have a moist smooth skin which can be quite variable in colour ranging from brown, green or grey with dark blotches to yellowish or orange with red blotches. However, all common frogs have a distinct brown patch behind each eye which is not present in common toads. Common toads
are far less variable and are usually a mottled mid-brown colour and have a granular or warty appearance.
Another useful feature is to look at the nose – that of the common frog will be pointed whereas that of the common toad will be blunt giving a much more rounded profile. The method of locomotion also varies with common frogs tending to leap and common toads tending to waddle or crawl along.
During the breeding season male common frogs make a quiet low-pitched call and inhabit ponds and ditches with shallow edges whereas common toads make a louder, higher croak and favour deeper water. Frogspawn is laid in familiar jelly-like clumps, while toads lay long, gelatinous ‘strings’. Frog and toad tadpoles can also be told apart: frog tadpoles are mottled brownish-grey to olive with gold speckles, while toad tadpoles remain jet black.
Picture by Pat Adams