Added 2 March 2004. Last updated 16 August 2015: added entry for Bufo guentheri.

Family BUFONIDAE - Toads

Genus BUFO - "True" Toads

The genus Bufo incorporates a large number of species with a worldwide distribution, including Bufo marinus which was (unfortunately) introduced into Australia and other non-native areas, where it quickly became a pest.

One reason I have put a page up for this genus is to encourage interest in the toads, which to me often seem neglected in favour of more exotic anurans. I have kept Bufo regularis myself and found them to be fascinating. I believe there is also still much to be learnt about the many different species.

Species and Care

Most Bufo species are hardy and have basic care requirements. Nevertheless they are found in a wide range of habitats, from desert to primary rainforest, and thus it is fairly important to determine the habitat of a captive species. It should be noted, however, that even desert toads do not like overly dry or hot conditions, since in the wild they are found in moister or cooler microhabitats.

For keepers in Europe and North America, some if not most of their native Bufo species are protected by various laws, to various degrees. However, some are still relatively available and rewarding captives, such as Bufo viridis (the European Green Toad) or Bufo retiformis, the Sonoran Green Toad. Others, such as the European Natterjack (B. calamita) are fairly strictly protected. However, there is no law against having, say, Bufo bufo in one's garden if one or more turn up on their own account, and if this is the case they should be encouraged to breed by having correct conditions provided. Some North African toads also make fine captives once correctly housed. Little is still known, at least in the West, about Asian Bufo species and their relatives.

A word is in order on Bufo marinus, the Cane or Marine Toad. Although a pest in many countries - plague might be a better description - these do make good pet amphibians. Nevertheless one should be aware that their parotid glands do secrete fairly toxic poison (bufotoxins). The bizarre practice of "toad licking" (literally licking the parotid secretions from the toad in order to get a "high") is somewhat dangerous and to be deplored, as the desired hallucinations or other sensations are caused by the bufotoxins slowing down the heart. I have not heard of any deaths from this so far, but why take risks? The same warning applies equally to the secretions of the Colorado River Toad, B. alvarius. Finally, it goes without saying that any Cane Toad outside its natural range, whether adult, toadlet or tadpole, must never, never be released into the wild!

Please note that this is an ongoing page, as Bufo is such a large genus that information on the different species tends to be scattered among different sources. This page lists many, but not all, Bufo species, although eventually the listing should be complete. "No data available" often means that we have not had time, or sources to hand, to compile information on that species. As it is, those listed here so far include most of the popular terrarium subjects that are available. Refer to the books in the Bibliography for more detailed care information.

A note on classification

In recent years some workers have split the genus Bufo into more than one group, notably the South American species, some of whom are now referred to as Chaunus or Rhaebo in literature. Since this change does not yet appear to be universally accepted we will be staying with the traditional classification until that time. For the same reason (fluctuating taxonomy!), we have not yet added a Quick Index.

The current situation (2010) appears to be however that the genera Chaunus and Rhamphophryne, to which many Neotropical Bufo species had been reassigned, are now considered to be a single group, Rhinella. This is considered by some authorities to be a full and separate genus, by others to be a subgenus within Bufo.

Scientific Name

Common Name




B. achalensis

? Toad



No data available.

B. acutirostris

? Toad



No data available.

B. ailoanus

? Toad

S China (Yunnan Province)


Known only from type locality.

B. alvarius

Colorado River Toad

USA (C & S Arizona, extreme SW New Mexico), Mexico)


Large toad, noted for hallucinogenic properties of its secretions, which can be toxic enough to paralyse or kill a dog. Easily distinguished by size and large warts on hindlegs. Found in a variety of habitats, including desert, but often near water. It is most active in the period May-July. Description: skin relatively smooth; parotid glands kidney-shaped; cranial crests prominent; vocal sac vestigial or absent. Coloration: dorsally dark brown, olive or grey; large whitish wart near angle of jaw; ventrally cream. Reproduction: not dependent on rainfall for breeding. Breeding season May-September. Young are characterised by light-coloured warts in dark-coloured spots. Unlike most N American Bufo species, the male lacks a dark throat. Hybrizes with B. woodhousei in Arizona [SOURCE: Stebbins].

