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Frog Eggs Vs Toad Eggs: Similarities and Differences Explored

Frog Eggs Vs Toad Eggs

Frogs and toads are close cousins as they both belong to the order Anura. The two amphibians share many similarities in terms of anatomy, habitat preferences, and life cycle. But what about their eggs? Are they similar or do they have distinct differences?

Frog eggs vs toad eggs: Frogs usually lay their eggs in clusters covered in gelatinous coating. The eggs can range from hundreds to thousands and take less time to hatch. Toad eggs are laid in long strands with gelatinous coating and may take longer to hatch. Most toad species lay their eggs in thousands. Frog eggs are usually smaller than toad eggs.

This article will explore deeper details about the topic of frog eggs vs toad eggs. We’ll discuss what makes the eggs similar or different and the unique characteristics of each of these amphibians’ eggs and reproductive strategies.

Frog eggs vs toad eggs:

Despite frogs and toads being amphibians (and close cousins for that matter), they have key differences in the characteristics of their eggs that you need to know.

In this section, we’ll compare the frogs vs toad eggs along key aspects such as appearance, size, breeding sites, vulnerability, and so on.

Frog eggs vs toad eggs


One of the things that set the two amphibians’ eggs apart is their appearance. Though both eggs are laid in water, they vary completely in appearance. The frog eggs are usually laid in large and round clusters that are all over the water surface. (Source).

However, toad eggs are laid in long, parallel strands resembling black bead strands. The toad eggs are usually attached to the grass, leaves, and other aquatic vegetation near the edge of the water. This makes them more easily visible compared to frog eggs.

Embryos in the frog eggs usually look like black spots centrally located in gel-like globules that are translucent. The black appearance helps these eggs hatch faster as they can absorb more heat from the sun.

Watch the video below on how to tell frog and toad eggs apart


Size and shape of eggs

Toad eggs usually appear smaller than frog eggs. They may also feature a rougher and more textured surface compared to frog eggs due to the presence of extra-long gelatinous strands covering them. As for the shape, frog eggs usually come in oval or round shapes while toad eggs are mostly elongated or oblong.

Frog Eggs

Number of eggs

Both toads and amphibians lay their eggs in large numbers. The most common species of frogs can lay their eggs in masses that range anywhere from tens to thousands. Toads in general will lay thousands of eggs per clutch.

Breeding sites

One of the key similarities between frog eggs and toad eggs is that they are both laid in wet places. The two amphibians’ eggs require a waterbody or moist place for them to survive and develop into tadpoles.

Toad Eggs

However, frogs tend to choose waters that are free of predators like fish while toads do not worry much about predators. This is because their eggs are rarely preyed on and this is due to the toxic, foul-smelling secretions toads spread on the eggs.

Parental care

Some frog species show some level of parental care for their eggs by guarding them until they hatch or carrying them on their pouches or backs.

Some species such as the Darwin will even carry their eggs and tadpoles until they are ready to survive on their own.

Toads, on the other hand, do not exhibit any form of parental care for their eggs. This is probably due to the toxic and foul-smelling secretions we have just discussed above.

How long they take to hatch

The development time also greatly varied between the two amphibians’ eggs. Toad eggs generally take longer to hatch than frog eggs. This is due to the black frog eggs being able to absorb more heat, thus accelerating their development process.

How long they take to hatch

Once hatched, the toad tadpoles generally appear darker than frog tadpoles. Frog tadpoles’ bodies also feature golden speckles. Nonetheless, the two types of tadpoles undergo similar metamorphosis, which is characterized by loss of gills, loss of tail, and digestive system adaptations that prepare them to survive on land.

Survival rates

Toad eggs and their tadpoles are generally poisonous. However, not all frog species are poisonous, so not all their eggs or tadpoles exhibit any toxic behavior. The toxic nature of toad eggs gives them a survival advantage over frog eggs. This means toad eggs and even tadpoles are less vulnerable to predation and may enjoy higher survival rates than frog eggs and tadpoles.

Toad Eggs Survival rates


How to tell the difference between frog eggs and toad eggs?

The easiest way to tell the difference between frog eggs and toad eggs is by checking their appearance. Frog eggs usually come in big clumps that are jelly coated in shallow water. Toad eggs are usually laid in long strands and are usually spotted wrapped around vegetation in slightly deeper waters.

What are toad eggs called?

Toad eggs are commonly referred to as toadspawn. This is similar to frog eggs, which are also called frogspawn.

Do toads lay eggs in chains?

Yes, toad eggs are usually laid in long chains. The eggs typically look like black beads encased in jelly and are usually laid in double rows along each strand. In simpler words, the toad eggs look like jelly-coated necklaces.

The eggs of frogs and toads exhibit distinct characteristics, highlighting the differences between these amphibian species. If you’re interested in learning more about frog eggs, you might find our guides on what do African dwarf frog eggs look like and what do frog eggs look like intriguing as well. Our guide on what do African dwarf frog eggs look like provides insights into the unique features and visual traits of African dwarf frog eggs, giving you a glimpse into their fascinating reproductive biology. Additionally, if you’re curious about the general appearance of frog eggs, our guide on what do frog eggs look like explores the common characteristics and variations of frog eggs across different species. By exploring these guides, you’ll gain a better understanding of the diverse reproductive behaviors and characteristics of frogs and the specific traits of African dwarf frog eggs.


The easiest way to tell toad eggs vs frog eggs is that the former lays its eggs in long parallel strands while the latter lays its eggs in a mass or cluster with a circular appearance. Frog eggs also take a shorter time to hatch than toad eggs.  While some frog species guard their eggs, toads generally do not guard their eggs.

Other than these key differences, both toads and frogs lay their eggs in water and lay them in large numbers. Toad eggs are usually attached to aquatic vegetation while frog eggs are laid on the water surface, making them more easily visible. We hope that this article has provided you with helpful insights on frog eggs vs toad eggs.

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