How many types of toad are there in Britain?
There are only two native species of toad in Britain.
- The first is the Common Toad, which is widespread. It is brown or olive in colour with a warty skin, which often appears as though it is dry. It can grow to about 8cm in size.
- The second species is the Natterjack Toad that is smaller and has shorter legs so it tends to run rather than hop or walk. The most notable difference is that the Natterjack toad has a bold yellow stripe down its back, which is absent on the Common toad.
The Natterjack toad is very rare in Dorset and is only found in a few sites in the east of the county.
The Common toad is only protected from sale and trade but the much rarer Natterjack toad is protected under British and European law. It is therefore illegal to kill, injure, capture or disturb them, damage or destroy their habitat, and possess, sell or trade them.
See the Herpetological Conservation Trust website for more information.
What's the difference between a toad and a frog?
The main difference is the skin texture. Toads have warty, dry looking skin whereas a frog has smooth skin that needs to be moist all the time.
Frogs also have longer legs and tend to leap rather than hop like toads.
See the Natural England leaflet Amphibians in Your Garden - Your Questions Answered for more information.
What are Toad Crossings and how can I get involved?
Each spring toads migrate along a route to their spawning ponds, some of which may cross roads and hence leads to inevitable road casualties. To aid toads across roads 'toad patrols' have been set up to collect toads when they approach a road and move them manually across the road in the direction in which they were heading.
Toads tend to move from dusk to midnight on days when it is raining or shortly after it has rained and when the temperature exceeds 4ºC.
Download the Froglife leaflet 'Toads on Roads' or visit the Froglife website for more information and contact Froglife for your local Toad crossing patrol group.
Also see Amphibians section.