First important fact – all toads are frogs, but not all frogs are toads! Frogs and toads are members of the order Anura. Secondly, these amphibians are critical indicators of the health of our environment. Their sensitivity to pollution and changes in the local environment make frogs and toads the animals to watch for early signs of environmental degradation.
Generally speaking, though, when we think of frogs, we generally picture what are called “true frogs”, members of the family Ranidae, containing more than 400 species.
Frogs from this family can be found on every continent except Antarctica. They are referred to as the “true frogs” because of their generalized body form and life history. Members of this family include the bullfrog, common frog, green frog, leopard frog, marsh frog, pickerel frog, and wood frog.
The term toads tends to refer to “true toads”, members of the family Bufonidae, containing more than 300 species.
True toads can be found worldwide except in Australasia, polar regions, Madagascar, and Polynesia, though Bufo marinus has been artificially introduced into Australia and some South Pacific islands.