Bufo blombergi


Bufo is a large genus of about 150 species of true toads in the amphibian family Bufonidae. Bufo is a Latin word for toad.


This is a truly cosmopolitan genus, able to live under adverse conditions, and occurring around the world except in the Arctic and Antarctic, Australia (with the exception of the introduced Cane Toad), and New Guinea and neighbouring islands.

True toads have in common a stocky figure and short legs, which makes them poor jumpers. As with all members of the family Bufonidae, they lack a tail and teeth, and they have horizontal pupils. Their dry skin is thick and warty.

Behind their eyes, Bufo species have a wartlike structure, the parotoid glands. These glands distinguish the true toads from all other tailless amphibians. They secrete a fatty, white poisonous substance which acts as a deterrent to predators. Ordinary handling of toads is not dangerous, and does not cause warts in contradiction to folk beliefs. The venom of most if not all toads contains bufotoxin; the venom of the Sonoran Desert Toad, Bufo alvarius, is a potent hallucinogen containing 5-MeO-DMT and bufotenin. The venom's psychoactive effects are said to have been known to Precolumbian Native Americans.

Toads can also inflate their bodies when threatened. Males are usually smaller than females and possess the organ of Bidder, an incomplete ovary. The adult males of many species show a dark throat. When stressed toads also let a poison seep through thier skin that when swallowed it could kill a large dog.

Two species are found in the British Isles: the Common Toad (Bufo bufo), and the Natterjack Toad, (Bufo calamita). The former is found almost everywhere. The Natterjack, which differs in its shorter limbs with nearly free toes (which are so short that the toad never hops but proceeds in a running gait) and in usually possessing orange/red warts, green eyes & a pale yellow line along the middle of the back, is local in England, the south-west of Scotland, and the west of Ireland. It is further remarkable for the very loud croak of the males, produced by a large vocal bladder on the throat which, when inflated, is larger than the head.

Psychoactive properties

There are several species of Bufo toads which produce venom that has psychoactive properties. The venom of one species (Bufo alvarius) contains both 5-MeO-DMT and bufotenin, while several others contain only bufotenin.


Species in this genus can be quite different, which has led to a recent recommendation in the Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History to split the genus, a recommendation that has been rejected (in part) by many taxonomists (see Pauly et al., 2004, Evolution 58: 2517–2535). Instead, the relationships between the different species are formalized by categorizing them into subgenera, such as Anaxyrus and Rhinella. Other taxonomists recognize various informal species groups, such as:


Bufo is a large group, and it is usually divided into several subgenera. Frost et al. (2006) removed most of the species of former Bufo to other genera and restricted the name Bufo to members of the Bufo bufo group of earlier authors. However, other authors continue to recognize these subgroups of Bufo as subgenera.

Rhinella is composed of a combination of Rhamphophryne and Chaunus (two subgroups of Bufo in the broad sense). Rhinella is recognized as a distinct genus by some, although other herpetologists disagree and maintain these species as a subgenus within Bufo. Here the species of Rhinella are treated in a separate page (where they may be considered a separate genus or as a subgenus of Bufo).

Subgenus Anaxyrus

Contains 22 species - see separate article.

Subgenus Bufo

Composed of 12 species. Found in Temperate Eurasia and Japan south to North Africa, the Middle East, northeastern Myanmar and northern Vietnam.

Binomial Name and Author Common Name
Bufo aspinius
Bufo bankorensis Central Formosa Toad, Bankor Toad
Bufo bufo Common Toad, Common European Toad
Bufo gargarizans Chusan Island Toad, Asiatic Toad
Bufo japonicus Japanese Toad
Bufo kabischi
Bufo minshanicus Gansu Toad, Minshan Toad
Bufo tibetanus Tibetan Toad
Bufo torrenticola Honshū Toad, Japanese Stream Toad
Bufo tuberculatus Qinghai Lake Toad, Round-warted Toad
Bufo verrucosissimus Caucasian Toad
Bufo wolongensis

Group "Bufo"

An assemblage of 25 species which remained outside the main groups. Frost et al. denoted the species in this group as polyphyletic by placing "Bufo" in quotation marks. Presumably, as these taxa are studied they will be allocated to one or another of the existing groups.

