Also available in: Finnish

European toad (Bufo bufo)

The European toad can be distinguished from the European common frog most easily on the basis of its nodular, dry skin. The European toad’s back is a light brown, greyish or blotchy, dark-brown colour. The toad does not jump much, instead it tends to crawl. The male may cry out if it is pressed under the arms. The toad spawns at the beginning of May. Brackish water can also be used for spawning. Outside the spawning season, the toad lives and hibernates on land. The female toad lays eggs in two long strings around aquatic plants or on twigs in the water. The young are initially flat and black, and they later change to a light colour on their underside. The young are poisonous to fish. Also, adult toads are inedible to most animals. Badgers and buzzards avoid the poison by biting the toad’s stomach and by just eating the toad’s entrails. The female toad is normally 8-12 cm long, while the male is smaller, only 5-8 cm. The European toad is common in Southern and Central Finland and rare in Lapland. The European toad is protected.