Although I loved reading the stories of friendship between Frog and Toad as a child, I know as an adult that in real life, frogs and toads do not get along.
Frogs and toads generally do not interact, and when they do, they do not always get along. This is because they belong to different families and each one has distinctive habitats and could potentially harm one another through diseases or predation.
Additionally, if you are a pet owner who is hoping to save aquarium space by putting frogs and toads together, it probably is not a good idea. Typically, frogs and toads do not interact because of their different behaviors, habitats, and risks of disease. When they do it can have negative outcomes.
1. Toads & Frogs Can Be Aggressive
Both frogs and toads are known to show aggressive behavior. Their aggression can be targeted toward other frogs and toads, their prey, and other species of animals, including predators. Aggressive behaviors in frogs and toads are typically exacerbated during their breeding seasons, although a frog or toad that feels threatened or is hunting prey could act aggressively at any time.
Both toads and frogs often stick to a given territorial range and can be very defensive of their territory, potentially leading them to attack anything that crosses into their area. Toads also have defensive toxins that they release when they feel threatened that can harm or even kill their attacker.
Learn more about frog defense mechanisms in this article on our blog.
2. Toads & Frogs May Eat Each Other
Frogs and toads are not picky eaters; they will eat nearly anything that crosses their path, and this can include other frogs and toads. The possibility that they might prey on one another may impact their willingness to go near each other.
Both frogs and toads are known to eat other amphibians, including amphibians of their own species, provided that their prey is smaller than they are. If a frog or toad crosses paths with another frog or toad that is smaller than it is, there is no guarantee that it will not end up having the smaller creature for a meal.
Some species of toads, such as the Cane Toad, will even prey on frog eggs and tadpoles specifically. As the cane toad slowly takes over frog habitats, they can cause entire populations of frogs within a given area to disappear. This is one of the many reasons they are considered invasive, a pest, and a threat to certain frog populations.
3. Toads & Frogs Can Make Eachother Sick
Frogs and toads are closely related, but they are not the same type of animal—this means that they might spread diseases to one another (this article on our blog discusses some of those diseases) if they interact.
When one animal spreads diseases to another, this is known as cross-species transmission. When amphibians are kept as pets, it is recommended that multiple species not be kept in a single tank because of the possibility that the animals could transmit diseases to each other.
If frogs and toads were to cross paths often or spend prolonged time near each other, it could lead to potentially harmful diseases developing in either the toad or the frog that could have larger repercussions for the population of frogs and toads in a given area.
4. Toads & Frogs Generally Do Not Interact
Although frogs’ and toads’ habitats could overlap, the different environmental needs of the respective species often mean that they live in different areas. Frogs generally live in water or in trees, and toads can be found on land outside of breeding season. This causes their interactions to be limited.
Additionally, toads are usually solitary creatures, only meeting up with one another for breeding purposes during mating season. Although they might pass by a frog’s territory, they are not social and would be more likely to avoid other amphibians when they can.
5. Toads & Frogs Should Not Be Together as Pets
If you are an amphibian owner, the overall incompatibility of the two species means that you should generally not be keeping your pet frogs and toads in the same aquarium. If you do choose to keep your frog and toad in the same space, ask yourself the following questions:
- Are the frog and toad the same size? If they are dramatically different sizes, the larger animal may prey on the smaller animal.
- Are the species of frog and toad from a similar climate? If they are from different climates, it may be harder to regulate the aquarium to a temperature that works for both animals.
- Have you quarantined the frog and toad before putting them together? Isolating your amphibians for about a month will keep them from spreading diseases to one another.
- Is there an adequate habitat for both frogs and toads? Frogs will need access to a body of water, and toads will need access to dry spaces and burrows.
If you can meet all of these requirements, it may be possible for both species to live together in harmony. However, continue to observe their behaviors for signs of aggression and separate them if necessary. Overall, there are many reasons not to keep frogs as pets, or to find alternative, better ways to do so.
More About Toads & Frogs
Frogs and toads are both fascinating amphibians that are somewhat similar, but also very different. They both are an important part of ecosystems around the world. Outside of children’s books, though, frogs and toads are usually not friends (CTNF).
While they can coexist harmoniously given the right circumstances, their interactions can also result in dangerous outcomes including disease and predation. In the wild, they often do not have any compelling reasons to interact, and it is most likely that they will keep to themselves.
Learn more about frogs and toads in these dedicated guides on our blog
- Differences Between Frogs & Toads
- Are Toads And Frogs The Same?
- 3 Types of Frogs You Can Find in Nature
- Frog Teeth: Everything There is to Know
- Are All Frogs Poisonous? [Complete Guide]
Common Questions About Toads & Frogs
How are frogs and toads alike? Frogs and toads are both from are both amphibians from the order of Anura. They both eat similar things like bugs and small rodents, reproduce by amplexus, and spawn in water during mating season.
How are frogs and toads different from other amphibians? The main differences between frogs, toads and other amphibians is that frogs and toads do not have tails, they have bulging eyes, they have long legs and can live on land.
Do frogs and toads sound the same? Each frog and toad species have their own calls and sounds they make, so no frog or toad species sound the same. This makes it easier for female frogs to recognize male frog calls of the same species for reproductive purposes.
Do frogs turn into toads? Frogs and toads are two different animal species within the order of Anura and therefore frogs cannot turn into toads, and toads cannot turn into frogs.