True toad

True toad

name = True toads
fossil_range = Fossil range/Sandbox|57|0Late Paleocene – Recent

image_width = 240px
image_caption = Golden Toad, "Bufo periglenes"
regnum = Animalia
phylum = Chordata
classis = Amphibia
ordo = Anura
familia = Bufonidae
familia_authority = Gray, 1825
subdivision_ranks = Genera
subdivision = "See text".

range_map_width = 240px
range_map_caption = Distribution of Bufonidae (in black)

Bufonidae, or true toads, are a family of Anurans; the only family exclusively known as toads. True toads comprise a number of genera, with "Bufo" being the most widespread and well known.


True toads are widespread and occur natively on every continent except Australia and Antarctica, inhabiting a variety of environments, from arid areas to rainforest. Most lay eggs in paired strings that hatch into tadpoles, although, in the genus "Nectophrynoides" the eggs hatch directly into miniature toads.cite book |editor=Cogger, H.G. & Zweifel, R.G.|author= Zweifel, Richard G.|year=1998|title=Encyclopedia of Reptiles and Amphibians|publisher= Academic Press|location=San Diego|pages = 91-92|isbn= 0-12-178560-2]

True toads are toothless and generally warty in appearance and have a pair of parotoid glands on the back of their heads. These glands contain an alkaloid poison which the toads excrete when stressed. The poison in the glands contains a number of toxins causing different effects. Bufotoxin is a general term, different animals contain significantly different substances and proportions of substances. Some, like the Cane Toad "Bufo marinus", are more toxic than others. Some "psychoactive toads," such as the Colorado River Toad "Bufo alvaris", have been used recreationally for the effects of the bufotoxin. Male toads possess a Bidder's organ, of the precise function of which is not yet known.


Bufonidae contains about 500 species spread over 35 genera.


* Stebbins, Robert. "Western Reptiles & Amphibians" (3rd ed.). Houghton Mifflin Co., 2003.
* Halliday, Tim R., and Kraig Adler (editors). "The New Encyclopedia of Reptiles & Amphibians". Facts on File, New York, 2002.

External links


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