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Both toads and frogs have a lot in common. It can be a challenge to tell the two apart, as the differences between frogs and toads aren’t quite clear as day. This article was created to help you understand the differences and the similarities between these two animals.

We’re first going to dive deeper into the matchup – toad vs frog. After this, we’ll cover the differences between frogs and toads, as well as the similarities. If you want to become an expert on frogs, toads and how they compare, then you’re in the right place!

A frog asking who he's up against indicating the frog vs toad matchup

Toads vs frogs –  Are toads and frogs the same?

The question of whether toads and frogs are the same isn’t as easy to answer as you might think. Both of these animals have a huge number of similarities as well as differences. As if that didn’t make it difficult enough, science has a variety of different ways of “grouping” animals together which blurs the lines even further.

Let’s start off with the easy stuff. Both frogs and toads are classed as amphibians. They also both fall under the Anura order. This isn’t very useful information for you guys reading this though, and you probably already knew this.

Within the Anura order, frogs members of the Ranidae family, while toads are members of the Bufonidae family. This means that, as you might have initially guessed, frogs and toads aren’t the same.

So, are toads and frogs the same?

Well, yes and no. There are people who say that toads are a type of frog, and they’d be correct. There are people who say there’s a clear difference, and they’d be correct too…

 There are certain species that can actually fall under both categories! This makes things a little more complicated, but it doesn’t matter too much for this post.

What’s the difference between frogs and toads?

Know we know that there are actually differences between toads and frogs, it’s about time we covered these differences. Remember that these differences need to be taken with a pinch of salt. There are species that stray away from the norm.

The differences:

  • Skin

Frogs have a smoother skin that’s more “slimy” than toads. This also means that frogs need to live very close to the water to survive. Toads can stray much further away from the water, and do very well in damp areas.

Tree frogs differ in a lot of ways. They don’t live in the water and are avid climbers!

  • Legs

One of the other visible differences between frogs and toads is that frogs have much longer rear legs. A frog’s longer legs mean that they can jump much farther than toads can. Toads can’t manage much more than a small hop in most cases, while frogs, as you probably know from experience, can bound an extremely long distance.

  • Body shape

While most frogs are quite streamlined and narrow, toads are often quite broad and stocky. As with all of these differences, there are thinner toads just like there are fatter frogs too!

Toads also have broader and shorter heads than frogs do. Again, not a clear indicator of which one you have in front of you, but a difference none the less.

  • Teeth

This is a subtle one, and not very important. However, most frogs have very small teeth on their top jaw. Toads on the other hands have no teeth whatsoever. Both these animals swallow their prey whole which means any teeth they do have are pretty useless!

Differences between frog and toad tadpoles

The differences between frog and toad tadpoles are a little less subtle in some stages. It’s almost impossible to tell in other stages of a tadpoles lifecycle though, so it’s another tricky one!

Differences between toad spawn and frog spawn

While still in the eggs, the differences between toad and frog tadpoles is easy. Whereas frogs lay their spawn in clumps, toads will often ley their eggs in a chain. This is a tell-tale sign, especially in the areas that aren’t too close to the equator.

As a tadpole

As a tadpole, it gets very difficult to spot the difference. The only real chance you have is when they’re a little older. Frog tadpoles will often become a lighter color, while toad tadpoles will often stay back.

Apart from these two differences, you’ll have to wait till they’re jumping around on land to really be able to tell the difference between them!

Want to learn more about tadpoles? Check out our post: How do tadpoles breathe.

Similarities between frogs and toads

We couldn’t write an article on frogs vs toads without coving the similarities between these two animals. They have so much in common and are often mistaken for one another.

A toad saying that toads and frogs are not the same

How are frogs and toads alike

As we’ve already covered, frogs and toads are both amphibians, and both fall under Anura order. These are important similarities when it comes to science, but less important for you reading this article.

  • Feeding

Both frogs and toads eat by swallowing their prey whole. Their diet usually consists of insects, but some larger toads have been known to prey on small rodents too!

  • Appearance

As you can probably tell, both frogs and toads look relatively alike. They both have 4 limbs, live near water (in most cases) and have a brown or green skin color. There are probably many other external similarities between frogs and toads that you can name, too!

  • Eggs

Both toads and frogs lay eggs without a hard shell. This is one of the reasons why they’re classed as amphibians. Their eggs look very similar, and if it wasn’t for this article, you probably wouldn’t be able to tell them apart!

As with everything in this article, with similarities and differences between frogs and toads depend on the exact species.

Can toads and frogs mate?

After doing some research of our own, there was no proof to show that toads and frogs could produce offspring. There is a case of toads cross-breeding, but that was with other toads and not with frogs. https://science.sciencemag.org/content/318/5852/965

Has this post got you interested in frogs and toads? If so, our article on the best pet frogs might be for you!

Conclusion

You’re now an expert in the similarities and differences between frogs and toads. We’ve covered everything there is to cover in the frog vs toad matchup. If there’s anything you feel we’ve left out, then please don’t hesitate to leave a comment or shoot us a message.

We’re always looking to improve our resources and appreciate any feedback we receive on our website!

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