Toads are omnivores and feed on a wide variety of insects, arthropods, worms, snails, slugs, frogs, fish, small birds, mice, rats, and other amphibians. They can also be found eating fruit, seeds, nuts, grains, mushrooms, berries, and even carrion.
Toads have been known to eat just about anything that moves! In this article, we’ll be guiding you through everything you need to know about toads’ diets and their environment.
The diet of the common toad (Bufo bufo) is similar to that of many other toads in its range. It feeds mainly on invertebrates such as earthworms, insect larvae, slugs, snails, spiders, grasshoppers, crickets, cockroaches, beetles, centipedes, millipedes, mites, flies, ants, wasps, bees, butterflies, earwigs, woodlice, and other arthropods.
In addition to these, it will eat plant material including fruits, vegetables, fungi, and some seeds.
The diet of the American toad (Anaxyrus americanus) varies depending upon where they live. Their diets include more plants than animals. However, when food becomes scarce, they may begin feeding on smaller animals like insects or other amphibians.
The diet of most species of Anura includes both animal and vegetable matter. Most anurans are carnivorous, but some are herbivorous or omnivorous. Some anuran species are strictly carnivorous, while others consume only vegetative matter.
For example, the cane toad (Rhinella marina) consumes mostly aquatic vegetation, although it has been observed to prey on small vertebrate animals. Other species, such as the poison arrow frog (Dendrobates pumilio), are primarily herbivorous.
The diet of the American toads consists of a combination of both animal and plant foods.
The diet of adult male Bufo viridis ranges from 50% to 100% animal matter. This percentage increases with age. Adult females generally eat less animal matter than males. Larvae are entirely vegetarian.
The diet of the European green toad (Bufotes viridis) consists of 70-80% animal matter.
The diet of juvenile Rana esculenta is predominantly animal-based, consisting of up to 80% animal matter. As juveniles grow older, their diet shifts toward greater reliance on plant matter.
The diet of larval salamanders consists of 40–70% animal matter. As adults, they rely almost exclusively on animal matter for nutrition.
Most toads spend much time resting. During this time, they may either hide under logs or rocks or bask in the sun. If they are active during the day, they tend to rest at night.
Ticks are a major problem for toads. These parasites attach themselves to the skin of the toad and inject saliva into the wound. Saliva contains enzymes that digest the blood and tissue of the host.
Ticks can cause serious damage to the skin of the host, causing lesions and inflammation. Ticks can also transmit diseases such as Rocky Mountain spotted fever, tularemia, typhus, and relapsing fever.
In general, toads lay eggs between March and July. They usually deposit their eggs near water. Eggs hatch after approximately 2 weeks. Tadpoles develop within 10 days.
In captivity, the breeding season begins in late spring. Breeding pairs often mate in the evening. After mating, the female lays her eggs in a hole dug by the male. She then covers them with soil. When she returns later, she removes the cover and leaves the tadpole alone until hatching occurs.
Females produce clutches of 3–20 eggs per clutch. Clutches that contain fewer eggs have higher mortality rates.
American toads prefer moist areas close to streams. In fact, many of these frogs will not breed unless there is abundant moisture available. They are found throughout North America except for Alaska and northern Canada.
European green toads prefer dry habitats. They are common across Europe and parts of Asia.
Poison arrow frogs are native to Central and South America. They live in tropical rainforests.
Cane toads are native to Australia. They were introduced into other parts of the world, including Africa and Southeast Asia.
Amphibians are cold-blooded vertebrates that possess gills instead of lungs. They breathe through their skin. Their bodies are covered with a thick layer of mucous called slime.
Many amphibian species are able to change color to match their surroundings. They are known to be very sensitive to light. Some species can even see ultraviolet wavelengths of light.
Amphibians are classified according to how well adapted they are to live in aquatic environments. Freshwater species include frogs, newts, caecilians, and salamanders. Most anurans (toads, frogs, and toads) are terrestrial animals.
However, some species such as the African clawed frog and the American bullfrog are semiaquatic. Semiaquatic species need access to both land and water. Aquatic species include fish, aquatic insects, and marine mammals. All amphibians are ectothermic (cold-blooded).
This means that their body temperature changes depending on environmental conditions.
The largest group of amphibians is the Anura. There are more than 9,000 species of anuran worldwide. The largest genus of anurans is the Xenopus. It includes several species of frogs from South America.
The second-largest group of amphibians is the Caudata or salamanders. Salamanders are characterized by having four limbs and two tails. They are most commonly seen in temperate regions.
The third-largest group of amphibians belongs to the Gymnophiona or caecilians. Caecilians are characterized by having three legs and no tail. They are found in tropical regions.
The fourth-largest group of amphibians belongs to the Microhylidae or leptodactylics. These small frogs are endemic to Madagascar.
What Do Toads Eat From Birth To Adulthood?
Tadpoles feed primarily on algae, bacteria, fungi, protozoa, and detritus. Tadpoles also consume decaying organic matter. A few species may also prey on invertebrate larvae.
When they reach maturity, adult toads begin eating vegetation. They eat mostly plants, but sometimes they eat animal material. Ticks are one example of this. Adult toads may also eat carrion.
When food becomes scarce, toads will migrate to ponds where they can find adequate nutrition. During migration, they secrete a sticky substance that helps them climb over rocks and logs.
In captivity, toads have been observed feeding on crickets, mealworms, earthworms, fruit flies, wax worms, silkworm pupae, and houseflies.
There is no shortage when it comes to the toad’s diet, as they are known to feed on all kinds of different foods depending on the environment that the toad lives in.
Toads that live in the wild tend to follow a vegetation-based diet that mixes plants and animal matter, while toads in captivity will have a diet that is predominantly animal matter.