Frogs and toads are both amphibians from the same order (anura) and toads are technically speaking a classification of frogs! So you wouldn't be incorrect to say they are all frogs. However, they do have some key differences which are important and help us to identify, study and understand different species. Just walking past one in the wild it might be difficult to tell them apart at first. However, there are some identifiable features that will help you to tell whether you are looking at a frog or a true toad.
Firstly – where did you find it?
Frogs require an environment with a lot of water so you will find them in places such as ponds, creeks, swamps and rainforests.
Toads of course do need water to live, but not to the same extent as frogs. You are therefore more likely to find a toad in your garden, in a forest or meadow or hiding under a log or rock.
What does it look like?
Frogs have smooth or 'slimy' skin, while toads normally have drier bumpier skin. Frogs also have webbed feet, whilst most toads do not. And lastly, does it look slim or more filled out and round? Frogs typically have slimmer bodies, and toads have chunkier bodies.
How is it behaving?
Frogs are known for having very long back legs to help them with their incredible jumping skills which they are well known for! While toads have shorter back legs – great for crawling along and small hops.
While these are general ways of telling apart the two species – there are exceptions to the case. For example some toads have smooth skin, and some frogs had ridged skin. So, it is always worth checking up on your identification skills using online resources such as the discover life website.