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.

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 a writer, editor and social media manager for Birds & Blooms. She enjoys watching the robins, cardinals and occasional goldfinch seen around her apartment.