B. amabilis

? Toad



No data available.

B. amatolicus

? Toad



No data available.

B. amboroensis

? Toad



No data available.

B. americanus

American Toad

Canada (from SE Manitoba eastwards to Labrador and Newfoundland), USA ( states south of Canadian range to Mississippi and Louisiana)

2-3½"/5-9cm avg: max 4½"/10cm


Common across its range and found in many habitats, including suburban gardens. Mattison suggests treating captives as per Bufo bufo, while Conant and Collins note that this makes a good captive if basic needs are met. Description: distinguished by enlarged warts on tibia; paratoid gland either separated from eye or connected to it by short spur; 1-2 warts usually present in each dark spot. Coloration: variable; chest and anterior abdomen usually spotted with dark pigment; often overall plain brown, but may be patterned, esp. if female; patches of yellow, buff or other light colours may be present; light middorsal stripe may be present; brown or black dark spots; warts are yellow, orange or red to dark brown. Reproduction: breeding takes place March-July; males have a vocal sac and call loudly. Shallow bodies of water are used for breeding. [SOURCE: Conant & Collins]

B. a. americanus

Eastern American Toad

B. a. charlesmithi

Dwarf American Toad

USA (NE Texas, E Oklahoma, Arkansas, S Missouri, S Illinois, W Kentucky, SW Indiana)

2½"/6½cm avg

Smaller subspecies. Coloration: often reddish; dorsal spots absent or smallish and containing only single wart; venter faintly spotted or not at all. [SOURCE: Conant & Collins]

B. andersoni

Indus Toad

Range includes W Pakistan


Paratoid gland smaller than in B. olivaceous: skin warty [Minton]

B. andrewsi

? Toad

SW China northwards to Shaanxi and Henan: poss. also Zhejiang (E China) and Guangxi (S China)


No data available.

B. angusticeps





B. arabicus





B. arborescandens





B. arenarum





B. arequipensis





B. arunco

Chilean Andes Toad

Chilean Andes (S America)


This toad lives in an interesting habitat, being found along the banks of thermal springs in the Andes moutains where the tadpoles hatch out and remain (presumably unaffected by the hot water!) until they metamorphose (see Urania).

B. asmarae





B. asper

? Toad


8"/ 21cm

Largest Asian bufonid: inhabits primary and secondary rainforest on the edges of small to medium streams 3-30m in width. They tend to live singly and rarely move further than a metre or two away from the water. Sometimes found a metre or so off the ground [Mattison]. Mattison recommends a large cage with warm, humid conditions. Coloration: grey, often with pinkish or reddish tinge.

B. aspinius





B. atacamensis





B. atukoralei





B. bankorensis

? Toad



No data available.

B. baxteri

Wyoming Toad

USA (Wyoming)


This species is not listed in Stebbins, possibly because it is considered virtually (if not truly) extinct in the wild, being dependent upon a captive breeding programme. See the Wikipedia article for a brief history and online references.

B. beddomii





B. beebei





B. beiranus

? Toad



Smallest toad in the world.

B. bergi





B. biporcatus

Philippine Toad

Philippines (Busuanga and Palawan Islands)

52-86mm (SVL)

Largeish bufonid found at low elevations in dry or moist open areas, including the vicinity of human habitations: Alcala (1985) noted it was not observed in tropical rainforests. He considers it a rare species. Details: well-developed cranial crests, distinct tympana, some webbing on toes. Parotoids and parietal crests are also well developed. Upper eyelids have scattered tubercles. Coloration (in alcohol): brownish tan. Reproduction: no details available.

B. blombergi

Blomberg's Toad/ Colombian Giant Toad

N Ecuador, SW Colombia


No data available.

B. boreas

Western Toad

W USA (Pacific coast from S Alaska to Baja California and several inland states)


Although found in desert regions, lives in moister microhabitats such as man-made irrigation or drainage ditches [Mattison]. Mattison suggests treating captives as European Natterjack or Green Toads. Coloration: dorsally olive or greenish with thin cream middorsal line.

