Common Toad

Bufo bufo

Common Toads have very warty skin, are brown or grey, or olive-green in colouration, with a rounded snout and copper-coloured eyes. They also have a large parotoid gland behind each eye. The males call by day or night with a  croaky squeak which does not carry far. The females do not make any sound. Length 60-90mm. Weight 40-80g.

They hibernate underground quite a considerable distance from water, often in old rodent burrows from October through to February. In the spring they migrate back to the ponds where they were born to spawn and secure the next generation. Newly emerged toadlets are seen in June or July, usually after rain. Common Toads puff up their bodies when threatened themselves to make themselves appear bigger than they actually are. They also secrete a nasty tasting substance through their skins to deter being eaten, and are highly poisonous, even to humans. Nocturnal hunters, they hunt invertebrates with their sticky tongues, eating worms, spiders, and insect larvae. Larger toads will also prey on small rodents, and also grass snakes and slow worms. They can live up to 40 years.

They are found in a wide range of habitats, from ponds, woodland, hedgerows, grasslands, and parks and gardens. They are common and  widely distributed throughout mainland Britain and the Channel Islands, but more localised in Scotland. In steady decline in the wild.

Photographs taken June 2013, discovered under log, local wood, Staffordshire.

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