Toad Lifespan: How Long Toads Live

Toads generally have a much longer lifespan than most people think. I had a pet toad in our yard as a child and he lived to be pretty old and large thanks to access to food, water, shelter, and few predators.

Generally, toads live 1 to 10 years in the wild and can live on average 15 to 40 years in captivity. Toad lifespan is influenced by the presence of food and predators, their size, gender, and environment.

Continue reading to learn more about different types of toads and their life expectancy, as well as what factors influence how long toads can live.

Toad Lifespan Depends on Species

Most toad species live 1 to 10 years in the wild and on average 15 to 40 years in captivity. How long a toad lives depends on species, food, predators, their size, gender, and environment.

Here are some of the toads that are commonly found in North America, Europe, or Australia with their lifespan depending on the species and their location which may be in the wild or in captivity:

Toad Species LifespanWild (Years)Captivity (Years)
American Toad1030
Cane Toad1015
Canadian Toad712
Common Toad10-1240

Toad Lifespan Depends on The Presence of Food

If there is an abundance of food where the toads live, and few predators around, they can live for a long period of time. On the other hand, if it is hard for the toad to find food to eat, it can be harder for the toad to live a long life.

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Learn more about what toads eat in this article on our blog.

Toad Lifespan Depends on Predators

If toads are surrounded by thousands of predators and have few places to hide, it’s a recipe for disaster. Although toads have hundreds of awesome defense mechanisms (check them out here) they do not always work.

On the other hand, if there are no or very few predators, toads can thrive and will eat anything that moves past them and can fit into their mouths.

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Learn more about toad predators in this article on our blog.

Toad Lifespan is Influenced by The Environment

How long toads live is impacted by their environment which includes climate, human activity, and latitude. Let’s have a look at each in more detail.

Toad Lifespan is Influenced By Climate

Climate plays an important role in how long toads can live. If the climate is stable and humid, toads can know what to expect and possibly live longer. 

However, if the climate is unstable, ever-changing, and provides unfavorable conditions to toads (ie. freezing temperatures during Summer, dry spells) the toads could die or live shorter lives.

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Toad Lifespan is Influenced By Human Activity

Human activity can play a role in influencing toad lifespan. Urbanization, pollution, and destruction of habitats can force toads to change their mating habits, or die trying. Polluted water can genetically modify toads, stunt their growth, or kill them. 

It’s very important to care for our environment and to protect vulnerable species.

Toad Lifespan May be Influenced By Latitude

A study on Common Frogs across Europe found that “common frogs from subarctic regions (the northern boundary of this species distribution range) have an extremely long life span, up to at least 18 years” (Patrelle, Cecile., et al. 2012).

The study suggests that latitude could play a role in reduced adult frog mortality rates “due to predation, reduced rate of aging due to short annual activity period in high-latitude environments.” However, the authors of the study only open the discussion for other researchers to validate these hypotheses (CTNF).

Toad Lifespan May be Influenced By May Be Influenced by Size

Size plays a role in toad longevity, but it is not the main or only factor to consider. Some studies tried to challenge the assumption that body size and age are strongly correlated in adult amphibians and reptiles and instead found that “growth rate prior to the age of first breeding is a much more significant source of variance in body size than age” (Halliday, T. R. et al. 1988).

Learn more about how big or small toads grow in this article on our blog.

Toad Lifespan May be Influenced By Gender

Some scientific studies found that, somewhat like humans, female toads may live longer than male toads.

Age was estimated using phalangeal skeletochronology and was significantly higher in females than in males.

(Fabio M. Guarino, 2019)

The following table contains the maximum frog age per species per gender based on scientific research:

Frog SpeciesAdult Male (Years)Adult Female (Years)
Common Frog5-155-18
Taurus Frog67
Mantidactylus Grandidieri45-6

Few predators, more food, and adapted, stable environmental conditions can help toads live longer.

Common Toad Lifespan Questions

What Is The Maximum Age of a Toad? The maximum recorded age of a toad is 40 years in captivity. Toads generally live 1 to 10 years in the wild but can live on average 15 to 40 years in captivity depending on the species.

How Long Do Toads Live? Generally, toads live 1 to 10 years in the wild but can live up to 40 years in captivity. How long toads live is influenced by the presence of food and predators, their gender, environment, and size.

How long do toads live as pets? Generally, toads can live 15 to 40 years in captivity depending on the species and if they are well kept. Toads generally die in captivity due to human negligence. 

What is the maximum lifespan of a toad? The maximum recorded lifespan of a toad is 40 years.

Sources

Casper, G. S. and Hendricks, R. (2005). Amphibian Declines: The Conservation Status of United States Species, M. Lannoo (ed.) University of California Press ISBN 0520235924.

Committee on the status of endangered wildlife in Canada, Assessment and Update Status Report on the Northern Leopard Frog, 2009.

Species at Risk Act Recovery Strategy Series, Recovery Strategy for the Blanchard’s Cricket Frog (Acris blanchardi) in Canada, 2011. 

Kyoko Ento, Masafumi Matsui, Estimation of Age Structure by Skeletochronology of a Population of Hynobius nebulosus in a Breeding Season (Amphibia, Urodela). Zoological Science, 19(2):241-247 (2002). https://doi.org/10.2108/zsj.19.241. 1 February 2002.

Kumbar SM, Pancharatna K. Determination of age, longevity and age at reproduction of the frog Microhyla ornata by skeletochronology. J Biosci. 2001 Jun;26(2):265-70. doi: 10.1007/BF02703650. PMID: 11426062.

Patrelle, Cecile & Hjernquist, Mårten & Laurila, Anssi & Soderman, F. & Merila, J.. (2012). Sex differences in age structure, growth rate and body size of common frogs Rana temporaria in the subarctic. Polar Biology. 35. 1505-1513. 10.1007/s00300-012-1190-7.

Halliday, T. R., and P. A. Verrell. “Body Size and Age in Amphibians and Reptiles.” Journal of Herpetology, vol. 22, no. 3, 1988, pp. 253–265. JSTORwww.jstor.org/stable/1564148

Guarino FM, Crottini A, Mezzasalma M, Randrianirina JE, Andreone F (2019) A skeletochronological estimate of age and growth in a large riparian frog from Madagascar (Anura: Mantellidae: Mantidactylus). Herpetozoa 32: 39-44. https://doi.org/10.3897/herpetozoa.32.e35576