Common Toad Care Sheet


Introduction

The common toad, known by its Latin name Bufo bufo, lives in Europe and Asia. They live as far north as Norway and as far south as the Medditerranean. It is usually active during dusk or night, where it hunts for insects. In spring, common toads perform thier annual breeding migration to the ponds in which they lay their spawn. Their colouration is variable, yet they are often of a muddy brown, grey, green or even brick-red colour. These toads grow to about 15cm and can live to 30 years old! Their skin is toxic, aswell as their tadpoles, allowing them to spawn in fish pools. Unfortunatley, common toads have seen significant declines in Britain due to man-made habitat change.

This is a protected species in the UK. It is illegal to harm or sell wild individuals. Celtic Reptile and Amphibians only sells captive animals to committed owners and with a certificate of legality.

frog, toad, portrait
toads, hike, pairing

Close-up of a male common toad (top) and common toads forming a mating ball (bottom).

Feeding

These toads enjoy a varied diet consisting of crickets, mealworms, calci worms, spiders, woodlice or any commercially available feeder insect.  It is important to gut-load the feeder insects with fruit, vegetables and dandelions as the nutrients from the food will go straight into the toads. Dusting the feeder insects is also an important step to ensure your toad maintains healthy levels of vitamins and calcium. We encourage people to establish natural colonies of insects and invertebrates into the enclosure which will ensure your toad can get an unlimited supply of a varied diet, at no extra cost. Before the toad goes into hibernation, it is advised to feed it wax worms or any other type of high-fat food to help cope with the cooler temperatures in winter.

Housing

Common toads are found in a variety of habiats. Therefore, they are an adaptable species. A vivarium with plenty of space to explore, dig, swim, lay and bask will be ideal, with a size of 1 m  (wide)  x  0.5 m (deep) for a pair or small group. The enclosure should also have 40-50 cm of soil for the toad to burrow down and brumate as well as adequate space for a pond for the toads to lay their spawn. A variety of plant species, logs and stones will help create a more natural, realistic environment for the toad to enjoy. This also makes for great habitats for insects such as ants, spiders and woodlouse. Remember, the larger the enclosure, the happier the animal, so don’t hesitate to make a larger enclosure. At Celtic Reptile & Amphibian we house all of our common toads outdoors in outdoor vivaria, as this allows vital exposure to the sun and thus, the absorption of UVB light. No external heating supply or UVB bulb is required when outdoors in the UK or Europe. This ensures the animals live the most naturalistic and healthy life possible which can be seen from the stunning colours of our animals! In terms of temperature and humidity, this toad is rather hardy and so can withstand temperatures as low as 10 C (before brumating) and as high as 40 C , with a happy medium of around 25 C. Make sure the enclosure is facing a southerly direction, to allow for maximal exposure to sunlight.

Habitat of the common toad: pools and wetlands of Europe.

 

Breeding

Mating occurs within the spring months, the toads usually returning to their ancesteral pond in which they were spawned. In captivity however, common toads will spawn in a pond provided for them. The female is usually grappled by the male before she even enters the water. When in the water, she releases her spawn which the male fertilises.