Common toad (Bufo bufo)
Despite their warts and rugged appearance, the common toad is a massive asset to any gardener, sucking up snails and slugs. Common toads migrate to ponds in the spring to breed but will spend much of their time in gardens, hedgerows and woodland where they will feed. They tend to breed in larger, deeper ponds than the common frog with their spawn also being distinctively different. Rather than producing a clump of spawn, the common toad instead lays long strings of spawn in and around aquatic plants. When distinguishing a toad from a frog look out for warty skin, copper eyes and short back legs which mean they walk rather than hop! A toad will always return back to its pond of birth and can travel miles to do so, so if you are fortunate enough to find spawn the chances are you’ll have regular annual visitors. Toads also have a gland on the side of their head that produces a mild poison to deter predators.
Weight: up to 80g
Average lifespan: up to 4 years
Protected in the UK under the Wildlife and Countryside Act, 1981. Priority Species under the UK Post-2010 Biodiversity Framework.
When to see
February to October