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Toad Tadpoles

Interesting Information About Toad Tadpoles

Toad tadpoles are in the same family as frogs and even look quite similar however, both species certainly have their own behavioral traits.  While a frog has pleasantly smooth skin, a toad is covered in warts.  Contrary to popular belief, a toad cannot transmit warts to a human simply by being held.  They do however, contain a venom that can be secreted when they are scared which can cause skin irritation so you should always wash your hands after handling one.

Toads have short hind legs, stubby bodies, bony ridges on their heads and dry, warty skin.  They are typically dressed in shades of gray or brown with jewel-like, brightly colored eyes.  Toads have slightly webbed toes and cannot jump as far as frogs.  Their tongue is attached near the front of their mouth and it flicks forward to grasp its prey with the sticky tip.  Unlike most frog species, toads have no teeth.


Toad tadpoles are significantly different than frog tadpoles.  While frog spawn is a large clumpy substance with a jelly-like consistency that holds the eggs, toad spawn is a long stream of the same type of substance that contains the eggs.  Toad tadpoles are much smaller and darker than frogs as well.

Tadpoles from toads also have another advantage being that they taste horrible to predators so less of them are eaten compared to frog tadpoles.  Also, they typically stick together and swim in schools.


Most toad tadpoles are herbivores feeding only on algae and plants while others are omnivores and will eat detritus and other tadpoles.  During early development, they feed on their own yolk sack which helps them grow and develop.  Within 24 hours of hatching, the tadpole begins absorbing oxygen in through its skin and then the remainder of the yolk is eaten in its intestine.  Two to three days later, its external gills begin to work and it is able to open its mouth.  At this point, the tadpole has the ability to feed on food.  When keeping toad tadpoles as pets, they will eat algae, plants, lettuce, fish food and baby cereal.

Caring For Your Pet Toad

  • Shelter – You will need an aquarium that is at least 24 inches long, 12 inches wide and 12 inches tall.  This will actually be comfortable for two toads if you prefer to have two so the one doesn’t get lonely.  Make sure that the top fits nice and tight.  The tank should always be kept between 59 and 77 degrees Fahrenheit so you should have a thermometer placed in the tank as well.  Never put the tank near a heater or in direct sunlight.  You should be sure to use a full spectrum type of tank light so that your toad receives an abundance of vitamin D.  This will help him properly absorb calcium from his food.
  • Substrate – Toads love to burrow so you must supply digging material such as cypress mulch, leaf litter, peat moss or coconut husk fibers.  Your toad should also be provided with hiding places such as rocks, hollow logs or artificial plants.
  • Hydration – Your toad must be kept hydrated to be healthy and happy.  They love to soak in water however, they are not very good swimmers.  You should place a shallow, fresh bowl of chlorine-free water in the tank everyday.  You may also want to mist your toad and its environment daily to offer some additional humidity.
  • Feeding Time – It is recommended to feed your toad at dusk.  All toads require a minimum of three different types of food everyday.  You  can offer him wax worms, meal worms, super worms, earthworms, moths, spiders, grubs and slugs, as long as they have a good variety.  Your pet toad may require a dietary supplement as well.  Your veterinarian can advice you on quality recommendations for your pet.

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