European Toad

Bufo bufo

Identification 5

Eyes have horizontal slits as pupils surrounded by copper red colour. Behind the eyes a pair of paratoid glands (poison glands) is situated.

The skin has warts all over the surface and can be any shade of grey, brown or green with no spots or lines coming through it.

Egg clutch of the comon toad looks like a strand of black peas in a translucent tube, is almost indistinguishable from the other toad clutches, however only the comon toad is weaving the strand of eggs around water vegetation excesively. To an untrained eye they do look the same so i discourage from such identification alone. While the Bufotes viridis only starts to lay eggs when the comon toad's are already hatched, but due to temporal and spacial shifts in breeding seasons I too discourage from such claims.

Larvae of comon toad create what some describe as black swarms. The huge number of tadpoles enables the toad to live in ponds with the presence of fish.

Sound 5

Ecology & Behaviour 5

The quite comon European toad can be found in the early spring at stagnant pools of water. The breeding season usually starts in March, but can shift with elevation, as mountain populations are known to postpone the breeding period to April or even in extreme cases to early May.

March and early April are specific for finding the toads in pools siting on the bottom copulating. The surge of hormones causes the toad to breed agressively as males are known to amplex (copulate with) other males, species or even inanimate objects. This breeding frenzy can prove lethal as males often pile onto a female and drown her by accident, which often won't stop the copulation.

When the breeding frenzy dies down in May you can find comon toads in their more natural habitats far from water bodies as they travel quite the distance to hibernate in the forrest underground. They are comon in forests storing water in their cloakas, which they eject when in danger.

The last chance to meet the toad is when the tadpoles metamorphosize and leave the breeding pond en mass, usually after 2 months hatching or 3-4 moths after hatching in mountains.

Sources and Credits

  1. (c) Markus Döring, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC),
  2. (c) Markus Döring, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC),
  3. (c) John, some rights reserved (CC BY),
  4. (c) Korall, some rights reserved (CC BY-SA),
  5. (c) Martin Vohralík, some rights reserved (CC BY-SA)

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