B. b. boreas

Boreal Toad




B. b. halophilus

California Toad




B. brongersmai

Brongersma's Toad [F Crapaud de Brongersma: D Brongersma-Kröte]


SVL 48mm (m), 51mm (f)

A smallish toad found in semiarid or arid landscape: may dwell under stones. See KKS for fuller details. Description: interorbital space wider than one upper eyelid; parotoids small; fingers not webbed, but feet webbed; most distal tubercle under 4th toe double. Coloration: overall greyish-brown, with small green spots which are dotted with black; eyelids have transversal spot each which sometimes may be fused into a bar; large dark spot under eye. Reproduction: KKS cite example of tadpoles spotted in March and of captive toads that spawned at the end of April. Metamorphosis of captive tadpoles took place after 15-20 days at a total length of 3cm [SOURCE: KKS]

B. bufo

Common Toad

Europe and Asia


Very widely distributed and hardy toad. See European Bufonidae for full information.

B. burmanus

? Toad

S China (S Yunnan), N Burma


No data available.

B. caeruleocellatus

? Toad

S America (Andes)


No data available.

B. caeruleostictus

? Toad

S America (Andes)


No data available.

B. calamita

Natterjack/ Running Toad

Europe as far as W Russia


Protected in Britain as an endangered species. See European Bufonidae for full information.

B. californicus

Arroyo Toad




B. campbelli

Campbell's Rainforest Toad

N & E Guatemala, S Belize.


Found in mountainous regions at up to 850m in pristine lowland and premontane forest. It is active by day and night and is not particularly tied to water. Morphology: head moderately depressed, snout rather pointed from above. Eyes large and protruding, pupils horizontally elliptical. Tympanum small, about half diameter of eye. Cranial crests well developed. Parotoid glands small and triangular. Lateral row of enlarged tubercles runs from parotoid gland to inguinal region. Limbs relatively long, forearms more robust in males. Coloration: variable. By day dorsally dark brown mottled with grey and with irregular black spots and marks, often with narrow light vertebral stripes; the tubercles are tan or pale orange, the limbs dark brown with black and grey bars, the tympanum area dark brown and the tips of the digits orange. At night the toads are predominantly tan or pale yellowish orange and the markings pale and indistinct. Reproduction: breeding occurs in quiet areas of streams; amplexus is axillary. See Lee for details of tadpole.

B. canorus

Yosemite Toad



Medium-sized toad found at 2-3,000m altitude in the Sierra Nevada. Sexually dimorphic in its markings, the males being plain but the females covered with dark blotches [Mattison].

B. carens

African Red Toad




B. castaneoticus

? Toad

Brazil; poss. elsewhere in S America?


Recently discovered species (1991): see paper by J P Caldwell.

B. ceratophrys

Eyelashed Forest Toad

S America (Upper Amazon)

Max SVL 6½cm/2½" (m), 7½cm/3" (f)


B. chanchanensis

? Toad

S America


No data available.

B. cognatus

Great Plains Toad



No data available.

B. cryptotympanicus

? Toad

S China (Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region)


No data available.

B. danatensis

? Toad

W China (W Xinjiang), W Mongolia, S Turkmenistan eastwards to Tajikstan, Kirgizstan, Kazakhstan


Tetraploid species.

B. dapsilis

Pinocchio Toad, Sharp-Nosed Toad

S America (Upper Amazon)


Prominent projecting proboscis.

B. debilis

American Green Toad



No data available.

B. d. debilis

Eastern Green Toad




B. d. insidior

Western Green Toad




B. dodsoni

Dodson's Toad

SE Egypt



B. exsul

Black Toad

USA (California)


Highly restricted distribution within Inyo County, California: species totally protected.

B. fergusoni


India and Sri Lanka


See B. scaber.

B. fowleri

Fowler's Toad

North America


No data available.

B. galeatus

? Toad

S China (Hainan Island), Indochina


No data available.

