Frog and Toad

Frog and toad – I’m not talking about the famous early readers by Arnold Lobel. I’m talking about the actual amphibians now out of hibernation peeping, croaking, trilling, clicking, and chirping. We often use the terms frog and toad interchangeably. But while they may be of the same order, they belong to different families.

Photo Credit – Dave Huth

There are key differences between them, starting with skin. Frogs have smooth, shiny skin, while toads have skin that is bumpy and dry. Which leads to the fact that frogs are found in or near water (thus the shiny, moist skin) while toads spend more time on land and move further away from water sources. This also means that if you find a small hopping amphibian away from water, it’s likely a toad.

Still not sure? Take a look at the legs and body. Toads have shorter legs and tend to be a bit squat. They are not quite as proficient at hopping as their sleeker, long-legged cousins. Because of this toads often crawl instead of hop. And, toads have a rounder snout, while frogs’ snouts are more pointed.

No matter whether you spot or hear frogs or toads, be grateful. Neither can live in polluted habitats and don’t do well with environmental changes. So you know if you see or hear them, the ecosystem is a healthy one.