What Do Toads Eat?

What do toads eat?
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What Do Toads Eat? Toads are notable for their dry, bumpy skin with glands located behind their eyes. These organisms are considered to be opportunistic carnivores, meaning they will eat just about any animal if it fits in their mouths.

Toad’s diet includes a vast range of insects, worms, spiders, snails, and others eat fish.

Table of Contents

What Do Toads Eat?

Type of Toad Diet
Cane Toad (Rhinella marina) Beetles, ants, crickets, winged termites, bugs, honey bees, small toads, frogs, marine snails, small snakes, and small mammals.
American Toad (Anaxyrus americanus) Earthworms, ants, beetles, moths, aquatic organic material, dead fish, other tadpoles, and detritus.
Common Toad (Bufo bufo) Mice, small grass snakes, slugs, spiders, worms, and insect larvae.
Natterjack Toad (Epidalea calamita) Insects, spiders, snails, worms, woodlice, and algae.

Toads Diet by Types

Often confused with frogs, toads are classified in the family Bufonidae. Frogs, on the other hand, are classified in the family Ranidae.

There are notable differences between frogs and toads. Such differences include the fact that frogs are notably longer compared to toads, frogs are mostly aquatic while toads live on land but next to the water, and frogs have teeth while toads do not.

When narrowing down to toads, it is worth to note that about 580 species of these amphibians exist. Samples of these species will be explored in this section.

What Do Cane Toads Eat?

Kingdom Order Family Genus Species
Animalia Anura Bufonidae Rhinella Rhinella marina

What do Cane toads eat?

The cane toad is an opportunistic feeder. Its diet includes insects (beetles, ants, crickets, winged termites, bugs, and honey bees), small toads, frogs, marine snails, small snakes, and small mammals.

  • The cane toad can either be grey, olive-brown, red-brown or yellow. Their bellies tend to be pale.
  • They are commonly found in a vast range of habitats such as rain forest margins, dunes, mangroves, coastal heath, open clearings, woodland, grassland, and urban areas.

What Do American Toads Eat?

Kingdom Order Family Genus Species
Animalia Anura Bufonidae Anaxyrus Anaxyrus americanus

What do American toads eat?

Adult members of American toads feed on earthworms and a vast range of insects including ants, beetles, and moths. Tadpoles feed on aquatic organic material, dead fish, other tadpoles, and detritus.

  • This toad is native to the Nearctic region.
  • The American toad takes up a brown or gray coloration.
  • The members of this species have short legs, a stout body, noticeable warts, and a thick body.
  • They are commonly found in habitat regions that constitute of terrestrial lands next to a freshwater source (rivers, streams, or lakes), chaparral, mountains, scrub forest, rain forest, marsh, and swamps.

What Do Common Toads Eat?

Kingdom Order Family Genus Species
Animalia Anura Bufonidae Bufo Bufo bufo

What do Common toads eat?

The common toad’s diet includes harvest mice, small grass snakes, slugs, spiders, worms, and insect larvae.

  • The common toad has varied coloration ranging from grey, olive-green, dark brown, or they can be sandy colored.
  • This toad inhabits areas next to deep water bodies such as ponds, and other kinds of water reservoirs.
  • This habitat is essential for them when it comes to breeding.

What Do Natterjack Toads Eat?

Kingdom Order Family Genus Species
Animalia Anura Bufonidae Epidalea Epidalea calamita

What do Natterjack toads eat?

Adult members of this species consume insects, spiders, snails, worms, and woodlice. Tadpoles of this species feed on algae.

  • The natterjack toad is found in small numbers in Scotland and Ireland.
  • It grows to a length of about 6-8cm and weight of between 4-19g.
  • This toad commonly inhabits coastal regions, heathland, and moorland.
  • It can also be found in deserts, grassland, inland wetlands, terrestrial lands, and shrubland.

How Do Toads Hunt?

Different techniques come in handy during hunting.

How do toads hunt?

  • One strategy toads use the sit-and-wait approach. In this technique, the toad tactfully positions itself and waits next to vegetation using it as cover for unsuspecting prey.
  • When the prey comes close to it, it uses its sticky tongue to capture and consume it.
  • For the toad species without a sticky tongue, they use the force of their jaws to ambush their prey.

When Do Toads Eat?

Toads are mostly nocturnal creatures. This means they will tend to find food and eat in the dark of the night.

How Often Do Toads Eat?

How often toads eat depend on different factors, one being the weather conditions.

How often do toads eat?

  • During winter (harsh cold temperatures), toads record reduced metabolism, so they stop eating and go into hibernation mode throughout the cold period.
  • As the weather becomes warmer, they become active, and their metabolism increases. Because of this, toads begin feeding more frequently.

What Eats Toads?

Toads produce toxins which ward off predators.

What eats toads?

  • However, some have resistance to these toxins and thus consider toads to be a vital delicacy.
  • Examples of organisms that predate on adult toads include raccoons, some snake species, Hawks, and Herons.
  • Tadpoles and toad eggs are consumed by different kinds of fish and diving bugs and beetles.

Where Do Toads fit in the Animal Food Chain?

Toads play an essential role in the animal food chain.

  • They feed on a vast range of organisms, thus regulating their local population.
  • Toads are a good source of nutrition for creatures like birds, snakes, and mammals, thus promoting their survival.

Cite this article as: "What Do Toads Eat?," in Bio Explorer by Jack Kirsten, January 27, 2019, https://www.bioexplorer.net/what-do-toads-eat.html/.

Key References

  • “Facts About Frogs & Toads | Live Science”. Accessed September 26, 2019. Link.
  • “Cane Toad – The Australian Museum”. Accessed September 26, 2019. Link.
  • “Species Profile: American Toad (Bufo [Anaxyrus] americanus) | SREL Herpetology”. Accessed September 26, 2019. Link.
  • “ADW: Anaxyrus americanus: INFORMATION”. Accessed September 26, 2019. Link.
  • “Common Toad | Where Toads Live and How They Mate – The RSPB”. Accessed September 26, 2019. Link.
  • “Common Toad”. Accessed September 26, 2019. Link.
  • “Natterjack Toad – Amphibia Facts, Information & Pictures”. Accessed September 26, 2019. Link.
  • “Natterjack toad | The Wildlife Trusts”. Accessed September 26, 2019. Link.
  • “IUCN Red List of Threatened Species”. Accessed September 26, 2019. Link.
  • “American Toad”. Accessed September 26, 2019. Link.

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