Image 35 of 41
Common Toad Bufo bufo Length 5-9cm A widespread toad; the only common species in Britain. Skin is covered in toxin-containing warts. Spawn is laid in double-rowed spawn strings. Gait consists of short hops. Adult is olive-brown to greenish buff (hue is influenced by ambient light). Has red iris and webbed hind feet. Female is larger than male. Juvenile recalls a tiny, large-headed adult. Courting male utters croaking calls in spring. More terrestrial than most other amphibians and adults spend much of their lives on land: woodland, scrub, grassland and moors are favoured. Must return to water to breed and most are found within 2km or so of suitable ponds. Not deterred by fish: tadpole’ toxic skin acts as deterrent to predation. Observation tips Courting is easy to watch in suitable ponds in spring (February-March are typical months). Sometimes found hibernating under logs in winter.