Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Toad, any individual of the Amphibian genus Bufo, of a family (Bufonidae) distinguished from the Frogs (Ranidae) by the want of teeth, the skin, and the short hind legs. Of the type-genus, universally distributed except in Australia, there are fifty-eight species, of which but two are British - the Common Toad (B. vulga1is) and the Natterjack or Rush Toad (B. calamita). The former is abundant, and frequents damp places, coming out at dusk in search of insects, slugs, and worms; the latter, readily recognised by the bright~yellow line running down the back, is rarer, and is generally found in dry places. Gilbert White records the fact that in his garden at Selborne they were more abundant than common toads. The toad is heavier and more stoutly built than the frog, brownish-grey in colour, with the glands above the ear greatly developed so as to form prominences. It is erroneously supposed to "spit" poison; but is in no wise venomous, though the secretion front the skin is acrid, and when startled or irritated it will often eject clear watery fluid from its vent. Toads hibernate in winter, and in spring the long strings of eggs may be seen floating in ponds. [AMPHIBIA, FROG, SURINAM TOAD.]