DIFFERENCE between TOAD and FROG - summary, characteristics and photos

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Toads and frogs are both families of amphibians belonging to the order of the anurans. We can all easily get a mental picture of these animals by mentioning them, but it is not always easy to distinguish between the two. When we talk about them, we all see these bulging-eyed creatures with strong hind legs, hopping around. However, is this conception correct? Are there important differences between frogs and toads?

If you want to know more about these two families of anurans, join us in this Green Ecologist article in which we talk about the difference between toad and frog, offering you a summary, its characteristics and photos.

Difference between toad and frog

If you were wondering what is the difference between toad and frogPay attention to this list with the main differences that can be seen with the naked eye between these types of amphibians:

  • Type of skin.
  • Body shape.
  • Shape of the limbs.
  • Way of laying the eggs.
  • How they move.
  • Habitat.

The skin of toads and frogs

While the skin of frogs is smooth and shiny, always moist in appearance, that of toads is thicker and coarser, covered with wart-like bumps. This is because toads are much more adapted to life away from water and their skin protects them. This, in addition, produces a peculiar bad smell and is in many cases poisonous to predators that bite it. However, there are also poisonous frogs.

Morphology of the body and legs

When we think of frogs, we imagine slender animals with agile bodies, with long and thin legs, especially developed in the case of the hind legs. With toads, on the other hand, the common thing is to be faced with species of much more robust and forceful bearing, more muscular and with shorter legs. The body of toads is shorter and more rounded, while that of frogs, in comparison, is elongated.

How Toads and Frogs Lay Eggs

Although both families lay their eggs in the water, the frogs do so by forming clouds covered with a substance that holds the eggs together. Toads, on the other hand, arrange their eggs in lines on the leaves of aquatic plants.


Frogs are the queens of jumping, since their lower weight and their hind legs, which are larger in comparison to those of toads, allow them to propel themselves very easily. Also, some tree frogs have suction cups on their legs that allow them to climb easily. Toads, on the other hand, prefer to run or even bury themselves with their hind legs, since they are less agile.


Both families are amphibian creatures, but while frogs barely wander from water sources because they are more dependent on moisture, toads can live for long periods of time on land, as their body has greater control over retaining water. water on their bodies.

However, all these differences, especially those that refer to morphology and appearance, are only a guide: some frogs look like toads and vice versa, so only an expert will be able to differentiate them with total confidence.

We recommend taking a look at these other Green Ecologist articles on What Animals Are Amphibians and Where They Are Found and How Amphibians Breathe.

Similarities between toad and frog

Of course, there are also various similarities between a toad and a frog:

  • They are both anuran amphibians.
  • They both lay eggs.
  • Its life cycle shares the metamorphosis from tadpole to adult.
  • They need moisture.
  • They breathe through the skin. In addition, when they are tadpoles they combine this respiration with the branchial respiration and in adults they combine it with the pulmonary one.

The first three points can be grouped under the fact that, as they are different families of the same order, they share a good part of their life cycle. The life cycle of a frog and the life cycle of a toad are almost identical: despite their differences in the arrangement of the eggs, both hatch from the egg as so-called tadpoles, aquatic and gill-breathing. Throughout this phase they grow and develop legs and lungs, while losing their tails, ready to move on to the terrestrial adult phase. Learn more about this in this other article on The Life Cycle of a Frog.

Furthermore, both they need the humidity of the environment. Although frogs are much more dependent on water, toads also need it for the development of their young.

Both toads and frogs can breathe through the skin and, in addition, for the pulmonary respiration of adults they are helped with throat movements. Here you can discover 16 animals that breathe through the skin.

Characteristics of toads

The main characteristics of toads o Bufonidae are:

  • They are more detached from the aquatic environment.
  • Their skin is thick and rough, as with warts.
  • They inhabit muddy areas where they can excavate small galleries, and some of them have spurs on their hind legs to do so.
  • They have no teeth.
  • The parotoid glands are located behind the head, which produce toxins that give them their smell and poisonous effect.

Characteristics of frogs

The main characteristics of frogs o Ranidae are:

  • Their fingers are webbed, with interdigital membranes (between the fingers), due to their greater adaptation to the aquatic environment.
  • Their legs are also strong and skillful.
  • They can jump and also climb rocks, plants and trees with agility.
  • Although it is not as common as in toads, some frogs are very poisonous, their venom being much more deadly than that of jesters.

Here we leave you an article about Why do frogs rain from the sky and also this curious video from our YouTube channel in which we talk about these frog showers. Have you ever seen one?

What is bigger a toad or a frog?

Toads are generally much larger, sturdier, and heavier species. There are, in fact, large toads that can feed on small rodents or snakes. Have been registered giant toads weighing almost 3 kilos.

Therefore, generally, we can say that a toad is bigger than a frog, but that depends on the specific species that we are comparing.

The frog

The frog, being the common iron scientifically known as Ceratophrys ornata, it is an anuran of the ceratophid family to which an inexperienced eye can easily confuse with a frog or a toad. It is also commonly called the pacman frog, due to its resemblance to the classic video game mascot, or horned toad.

They are species of great aggressiveness, with fangs and carnivorous feeding. They are found in the tropical zone of South America and have sizes between 12 and 17 cm.

If you want to read more articles similar to Difference between toad and frog, we recommend that you enter our category of Animal Curiosities.

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