Frogs and toads
Read on to find out more about our amphibian friends and what to do if you find an injured frog or toad.
What's the difference between frogs and toads?
- Have smooth, moist skin, which isn't slimy
- Have special glands to keep the skin moist and supple - this helps them to 'breathe' through their skin as well as their lungs, so they can stay underwater for a long time
- Are mottled shades of green, yellow or brown in colour
- Have a distinct brown patch behind the eye
- Move in springy leaps and lay spawn in clumps.
- Have dry, warty skin, which means they can't 'breathe' through their skin as well as frogs, but they can survive on land in drier places
- Are usually grey-brown in colour
- Crawl rather than hop
- Lay strings of eggs in long, double rows.
- Have a yellow stripe down their back
- Are speedy - they often run quite fast!
- Lay strings of eggs in long, single rows.
Helping frogs and toads in spring
If you have a pond in your garden, you may find large amounts of frogspawn at this time of year. It can make the water look overcrowded, but it's nothing to worry about.
Toads and their annual migration
You can help by carefully carrying the toads across the road; many areas organise toad patrols. For more advice on how to help toads during their migration, take a look online at the Toads on Roads project.
Frogs and toads: a gardener's friend?
Don't be surprised if you find frogs or toads in your greenhouse. They're attracted there by the warm, moist conditions and will live in a greenhouse quite happily, eating the insects and other small creatures that live there.
Find out more about Britain's amphibians and how you can help them.
What to do if you find a sick or injured frog or toad
You should be able to confine frogs and toads without having to touch them directly - this will help reduce their stress.
Here's what to do step by step:
- Approach the animal slowly and quietly, and place a box on top of them, then carefully slide the box lid or a piece of cardboard underneath so you can pick the box up.
- Make sure the box has holes for ventilation, and line it with damp paper towels to keep their skin moist.
- Don’t use newspaper to line the box, as the chemicals from the ink could harm them.
- Keep the box somewhere that's not too hot and away from pets, and take them to a vet or rehabilitator for treatment as soon as possible.
Don’t touch them with bare hands as they are very sensitive to chemicals on our skin.
If you see sick, injured or dead amphibians in your garden, please report these to Garden Wildlife Health, which helps monitor diseases in garden wildlife.
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