B. gargarizans

? Toad

China (all except extreme south and west), Japan (Ryukyu Islands), Korea and Russia (Amur River basin and Sakhalin Island)


No data available.

B. glaberrimus

Peruvian Smooth-Sided Toad

South America (Upper Amazon)

SVL 3¼"/8cm

This species is now regarded as a complex of species. It was also at one time considered a synonym of B. guttatus and is also assigned to the genus Rhaebo by some.

B. guentheri

Southern Crested Toad


SVL 8½ cm; snout to posterior of ear, 2½ cm

Characteristics: head with bony ridges; tympanum present; upper eyelid normal; suborbital and postorbital ridges form together a more or less regular curve; edge of jaws not dilated horizontally; snout prominent, relatively wide and thick; subnasal and labial crests very weak; tarsal fold present; pustulose warts confined to anterior part of back. Coloration (in alcohol): head clay colour; back irregularly mottled with chocolate brown and burnt umber, darker posteriorly than anteriorly, where coloration appears mostly confined to warts; traces of clay colour between warts; forelimbs burnt umber; hind limbs dorsally seal brown; hands and feet clay colour; lower parts clay colour to ochraeous, immaculate. [SOURCE: Cochran 1941]

B. guttatus

(Eastern) Smooth-Sided Toad/Tropical Spotted Toad

S America

SVL 10-15cm/4-6"

Large parotoids.

B. haematiticus

Leaf Litter Toad, Truando Toad

Honduras, Ecuador: presumably countries between?


Small species. Characteristics: cranial crests reduced or absent; external tympanum present [SOURCE: Greding 1972].

B. hemiophrys

Canadian Toad/ Dakota Toad

Canada: USA?

2-3" avg, 3¼" max

More aquatic than most toads: often found on the shores of small lakes, in the water of which it will take refuge.

B. himalayanus

? Toad

Tibet, China (NW Yunnan), India (Sikkim), Nepal


Montane species found on southern slopes of the Himalayas. In India it is common in the Darjeeling area [Daniel]. Differs from B. melanostictus only by the smaller tympanum (less than half of the diameter of the eye, as opposed to two-thirds diameter in B. melanostictus). Hibernation in India takes place late November until March. Reproduction: mating takes place in March, tadpoles are found in still pools in June-July.

B. houstonensis

Houston Toad

S USA (SE Texas)

2-2½"/5-6½cm, max 3"/7½cm

This species is totally protected under law due to threatened extinction, although Conant and Collins suggested that the remaining wild populations had been apparently stabilised as at 1998. Morphology: cranial ridges quite thickened, especially those behind the eyes. Coloration: overall cream to purplish grey; patches of dark green absent or present; mottled pattern of brown to black on dorsum; middorsal stripe usually present; venter has numerous small dark spots [SOURCE: Conant & Collins].

B. hypomelas

? Toad

S America (Andes)


No data available.

B. intermedius

? Toad

S America (Andes)


No data available.

B. kavirensis

? Toad



Sexually dimorphic in its markings, the males being plain but the females covered with dark blotches [Mattison 1992].

B. kelloggi

? Toad

N America


No data available.

B. luetkeni

? Toad

Costa Rica


Characteristics: prominent cranial crests present; external tympanum present and entirely visible; parotoids smaller than supraocular cover, clearly defined with few or no tubercles, and small, round or slightly oval; heel reaches tympanum or eye; toes approximately half-webbed [SOURCE: Greding 1972].

B. macrotis

? Toad

Burma and Thailand


At the time of mating, males assume a smooth skin and bright yellow coloration. This returns to the normal dark brown coloration afterwards.

B. margaretifer

Crested Forest Toad

N South America

SVL 7cm/2¾" (m), 7½cm/3" (f)

Considered a complex of 3 or more very similar species.

B. marinus

Cane Toad/ Marine Toad

C America, N South America, USA (S Texas): introduced into Florida, West Indies and Australia (Queensland)


See notes in introduction.  Characteristics: prominent cranial crests present; large triangular parotids as long as head width; external tympanum present and entirely visible [SOURCE: Greding 1972].

