The toad is an inconspicuous animal as it usually lies hidden during the day. It becomes active at dusk and spends the night hunting for the invertebrates on which it feeds. It moves with a slow, ungainly walk or short jumps, and has greyish-brown skin covered with wart-like lumps. In the breeding season, large numbers of toads converge on certain breeding ponds, where the males compete to mate with the females.
About Common toad in brief
The toad is an inconspicuous animal as it usually lies hidden during the day. It becomes active at dusk and spends the night hunting for the invertebrates on which it feeds. It moves with a slow, ungainly walk or short jumps, and has greyish-brown skin covered with wart-like lumps. In the breeding season, large numbers of toads converge on certain breeding ponds, where the males compete to mate with the females. The common toad seems to be in decline in part of its range, but overall is listed as being of \”least concern\” in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. It is threatened by habitat loss, especially by drainage of its breeding sites, and some toads get killed on the roads as they make their annual migrations. The toads in this genus are included in the family Bufonidae, the true toads. Various subspecies of B. bufo have been recognized over the years. Several modern species are believed to form an ancient group of related taxa from preglacial times. These are the spiny toad, the Caucasian toad and the Japanese common Toad. The European common toads seems to have arisen more recently. It’s believed that the range of the ancestral form extended into Asia but that isolation between the eastern and western species complexes occurred as a result of the development of the Central Asian Deserts during the Middle Miocene. Bufo bufo is part of a species complex, a group of closely related species which cannot be clearly demarcated.
The species complex split off about five million years ago when the Pyrenees were uplifted, an event which isolated populations in those areas from those in the rest of Europe. The remaining European lineage split into those in Europe and those in North Africa. A study published in 2012 indicated a long evolutionary history for the group and indicated that the former should be synonymized with the latter. A recent study examined the phylogenetic relationships between the Eurasian species and the North African species in the Bufos group. It found that the differences between the two were not significant and that the latter should be considered to be a synonym of the former. The spiny Toad is found in France, the Iberian Peninsula and the Maghreb and grows to a larger size and has a spinier skin than its more northern counterparts with which it intergrades. The Gredos toad, b. gredosicola, is restricted to the Sierra de Gredo, a mountain range in central Spain. It has exceptionally large paratoid glands and its colour tends to be blotched rather than uniform. The Caucasian Toad, B. b. verrucosissima, has a larger genome and differs from B. bufo morphologically and is now accepted as Bufi verruCosissimus. It was at one time classified as B b. verru Cosissima.