behave much more timidly than toads and will often hop away as you approach. 

Frogs lay their eggs in water as frog spawn in clusters that resemble bunches of grapes. These larvae hatch as tadpoles which later change into adults.


Kingdom: Animalia 
Phylum: Chordata 
Class: Amphibia 
Order: Anura

Family: BufonidaeBombinatoridaeDiscoglossidaePelobatidaeRhinophrynidaeScaphiopodidaeMicrohylidae.     

Toads have stubby bodies, with shorter hind legs which means they walk rather than hop.  Their skin is dry and warty; the bumps help to break up their outline and evade predators.  They are often khaki or beige in colour. 

Toads like drier conditions than frogs and are more terrestrial, often walking across land and farther away from water than a frog.  Toads are not timid and will often stay put if you approach them, or perhaps move only a short distance.

Toads have poison glands, which are located in puffy pockets behind their eyes.  They are a defense mechanism and squirt poison at potential predators.

Like frogs, toads lay their eggs in water but they can be distinguished as they are produced in long chains rather than in bunches.

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