How Are Toads And Frogs The Same?

When you hear about different species of toads, the word β€œfrog” may be used to describe them. Although many people understand the differences between toads and frogs, it may be hard to notice how they are the same.

Frogs and toads are generally the same with regards to their scientific classifications as amphibians in the order of Anura. Toads and frogs are both considered “Frogs”, they both spawn in water, reproduce by amplexus, consume similar foods, and have similar life cycles.

Differences Between Frogs & Toads

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It is easy to think that frogs and toads are entirely different from one another, given the fact that they are called by different names. However, what you should know is that they are actually generally the same even though frogs and toads belong to different families.

And with that said, let’s look at how frogs and toads are similar to one another.

1. Frogs And Toads Are Both Frogs

The one thing you need to know first in relation to frogs and toads is that they are still both frogs. Frogs are frogs, and toads are frogs. This basically means that all toads are frogs, but not all frogs are toads.

In a sense, the name β€œToad” is a common name that is used to describe certain types of frogs, or a specific species of frogs. Here are some species of frogs and toads you can learn more about to further see the differences:

While toads are indeed frogs, they are separated from the common frogs in that they are characterized by their rougher and bumpier skin as opposed to the smoother and slimier skin that other frogs have.

2. Frogs And Toads Are Both From The Order Of Anura

Coming back to what i said about how all toads are frogs, but not all frogs are toads, this may further clarify what I mean. Both frogs and toads belong to the same scientific order, which is Anura, under the Amphibia class.

The fact that both frogs and toads belong to the same order means that they are closely related to one another. Yet this is where their similarities in terms of their taxonomy end. While frogs and toads belong to the order of Anura, they belong to different families in the taxonomic classification.

  • True Frogs belong to the Ranidae family
  • Toads belong to the Bufonidae family.

Both the Ranidae and the Bufonidae families have different species that fall under them, but they both belong to the Anura order.

3. Frogs And Toads Both Consume Similar Foods

There is hardly any difference when it comes to the diet that frogs and toads have. They generally consume similar foods because these are both carnivores that will eat anything that can fit inside their mouth. That said, the usual diet of frogs and toads consists of invertebrates (insects and worms), smaller reptiles, amphibians, frogs, smaller rodents, and even fish.

What Do Frogs Eat? [You Will Never Guess!] 🐍

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The only difference in the diet of these amphibians is probably the size of what they eat. Of course, the reason is that different frog and toad species have different sizes. The rule of thumb is that bigger frogs and toads are capable of consuming larger foods. But, overall, the types of food that they eat are generally the same.

4. Frogs And Toads Both Have Similar Life Cycles

Both frogs and toads have the same life cycle. Like most amphibians, frogs and toads start out as eggs that will transform into tadpoles in a matter of days. These frog and toad tadpoles will spend weeks as fish-like tadpoles that will stay in the water the entire time until they can grow legs and the essential organs they need to dwell on land.

The Incredible Frog Life Cycle [Full Metamorphosis]

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In most cases, frogs and toads will spend time as tadpoles somewhere around 12 to 16 weeks. By the time they are close to becoming adult frogs or toads, these tadpoles will begin to grow hind legs while their tails begin to shorten and their bodies begin to elongate.

However, frogs usually lay their eggs in large clusters that are grouped together to look like blobs or even enlarged chia seeds, whereas toad eggs are laid in strings making them look like beads.

5. Frogs And Toads Have Similar Reproductive Practices

Another characteristic that makes frogs and toads similar is that they both spawn in water. Although toads are spend the majority of their adult lives on land rather than in the water, they still need to spawn in water. Yet there are a few difference in the way frogs and toads spawn.

Speaking of spawning, what you also need to know is that the way frogs and toads reproduce is very similar. These amphibians reproduce by amplexus, in which the male frog or toad grasps the female frog or toad with its front legs. 

In most cases, amplexus involves the male mounting the female from the back. And this is quite understandable because most male frogs and toads are usually smaller than their female counterparts.

More About Toads And Frogs

Frogs and toads seldom interact, and when they do, they are not necessarily friendly. This is because they belong to separate families, each with specific habitats, and they might potentially harm one another through illnesses or predation.

Learn more about similarities and differences between toads and frogs on our blog:

Daniella Master Herpetologist

Daniella is a Master Herpetologist and the founder of toadsnfrogs.com, a website dedicated to educating the general population on frogs by meeting them where they are in their online Google Search. Daniella is passionate about frogs and put her digital marketing skills and teaching experience to good use by creating these helpful resources to encourage better education, understanding, and care for frogs.