It’s been a busy week at our pond, and our latest update is an encounter with some common toads, bufo bufo. We know very little about toads, so we pulled out some books and here’s what we found out.
The larvae of common toads van be very active during the day and easily observed from the edge of a pond or water way. We can attest to that.
How to identify a common toad. They are bulky with warty skin. Eye colour ranges from copper to red, with horizontal pupils. They have two large parallel parotoid glands. Their hind feet are partially webbed. Colour range is typically grey, brown or reddish.
The common toad has been referred to as the gardener’s friend because of its voracious appetite for slugs and other pests.
Research carried out in the UK has shown that new ponds created on agricultural land are quickly colonised by amphibians such as newts, frogs and toads. Even tiny ponds in gardens will support good populations of frogs and toads provided that they don’t have fish.
By some reports, there are larger populations of common frogs in garden ponds than in natural habitats in the UK.
Males have dark nuptial pads on three inner fingers that are very noticeable in the breeding season. Females are generally larger than males.
More identifiable information about common toads can be found here.