—toadish, toadlike, adj. —toadishness, n. —toadless, adj./tohd/, n.1. any of various tailless amphibians that are close relatives of the frogs in the order Anura and that typically have dry, warty skin and are terrestrial or semiterrestrial in habit. Cf. frog1 (def. 1).2. Also called true toad. a toad of the widespread and chiefly terrestrial family Bufonidae, having relatively short hind legs used in hopping and often having at the shoulders swellings containing glands that, along with the skin, secrete an irritating fluid in defense. Cf. frog1 (def. 2).3. any of various toadlike animals, as certain lizards.4. a person or thing as an object of disgust or aversion.[bef. 1000; ME tode, OE tade, tadi(g)e]
* * *Any member of 26 genera (order Anura) of mainly terrestrial, nocturnal, tailless amphibians.Toads have a squat body, short legs, external fertilization, and teeth in the upper jaw. They eat insects or small animals. The more than 300 species of true toads (Bufo) are found almost worldwide. They are 1–10 in. (2–25 cm) long and have thick, dry, often warty skin. Poison secreted by glands on the back and warts irritates the eyes and mucous membranes of predators. Some species' poison can paralyze or kill animals as large as dogs, but toads do not cause warts. Toads reproduce by laying in water two long jelly tubes containing 600–30,000 eggs. The genus Nectophrynoides contains the only anurans that bear live young. See also frog, horned toad.American toad (Bufo americanus).George PorterThe National Audubon Society Collection/Photo Researchers
* * *any squat, rough-skinned, tailless amphibian of the order Anura, and especially a member of the family Bufonidae. The true toads (Bufo), with more than 300 species, are found worldwide except in Australia, Madagascar, polar regions, and Polynesia, though Bufo marinus has been introduced into Australia and some South Pacific islands. Besides Bufo, the family includes 30 genera, one of which (Nectophrynoides) contains one of the few anuran genera to bear live young.Harlequin frogs, which are also known as variegated toads (Atelopus; see photograph), are found in South and Central America. They are commonly triangular-headed and have enlarged hind feet. Some are brightly coloured in black with yellow, red, or green. When molested, the small poisonous Melanophryniscus stelzneri of Uruguay bends its head and limbs over its body to display its bright orange hands and feet. This position may be a method of warning the intruder of the toxicity of the toad.True toads, of which the American toad (Bufo americanus; see photograph) and the European toad (B. bufo) are representative, are stout-bodied with short legs that limit them to the characteristic walking or hopping gait (see video—> of toads hopping). Their size ranges from about 2 to 25 cm (1 to 10 inches). The thick, dry, often warty skin on the back is generally mottled brown. Poison-secreting glands are located on the back and in the warts but are most concentrated in two prominent raised areas behind the eyes, the parotid glands.The poison, which is secreted when the toad is molested, irritates the eyes and mucous membranes of many, though not all, predators. The poisons of the Colorado River toad (B. alvarius) and the giant toad (B. marinus, also called the cane toad) affect animals as large as dogs, in some instances causing temporary paralysis or even death. The Chinese have long used dried toad poison to treat various ailments. Contrary to popular belief, toads do not cause warts.True toads are mainly terrestrial and nocturnal. They frequently remain in fairly small areas, feeding on whatever insects or small animals they can catch with their sticky tongues (see video—> of toad capturing prey). Most remain in their burrows in winter and during drought. They breed in water and may migrate 1.5 km (1 mile) or more to a suitable breeding pond. The eggs (600 to over 30,000, depending on species) are laid in two long jelly tubes. The tadpoles hatch in a few days and transform into adults in one to three months.
* * *