Toads vs Frogs: How to Spot the Differences

Frogs and toads are commonly spotted in gardens and backyards. Follow these key clues to spot the differences between toads vs. frogs.

If it seems tough to tell a toad from a frog, there’s a reason why! Toads are actually a subclassification of frogs­—so, technically, these bumpy-skinned amphibians are frogs, too. Both fall under the Anura order, meaning “without a tail,” and both creatures are found on every continent except for Antarctica. Here’s how to identify toads vs. frogs. 

Frog Characteristics

Green Frog On A White Backgroundepantha/Getty Images
Green frog

Frog Eyes

Frogs have protruding eyes, which improve their peripheral vision. Did you know hummingbirds can see even MORE colors than humans?

Frog Teeth

Some frogs have small teeth for holding prey.

Webbed Toes

Look closely for webbed hind toes, which help frogs swim. Discover the key differences between bees and wasps.

Long Legs

Their longer hind legs are perfect for hopping.

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Smooth Skin

Frogs have glossy, smooth skin that produces mucus to keep them moist.

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Toad Characteristics

Toad On White BackgroundSomchok Tikamram/Alamy Stock Photo
Toad

Camouflage Coloring

Usually brown, a toad‘s coloring allows it to blend in on the ground. Learn how to spot common winter wildlife.

Bumpy Thick Skin

Toads have skin that is drier and thicker than frogs and has bumps. Psst—here’s why toads are valuable in the garden.

Shorter Legs

They are equipped with stout legs are used for crawling more than leaping.

Large Face

Compared to frogs, toads have a wider face may balloon to appear even bigger when threatened.

Poison Glands

There are glands behind their eyes secrete poison to discourage predators.

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Molly Jasinski
Molly Jasinski is an editor, writer and social media manager for Birds & Blooms. She’s been with the magazine since 2019 and with Trusted Media Brands since 2012. She brings more than 10 years of editorial experience to Birds & Blooms and has a bachelor’s degree in print journalism. In her role, Molly works closely with bird experts Kenn and Kimberly Kaufman and gardening expert Melinda Myers, in addition to the Birds & Blooms freelance writers. Molly was featured in a May 2023 episode of The Thing With Feathers birdwatching podcast. She's a member of the nonprofit Friends of Wehr Nature Center in Franklin, Wisconsin, a popular location for birdwatching in southeastern Wisconsin. She goes out birding often and is still hoping to spot a tufted titmouse in the near future.