Common Toad Bufo bufo


Common Toad Bufo bufo

Discovered in garden. 8th July 2016. © Peter Hillman

Common Toad Bufo bufo

Discovered in garden pond.
8th July 2016. © Peter Hillman

Common Toad Bufo bufo

Young toad discovered in garden.
2nd September 2020. © Peter Hillman

Common Toad Bufo bufo toadlet

Toadlet discovered in garden.
26th August 2016. © Peter Hillman

Common Toad Bufo bufo male and female

Male and female in garden.
2nd April 2017. © Peter Hillman

Common Toad Bufo bufo

Discovered in garden.
16th June 2018. © Peter Hillman

Common Toad Bufo bufo

Discovered in garden pond.
8th July 2016. © Peter Hillman

Common Toad Bufo bufo

Discovered in garden.
8th July 2016. © Peter Hillman

Common Toad Bufo bufo toadlet

Toadlet discovered in garden.
26th August 2016. © Peter Hillman

Common Toad Bufo bufo

Discovered in garden.
16th June 2018. © Peter Hillman

Common Toad Bufo bufo

Discovered in garden.
26th March 2017. © Peter Hillman

Family Bufonidae

Length 60- 90 mm.
Weight up to 80 g.

The Common Toad has very warty skin, and it is brown or grey, or olive-green in colouration, with a rounded snout and copper-coloured eyes. It also has a large parotoid gland behind each eye. The female is generally larger than the male. The male calls by day or night with a croaky squeak which does not carry far. The female does not make any sound.

Bufo from Latin, simply means ‘a toad’.

It hibernates underground quite a considerable distance from water, often in old rodent burrows from October through to February. In the spring it migrates back to the ponds where it was born to spawn and secure the next generation. This can be quite hazardous as many toads are killed crossing busy roads. The spawn of the common toad is easily distinguished from that of the common frog as it is laid in strings not clumps. Newly emerged toadlets are seen in June or July, usually after rain. The Common Toad puffs up its body when threatened to make it appear bigger than it actually is. It also secretes a nasty tasting substance through its skin to deter being eaten, and it is highly poisonous, even to humans. It can live for up to 40 years.

A nocturnal hunter, it predates on invertebrates with its sticky tongue, eating worms, spiders, and insect larvae. Larger toads will also prey on small rodents, and also grass snakes and slow worms.

Seen March to November, overwintering in hibernation. Found in a wide range of habitats, from ponds, woodland, hedgerows, grasslands, and parks and gardens. Common and widely distributed throughout mainland Britain and the Channel Islands, but more localised in Scotland. In steady decline in the wild.