B. mauritanicus

Mauritian Toad [F Crapaud de Maurétanie: D Berberkröte]

North Africa (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia), also isolated populations in Mali and Niger.

TL 15-16cm

Within its region this toad is fairly common. It inhabits all types of habitat except dense forests provided that there are suitable breeding sites. It may take refuge in burrows or concrete pipes or excavate itself shallow cavities beneath stones. In coverless areas it may excavate tunnels. Depending on the local weather it may hibernate or aestivate. Daily activity is mostly crepuscular and nocturnal. It is a good jumper. Keepers of this species should be aware that in the wild it is heavily parasitised (see KKS), and that it has a voracious appetite. Description: very wide head and blunt snout; parotoids usually very large and flat; tubercles on back and thighs very similar, but those on sides small and variable; tubercle glands open in a large central and several smaller lateral pores; ventral skin granular; slight middorsal furrow; interorbital space larger than one upper eyelid; pupil oval; tympanum very distinct, roughly half diameter of eye; reduced foot webbing. Coloration: overall light cream, yellow, greyish beige or greenish light grey; dorsal patches may be present, which if so are very large (to the point of almost hiding the overall colour), orange, reddish brown, olive brown or dark olive grey, bordered with black or very dark brown: alternately only traces of these patches may be visible on the head. Patchless specimens are the norm for the Presahara. Iris vivid light grey, striated and bordered with black; dark streak passes horizontally through the pupil. Reproduction: mating season very variable and dependent on local climate. Moisture seems to be the trigger, while in very arid areas lack of precipitation can delay spawning for several years. The toads tend to mass in moist depressions (dayas) which are otherwise free of toads the rest of the year. Copulation is a lengthy process taking days if not up to 2 weeks. The female lays 5,000-10,000 eggs, and oviposition may take successive nights. Metamorphosis takes 6 weeks [SOURCE: KKS].

B. melanochloris

Black-Crested Toad

Honduras, Costa Rica: ?


Characteristics: prominent cranial crests present; external tympanum present and entirely visible; parotoids smaller than supraocular cover, clearly defined with few or no tubercles, and large, triangular and tapering posteriorly; heel reaches tympanum or eye; toes approximately half-webbed [SOURCE: Greding 1972].

B. melanostictus

Black-Spined Toad, South Asian Garden Toad

SE Asia inc.S & SW China, Taiwan, Sri Lanka, Indonesia and Borneo

4"/ 10cm (max SVL 15cm)

Fairly common species throughout its range and associates willingly with human settlements [Mattison 1992]. Its very basic requirements (cool retreat for the day, insect food and water, however temporary, to breed) have enabled it in India at least to be present in all biotopes [Daniel]. Morphology: cranial crests prominent; black cornifications on cranial crests, upper lip, tips of digits, metatarsal tubercle and tubercles on palm of hands; paratoids large and prominent; tympanum distinct, oval or circular, ¾ diameter of eye; 1st finger as long as or longer than 2nd; skin heavily tuberculated with many black spine-tipped warts; 2 vertebral rows of large warts, otherwise very few tubercles on back. Coloration: uniform grey, brown or reddish brown with yellowish markings: warts have black tips. Ventrally uniform white, may be speckled with black on chin and throat. Juveniles are dark grey, black or reddish brown, and ventrally uniform white or speckled with black [Source: Daniel]. Reproduction: Daniel describes this species as "enormously fecund", a single female being capable of laying over 1000 eggs. Breeding males have a light orange or yellow throat and call, often from a vantage point near water. Females are seized by several males, until one gains amplexus and then the female enters the water to lay. The string of eggs is twisted around aquatic plants or, if none are available, are laid in long strings on the bottom. The tadpoles hatch in about 4 days and are omnivorous. On metamorphosis they are normally <10mm in length. Cranial ridges do not appear until toad reaches SVL of >20mm, and then are only cornified when SVL is >35mm. See Daniel for further notes on reproduction within India.

