Bufo is a genus of true toads in the amphibian family Bufonidae. As traditionally defined, it was a wastebasket genus containing a large number of toads from much of the world, but following taxonomic reviews most of these have been moved to other genera, leaving only seventeen extant (living) species from Europe, northern Africa and Asia in this genus, including the well-known common toad (B. bufo).[1] Some of the genera that contain species formerly placed in Bufo are Anaxyrus (many North American species), Bufotes (European green toad and relatives), Duttaphrynus (many Asian species, including the Asian common toad introduced elsewhere), Epidalea (natterjack toad) and Rhinella (many Latin American species, including the cane toad introduced elsewhere).[2]

Common (European) toad, B. bufo
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Amphibia
Order: Anura
Family: Bufonidae
Genus: Bufo
Garsault, 1764

See text


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.[3] The poison of most if not all toads contains bufotoxin.


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.[2] Now, this genus has been reduced to seventeen extant species:[1]

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


  1. ^ a b "Bufo Garsault, 1764 | Amphibian Species of the World". research.amnh.org. Retrieved 2019-10-27.
  2. ^ a b Pauly et al., (2009). Herpetologica 65:115-128.
  3. ^ Penn State University - How safe is it to hold frogs and toads?


  • 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