How to Tell a Frog from a Toad

Toads and frogs are quite similar to each other in terms of appearance. However, there are a number of differences between the two members of the amphibian family. It is important for anyone doing research on amphibians to be able to easily tell a frog from a toad. Fortunately, it is very easy to distinguish between a frog and a toad as it only requires a few simple guidelines.


  • 1

    The best way to tell a toad from a frog is by analysing the skin. The skin of a frog is smooth whereas a toad’s skin has bumps all over it which are quite identical to warts.

  • 2

    Hold the amphibian you want to identify in your hands and try to get a feel of its skin. If the amphibian feels wet or moist, you are holding a frog. On the other hand, a toad’s skin is bumpy and dry.

  • 3

    Another differentiating factor between a frog and a toad is that former needs to moisten its skin from time to time. However, the same is not true for a toad. This means that the amphibian you see in your garden where there is no water around is a toad.

  • 4

    Closely look at the body structure of the amphibian to tell if you are looking at a frog or a toad. An amphibian with a raised back, two ridges and webbed feet is indeed a frog.

  • 5

    The way an amphibian moves around can also help you distinguish between a frog and a toad. You would be looking at a toad if it is making movements like it is walking. On the other hand, if the amphibian under scrutiny hops with the help of its back legs, it is a frog.

  • 6

    If you are able to get close enough, another possible way to tell a frog from a toad is by looking at the tongue. A long and sticky tongue will point to a frog because it has to prey on bugs from a distance. On the other hand, toads make use of their mouth to catch prey and thus do not have long tongues.

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