True toads have in common stocky figures and short legs, which make them relatively poor jumpers. Their dry skin is thick and "warty".
Behind their eyes, Bufo species have wart-like structures, the parotoid glands. These glands distinguish the true toads from all other tailless amphibians. They secrete a fatty, white poisonous substance which acts as a deterrent to predators. Contrary to folk belief, handling toads does not cause warts, however due to the poison they secrete, and bacteria on their skins, a person should wash their hands thoroughly after handling one. The poison of most if not all toads contains bufotoxin.
Toads can also inflate their bodies when threatened. Males are usually smaller than females and possess a Bidder's organ, an incomplete ovary. The adult male of many species shows a dark throat. Breeding males have dark nuptial pads on their thumbs.
This is a truly cosmopolitan genus, able to live under adverse conditions, and occurring around the world except in the Arctic and Antarctic, Madagascar, Australia (with the exception of the introduced cane toad), and New Guinea and Oceania.
Formerly, the genus Bufo encompassed many species and was divided into several subgenera. Frost et al. (2006) removed most of the species of former Bufo to other genera and restricted the name Bufo to members of the Bufo bufo group of earlier authors. Now, this genus has been reduced to seventeen extant species:
|Binomial name and author||Common name|
|Bufo ailaoanus Kou, 1984||Ejia toad, Ailao toad|
|Bufo aspinius (Yang, Liu, and Rao, 1996)|
|Bufo bankorensis Barbour, 1908||Central Formosa toad, Bankor toad|
|Bufo bufo (Linnaeus, 1758)||Common toad, European toad|
|Bufo cryptotympanicus Liu & Hu, 1962||Earless toad|
|Bufo eichwaldi Litvinchuk, Borkin, Skorinov, and Rosanov, 2008||Eichwald's toad|
|Bufo gargarizans Cantor, 1842||Chusan Island toad, Asiatic toad|
|Bufo japonicus Temminck and Schlegel, 1838||Japanese toad|
|†Bufo linquensis Yang, 1977|
|Bufo luchunnicus (Yang and Rao, 2008)||Luchun stream toad|
|Bufo menglianus (Yang, 2008)||Menglian stream toad|
|Bufo pageoti Bourret, 1937||Tonkin toad|
|Bufo spinosus Daudin, 1803||Spiny toad|
|Bufo stejnegeri Schmidt, 1931||Stejneger's toad, Korean toad, Water toad|
|Bufo torrenticola Matsui, 1976||Honshū toad, Japanese stream toad|
|Bufo tuberculatus Zarevskij, 1926||Qinghai Lake toad, Round-warted toad|
|Bufo tuberospinius (Yang, Liu, and Rao, 1996)|
|Bufo verrucosissimus (Pallas, 1814)||Caucasian toad|
- Penn State University - How safe is it to hold frogs and toads?
- Conant, Roger. 1975. A Field Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians of Eastern and Central North America. Houghton Mifflin. Boston.
- Pauly et al., (2009). Herpetologica 65:115-128.
- "Bufo Garsault, 1764 | Amphibian Species of the World". research.amnh.org. Retrieved 2019-10-27.
- amphibiaweb.org - Bufo
- Blair (ed.), 1972, Evol. Genus Bufo.
- Frank and Ramus, 1995, Compl. Guide Scient. Common Names Amph. Rept. World
- Frost, D. R.; Grant, T.; Faivovich, J. N.; Bain, R. H.; Haas, A.; Haddad, C. L. F. B.; De Sá, R. O.; Channing, A.; Wilkinson, M.; Donnellan, S. C.; Raxworthy, C. J.; Campbell, J. A.; Blotto, B. L.; Moler, P.; Drewes, R. C.; Nussbaum, R. A.; Lynch, J. D.; Green, D. M.; Wheeler, W. C. (2006). "The Amphibian Tree of Life". Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History. 297: 1–291. doi:10.1206/0003-0090(2006)297[0001:TATOL]2.0.CO;2. hdl:2246/5781.
- Pauly, G. B., D. M. Hillis, and D. C, Cannatella. (2004) The history of a Nearctic colonization: Molecular phylogenetics and biogeography of the Nearctic toads (Bufo). Evolution 58: 2517–2535.
- Pauly, Greg B., Hillis, David M. & Cannatella, David C. (2009): Taxonomic freedom and the role of official lists of species names. Herpetologica 65: 115-128. PDF full-text