Common Toad

(Bufo bufo)

A species protected by Regional Law 10/2008.

This is the largest native anuran (tailless amphibian) in Europe.


Present in Europe, North-Western Africa, Palearctic Asia.


These can be easily identified by their size, abundance of warts on their backs, and their variable colouring from brown-grey to reddish. They feed on small invertebrates and vertebrates such as other amphibians and young reptiles. Reproduction begins at the end of February, the eggs hatch about two weeks later, and the tadpoles’ development is complete in about 2–3 months. The tadpoles are unpleasant to fish.


They can be found in any type of environment, except in the reproductive period, when they live in the water. In fact, they live exclusively on land, and become active only at sunset and at night. For reproduction, they prefer Lake Iseo to the peat bogs, coming down from the mountains of Paratico to the lake, often becoming a victim of vehicle traffic. The help of volunteers is essential in this sense. From March to April, they place physical barriers at the edge of the road, collecting and carrying the toads to the other side of the road at night. This serious problem is called ‘habitat fragmentation’, and it has serious repercussions for species conservation.

Observation in the Torbiera Reserve

They are difficult to observe at the reserve because they leave their hiding places only at sunset and at night.

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