B. microscaphus

Arizona Toad

USA (SW Utah, SE Nevada, C Arizona, SW New Mexico)



B. minshanicus

? Toad

China (W Sichuan, Ningxia and SE Gansu)


No data available.

B. nelsoni

Amargosa Toad

USA (S Nevada)

2-4¼"/ 5-11cm

Extremely restricted range: species has been close to extinction recently.

B. olivaceous

Makran Toad



Cranial crests absent: partoid gland large, reaching almost to sacrum; skin smooth or nearly so [Minton]

B. paracnemis

Cururu Toad/ Rococo Toad

S America


Glands also found on hind legs.

B. pardalis

Leopard Toad

S America


No data available.

B. pentoni

Penton's Toad

SE Egypt



B. periglenes

Golden Toad

Costa Rica (Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve)


A colourful species that sadly may now be extinct. It was known to be sexually dimorphic in its markings, the males being plain but the females covered with dark blotches [Mattison]. Characteristics: prominent cranial crests; no external tympanum [Greding 1972].

B. perreti

? Toad



Tadpoles have sucker-like disc-shaped mouths to prevent being swept downstream in heavy current [Mattison 1992].

B. preussi

? Toad

NW Cameroon

1½-2"/ 4-5cm

Aquatic species, found in or around mountain streams with many stones but little vegetation. Coloration: pure black: females have a lateral red band from the back of the eye to the upper oberschenkel.

B. punctatus

Red-Spotted Toad

SW North America

1½-2½" avg, 3" max

Desert species, often found in the company of spadefoot toads. Less plump than other Bufo species, climbs well. The only North American toad with round parotid glands. Coloration: overall grey with numerous small red spots. [Source: Mattison]

B. quercicus

Oak Toad


1¼"/ 2-3cm

Name derives from its habitat of pine and oak scrub. Coloration: mixture of browns with a white or yellow vertebral stripe. [Source: Coborn].

B. raddei

? Toad

N China southwards to Jiansu and Anhui, Korea, Mongolia and Russia (to Lake Baikal and Amur River)


No data available.

B. regularis

Egyptian Toad/Reuss' Toad/Desert Toad/Leopard Toad/ Square-Marked Toad [F Crapaud panthérin, crapaud jaspé, crapaud à taches carrées: D Pantherkröte]

Sub-Saharan Africa, including SW Libya and Egypt all the way southwards as far as the Cape of Good Hope in the Republic of South Africa.

SVL (m) 10½cm, (f) 8cm

Found in grassland and open forest: KKS cite dry or moist biotopes as its habitat, and its origin in savanna although it now also occupies rain forest. It preys on insects, worms and snails. Activity is usually nocturnal but may be diurnal during the mating season. In appearance it is rather similar to the European and North African B. viridis, but the patches on the back are somewhat larger and fewer. It can be distinguished from the North African B. xeros by its lack of red reticulated pattern on the back of the upper thighs. Description: large elliptical paratoid glands; tympanum distinct; dorsal warts irregularly distributed and flat, sometimes bearing keratinised tips; ventral skin is granulated; toe tips webbed for about a third of their length. Coloration: overall olive brown or olive grey with somewhat contrasting rather rectangular brown patches which are often symmetrically arranged; white middorsal line often present; ventrally unifrom white or spotted. Reproduction: males are slimmer, more elongated and lighter coloured than females. Nuptial pads appear during reproductive season. Calling males croak whereas females make a soft high-pitched hiss. Hatching takes place after 24 hours, metamorphosis after 120-140 days [SOURCE: KKS]

B. retiformis

Sonoran Green Toad

USA (S & C Arizona), Mexico



B. rosei

? Toad

S Africa (Table Mountain, Capetown)


Certain areas may throw up individuals up to 1cm bigger. This species has no voice. Females lay up to 7,000 eggs per season.

B. scaber

Ferguson's Toad

India (N Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka), Sri Lanka

4½cm SVL

Fairly rare throughout its range. A good burrower. Daniel notes that in captivity it only appears to eat white ants, so probably not a good choice as a pet. Weak cranial ridges.

