Toad gives us an ugly, clumsy impression. I almost believed in the Chinese slang ―A toad wishing to eat swan meat‖ when little. Yet, the Asian Common Toad is actually an admirable survivor in the nature. Asian Common Toad is a m ember of Bufonidae with an adult sized 6 to 10cm, and female has a bigger size than male since female has to carry the male when mating. Asian Common Toad is beneficial to farmers as it consumes pests such as insects, snails and other invertebrates.
Asian Common Toad is probably the most widespread and abundant amphibian in Hong Kong. Compared with frogs with smooth moist skin, dry and warty toad is more adapted to the terrestrial environment. It inhabits varies environments ranging from forest, river bank, to agricultural land and even urban parks. We may observe remarkable amplexus (a kind of external fertilization when male grasps the female and stimulates the release of gametes) in breeding season from February to May, in the Eco-pond of the Lung Fu Shan Environmental Education Centre as a popular breeding site. The most obvious feature of Asian Common Toad is the dark ridges surrounding its eyes, from snout tip to upper part of eardrum. With a pair of sausage - shaped parotid glands behind each eye as the most powerful we apon, Asian Common Toad can secret milky poison to avoid predation by most snakes except venomous Red - necked Keelback and Chinese Cobra. Asian Common Toad may not have a splendid appearance, but it certainly lives with its feet on the ground. If you get to know it better, you may find it more interesting than you could imagine! ( Article and photos by Helen Fong)