The Difference Between A Frog And A Toad

“I don’t see no p’ints about that frog that’s any better’n any other frog.” —Mark Twain, The Celebrated Jumping Frog

In A Nutshell

Frogs and toads are both amphibians in the order Anura with four legs and a compact body. While there are some general differences between the animals we call toads and those referred to as frogs, the distinction blurs at times. It may come as a surprise that all toads are frogs, but whether frogs should really be classified as toads warrants some question.

The Whole Bushel

The true frogs (Ranidae) comprise several hundred, mostly smooth-skinned amphibians with certain distinctive traits. These include possession of teeth, powerful hind limbs for leaping, and the habit of laying eggs in clusters.

Members of the family Bufonidae comprise around 300 species normally referred to as “true toads.” These species are extremely warty and, while toxic, will not give humans warts. Toads lay their eggs in strings, lack teeth, and primarily transport themselves in a walking gait with a few short hops. True toads are defined by parotid glands behind their eyes, which secrete powerful toxins that may prove exceedingly deadly to their enemies.

Still, it would be more fully accurate to refer to frogs, which include toads. Apart from the true frogs, other Anurid amphibian species include the tree frogs, and the fire-bellied toad, which is covered in bumps and looks very toad-like, but is not a true toad.

So, all toads are frogs, but certain non-toad frog species actually resemble true toads far more than the typical frogs they really are. Conversely, some true toads are very smooth, and look like atypical frogs.

Show Me The Proof

Frogs and Toads
What’s The Difference Between a Frog and a Toad?
Frogs & Toads (visual comparison)

  • cire

    all are frogs,
    but some frogs are toads =)

    • Joe Scott

      All squares are rectangles,
      But not all rectangles are squares.

  • ℓα∂у

    I still don’t get it.

  • g.g.palin

    Man I really thought this would help me sleep at night. now I keep on wondering if every toad I’ve seen might just be a frog undercover . Yet all frogs are toads? Ahhh…

    • QuotationStation

      You got that sdrawkcab…

    • Christopher Stephens

      Not exactly….all toads are frogs, but some frogs, apart from the “true toads – family Bufonidae”, might also be better sub-categorized as toads.
      A really cool general knowledge tidbit to pass around, if you can keep it in your head 🙂

  • I’cia( ❤ My Falcons)

    Learned some new things!!
    I never knew frogs had teeth.

    • tarantulady

      Some frog bites actually hurt, too!

  • no one cares

    in Portuguese it’s all called sapo

  • Daisy Haverstock

    These articles are never very interesting…I wish there were less of them.

    • Christopher M. Stephens

      Then just don’t bother reading them all 😉 – many people love these articles.

  • Glengarry Ricky Ross

    Ok. Now whats the difference between flammable and inflammable?!

  • Jeff Alessi

    Awful. Don’t know what knowledgenuts is with listverse but it needs to be cut. Iv liked 2 things out of like 60 I didn’t even care to finish. Thumbs down KN

  • rhijulbec

    Well now that that’s settled…

  • Eric Barnum

    this sucks