B. speciosus

Texas Toad


2-3¼" avg, 3½" max


B. stejnegeri

? Toad

China (E Liaoning), Korea


No data available.

B. stomaticus

Marbled Toad

Pakistan, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka

7½cm SVL

Fairly common throughout its range but appears to favour dry and semi-desert conditions. Lacks cranial ridges, hence can be distinguished from B. melanostictus. Distinct tympanum is about 2/3 diameter of eye. 1st finger longer than 2nd, toes about 2/3 webbed, tarso-metatarsal articulation reaches to between shoulder and eye, 2 equal-sized metatarsal tubercles with sharp edges. Coloration: dorsally grey or olive, often has darker marbling. Upper lip and ventral surfaces white. Reproduction: in the Mumbai area the toads breed from June onwards after the start of the monsoon season. The eggs are laid in strings. The small tadpoles are black with shiny silver spots on the body. Newly metamorphosed toads are <10mm SVL. Juvenile toads are light brown with darker marblings that have a pale pinkish centre. [SOURCE: Daniel]

B. superciliaris

? Toad



Practically voiceless [Mattison 1992].

B. terrestris

Southern Toad

S North America


Distinguished mainly by very pronounced cranial knobs.

B. tibetanus

? Toad

SW China (N Hengduan mtns)


No data available.

B. tuberculatus

? Toad

SW China (N Hengduan mtns, Qinghai), Tibet


No data available.

B. typhonius

High-Crested Toad

S America


No data available.

B. valliceps

Gulf Coast Toad

S USA (Louisiana and Texas), south to Mexico and Guatemala, including Yucatán peninsula, and Costa Rica.

7½-10cm SVL

An adaptable toad found not only in more usual places such as ditches and coastal prairies but also in dumps and storm sewers [Conant and Collins]. Morphology: head moderately depressed, snout rounded from above; limbs short, forearms robust, especially in males; fingers lack webbing, toes webbed at bases; tips of digits not expanded. Cranial crests conspicuous on top of head; parotoid glands small, about size of eye. Dorsum covered with warts: row of enlarged, pointed warts runs from parotoid gland to groin. Subgular vocal sac in males. Coloration: variable. Overall reddish, grey or deep brown. Light vertebral stripe usually present. Indistinct darker mottling on lateral surfaces and limbs. Wide indistinct light stripe runs from parotoid gland to groin. Ventrally light tan or grey, and dark spots and bars may also be present. Vocal sac in males darker than adjacent tissue. Reproduction: in the USA, breeding season lasts from March to September. In the Yucatán area it may last throughout the year but is principally associated with the first heavy rains of the summer rainy season [Lee]. Amplexus axillary. See Lee for details of tadpole. [SOURCE: Conant and Collins, Lee]

B. viridis

(Eurasian) Green Toad

Much of Europe inc. Russia, N Africa, SW Asia and W China


See European Bufonidae for full information.

B. vittatus

Degen's Toad

S Egypt



B. wolongensis

? Toad



No data available.

B. woodhousii

Woodhouse's Toad



No data available.

B. w. woodhousii





B. w. australis

Southwestern Woodhouse's Toad




B. w. fowleri

Fowler's Toad




B. xeros

Savannah Toad

Algeria, Mauritania, Senegambia, Niger, Chad and southwards to Tanzania

Max SVL 7cm

Closely related to B. regularis, with which it can hybridise. It is found in dry savanna, dry riverbeds and ponds, oases, and montane water bodies. In some parts B. xeros aestivated underground until the end of October, digging deeper the further away from water they were. They may occasionally turn up in the pet trade: a humid environment appears to be important. Description: tubercles with keratinised spines on dorsal surfaces (including parotoid glands) and hands and feet; belly granular, lacks tubercles; head triangular, wider than long; typanum distinct; feet moderately webbed with well developed interior and exterior metacarpal tubercle on each that aid in digging. Coloration: overall cream, greyish brown or olive; 6 pairs of symmetrical dark brown patches which are partially bordered with black (on snout, between orbits near front and back edges of parotoids, on mid and posterior dorsum; additioal dark spots, irregularly scattered; venter cream; gular region greyish brown with cream-coloured spots; very characteristic red vermiculated marking on back of each thigh. Reproduction: male is smaller and has nuptial pads that turn black during the mating season and a black throat [SOURCE: KKS].


