What Is The Difference Between Frogs And Toads?

Have you ever got confused while identifying a toad or frog in your garden? Don’t worry most of the people might have a hard time distinguishing a frog from a toad but actually it is pretty easy to differentiate them.

Both toad and frog are short-bodied, tailless amphibians belonging to the order Anura in the animal kingdom. Anura is an ancient Greek word that literally means “without tail”. Both of them share many similar features and in fact, there is no distinction between frogs and toads in scientific taxonomy. However, we can find many key differences between the frogs and the toads based on the skin, habitat, legs, shape, and eggs.

Difference between frogs and toads based on skin

Toads have dry, wrinkled, and pimply skins whereas frogs have usually have smooth, slimy, and moist skin. Frogs have a gland in their skins which secretes a sticky fluid that keeps their skin moist and protects them by making frog a slippery animal that can easily escape from the predators. Due to this sticky fluid on their skin, frogs look wet even if they are out of the water.

On the other hand, toads have evolved dry and waterproof skin to adapt to drier climate conditions.


Difference between frogs and toads based on habitat

The dry and waterproof skin of toads helps them to prevent the loss of water and easily survive in dry locations away from the water resource and therefore they can be found in our gardens and pavements. Whereas frogs can easily lose moisture and have live near water sources such as ponds to keep their skin moist.

Difference between frogs and toads based on eggs

Frogs generally lay eggs in mass and round clusters while toad’s eggs are laid in long strings or chains. Also, frog’s tadpoles are slimmer and gold in color while tadpoles of toads are chunky and have black color.

Frog Eggs
Toad Eggs
Frog’s Tadpole
Toad’s Tadpole

Difference between frogs and toads based on legs

Frogs have long legs which allow them to jump and cover more length than their body length. Whereas toads have shorter legs than their body length and cover less distance. Due to their shorter legs, they cannot jump as high as frogs can. You can rarely spot a frog crawling instead of jumping while toads mostly crawl to move.

Difference between frogs and toads based on shape

Frogs have more athletic-looking shape as compared to toads. Frogs have a long and leaner body which allows them to jump high and move quickly.  Toads are short and thick with large bumps (commonly known as warts) over their body to protect parotoid glands. Toads do not have webbed feet while frogs possess webbed feet which enables them to quickly catch prey or escape predators in the water.

Most people recoil in horror at seeing a toad in the garden. Toads are certainly uglier than frogs. They have large flattened bodies with dry, wrinkled, and pimply skins. The head of a toad is blunter than a frog’s and its arms, and legs are shorter. The toad spends most of its time on land and it is a slow mover, unlike the active frog. It likes to establish a home for itself in some secluded snot to which it returns each evening after its leisurely feeding crawls. If you find a toad in your garden you might persuade it to stay by setting up a superior toad home an old flowerpot is ideal. If it takes up residence your toad might stay for years. The flowers and vegetables should benefit from the toad’s presence for it will feed on slugs, beetles, and many other insect pests. It is often called the ‘gardener’s friend’ for this reason. Don’t worry about catching warts from your toad because this is just an ‘old wives tale’.

Professor Atom

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Professor Atom is a science enthusiast and alumni of IIT Bombay. According to him, every question can be solved with curiosity and mind mapping. ( Curiosity = Asking Questions = Learning )

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