How to Identify Frogs & Toads

Written by nannette richford Google
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How to Identify Frogs & Toads
All toads are frogs, but not all frogs are toads. (Frog image by Loshkaryov Sergey from

If the difference between frogs and toads confuses you, rest assured there is good reason. According to assistant biology professor William Hamilton from the Penn State Kensington campus, all toads are actually frogs, but, all frogs are not toads. In other words, a toad is a kind of frog. With more similarities than differences, there are a few telltale signs that the frog in question is a toad.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Examine the skin. Toads have thick, dry skin covered with bumps -- often mistakenly referred to as warts. Other frogs have smooth, moist skin.

    How to Identify Frogs & Toads
    Toads have bumpy skin. (Toad & Seashell 2 image by Wendy Hampe from
  2. 2

    Observe how the amphibian moves to determine if it hops or walks. Toads walk in a crawling motion with occasional hops, whereas other frogs tend to leap or jump exclusively.

    How to Identify Frogs & Toads
    Toads walk or crawl with occassion hops. (Frog image by Semfamily from
  3. 3

    Watch to see where the frog lives. Toads prefer drier areas and can be found in wooded areas, under logs or stones. Their thick skin provides protection on dry land and keeps them from losing moisture. Other frogs with moist and smooth skin live near water or in wet areas.

    How to Identify Frogs & Toads
    Frogs live near or in water. (wasserfrosch image by from
  4. 4

    Look at the colour of the skin. Toads have brown skin that allows them to camouflage easily in soil or around trees and roots. Although some other types of frogs are brown, most are shades of green.

    How to Identify Frogs & Toads
    Toads have brown skin. (Toad & Seashell 2 image by Wendy Hampe from

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