Common Toads are brown and warty, with beautiful copper coloured eyes with horizontal pupils. Females are much bigger than males. Mating behaviour can be observed in the autumn, with numbers of males gathering on riverbanks but the main mating season starts in February and long strings of eggs are laid, submerged in the water of the breeding ponds (cf frogs, which lay floating clumps from March - photo). The tadpoles are black and tend to congregate together, often near the surface (unlike frog tadpoles, which are brown and speckled and tend to remain solitary, near the bottom).
Common Toad tadpoles in a known breeding pond in a hamlet near Saint-Aignan, April.xxx
|The size and promenance of the paratoid glands (the lumps between the eyes and the shoulders) suggest that this is a Common Toad, as does the location -- in a damp part of the Forest of Loches.|