Frogs and Toads of the World, Chris Mattison, Blandford Press, London 1992. Useful and informative introduction to the subject. Some of the taxonomy is slightly out of date.

Keeping and Breeding Amphibians, Chris Mattison, Blandford Press,

The Proper Care of Amphibians, John Coborn, TFH, 1992. Although I have been often critical of Coborn's books in the past - some, notably on lizards, have contained erroneous information - this is not a bad one. It is very useful for an oversight of all the amphibian families and contains some information on many species which are rarely seen in captivity.

Frogs, Toads and Treefrogs, RD and Patricia P Bartlett, Barron's Educational Series, 1996. This is a good book for details on the captive husbandry of the most common anurans you are likely to see offered in the pet trade.

Urania Tierreich: Fische, Lurche, Kriechtiere (various authors, but edited I believe by Professor Kurt Deckert: amphibian contributor was Dr Günther Freytag), Urania-Verlagsgesellschaft, Leipzig. Part of a 6-volume encyclopedia set on the animal kingdom and perhaps comparable to Grzimek's volumes, this volume provides a very useful overview of all the genera and many representative species.

Herpetology of China, Er-mi Zhao and Kraig Adler, SSAR, 1993. Catalogue of practically every reptile and amphibian species found in mainland China, Hongkong, Macao, Tibet and Taiwan. There are few details of the ecology of the animals, but readers are referred to a very comprehensive bibliography, and colour plates are provided for many of the creatures listed.

Guide to Philippine Flora and Fauna. Volume X, Amphibians and Reptiles, Prof. Angel C Alcala, Natural Resources Management Centre, Ministry of Natural Resources and University of the Philippines, 1986.

The Book of Indian Reptiles and Amphibians, J C Daniel, Bombay Natural History Society, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2002.

A Field Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians of Eastern and Central North America, R Conant and J T Collins, Peterson Field Guides, Houghton Mifflin, Boston/New York 1998.

A Field Guide to Western Reptiles and Amphibians, R Stebbins, Peterson Field Guides, Houghton Mifflin, Boston/New York 2003.

An Annotated Key to the Amphibians and Reptiles of Sind and Las Bela, West Pakistan, Sherman A Minton Jr, Numer 2081 American Museum Novitates, May 15 1962.

A Field Guide to the Amphibians and Reptiles of the Maya World, Julian C Lee, Cornell University Press 2000.

Amphibians and Reptiles of North Africa, W Kästle, H H Schleich and K Kabisch, Koeltz Scientific Books, Germany 1996. Outstanding review of N African herpetofauna giving detailed account of each species.

Reptiles and Amphibians of the Amazon: An Ecotourist's Guide, R D & Patricia Bartlett, University Press of Florida 2003.

"Toads! Toads! And More Toads! Part 1: Toads in Nature" and "Part 2: Care and Species", Reptile & Amphibian Hobbyist 6:6 and 6:7, Gwen Davis. Useful look at basic toad natural history and behaviour, and at those species which make good captives.

"An unusually large toad (Anura: Bufonidae) from the lower southeastern slope of Volcan Turrialba, with a key to the Bufo of Costa Rica", Edward J Greding Jr, Caribbean Journal of Science 12 (1-2), June 1972. Discusses large specimen of B. melanochloris and gives key as mentioned: some of the species mentioned have since been transferred to other genera.


AmphibiaWeb is a useful source for species lists and seems to be the amphibian equivalent of the JCVI/TIGR Reptile Database. A very worthwhile and important project which also focuses on conservation and the issue of amphibian decline. I acknowledge my debt to this site for filling in the gaps in the different amphibian genera. Any mistakes on these pages are my own!

An even greater debt is owed to for assistance in this project.

Wikipedia article summarising the position of Chaunus, Rhamphophryne and Rhinella.