Binomial Name and Author Common Name
Bufo ailaoanus Ejia Toad, Ailao Toad
Bufo arabicus Arabian Toad
Bufo atukoralei Yala Toad, Atukorale's Dwarf Toad
Bufo beddomii Beddome's Toad
Bufo brevirostris Kempholey Toad, Short-nosed Toad, Rao's Pale Brown Toad
Bufo cryptotympanicus Earless Toad
Bufo dhufarensis Oman Toad - very similar to Bufo scorteccii
Bufo dodsoni Dodson's Toad
Bufo hololius Malabar Toad, Gûnther's Toad
Bufo kotagamai Kotagama's Dwarf Toad
Bufo koynayensis Humbali Village Toad, Koyna Toad, Chrome-yellow Toad
Bufo mauritanicus Berber Toad, Pantherine Toad, Moroccan Toad
Bufo olivaceus Olive Toad, Baluchistan Coastal Toad, Makran Toad
Bufo pageoti Tonkin Toad
Bufo parietalis Indian Toad, Ridged Toad, Timber Forest Toad
Bufo pentoni Shaata Gardens Toad, Penton's Toad
Bufo scaber Ferguson’s Toad
Bufo scorteccii Scortecci’s Toad
Bufo silentvalleyensis Silent Valley Toad, South Indian Hill Toad
Bufo stejnegeri Stejneger's Toad, Korean Toad, Water Toad
Bufo stomaticus Assam Toad, Indus Valley Toad, Marbled Toad
Bufo stuarti Stuart’s Toad
Bufo sumatranus Sumatra Toad
Bufo tihamicus Balletto's Toad
Bufo valhallae Pulo Weh Toad

Subgenus Nannophryne

Four species. Removed from the synonymy of Bufo by Frost et al., 2006. Smith and Chiszar, 2006 implied that this taxon should be considered a subgenus of Bufo. Found in South America.

Binomial Name and Author Common Name
Bufo apolobambica
Bufo cophotis Paramo Toad
Bufo corynetes Abra Malaga Toad
Bufo variegata Eden Harbour Toad

Subgenus Olletis

Contains 33 species. Frost et al. moved these members to a separate genus in 2006, first to Cranopsis and then to Olletis. Some herpetologists are retaining the use of Bufo at this time (e.g., following Pauly et al., 2004) as the valid name for this group of toads.

Binomial Name and Author Common Name
Bufo alvarius Sonoran Desert Toad
Bufo aucoinae
Bufo bocourti Bocourt's Toad
Bufo campbelli Campbell's Forest Toad
Bufo canaliferus Dwarf Toad
Bufo cavifrons Mountain Toad
Bufo coccifer Southern Roundgland Toad
Bufo coniferus Evergreen Toad
Bufo cristatus Large-crested Toad
Bufo cycladen Northern Roundgland Toad
Bufo fastidiosus Pico Blanco Toad
Bufo gemmifer Jeweled Toad
Bufo holdridgei Holdridge's Toad
Bufo ibarrai Jalapa Toad
Bufo intermedius Gunther's Tropical Toad
Bufo leucomyos
Bufo luetkenii Yellow Toad
Bufo macrocristatus Large-crested Toad
Bufo marmoreus Marbled Toad
Bufo mazatlanensis Sinaloa Toad
Bufo melanochlorus Dark Green Toad
Bufo nebulifer Gulf Coast Toad
Bufo occidentalis Pine Toad
Bufo periglenes Monte Verde Golden Toad
Bufo peripatetes Almirante Trail Toad
Bufo perplexus Confusing Toad
Bufo pisinnus
Bufo porteri
Bufo signifer
Bufo spiculatus
Bufo tacanensis Volcan Tacana Toad
Bufo tutelarius
Bufo valliceps

Subgenus Peltophryne

Contains 11 species. Distributed in the Greater Antilles.

Binomial Name and Author Common Name
Bufo cataulaciceps Schwartz's Caribbean Toad
Bufo empusus Cope's Caribbean Toad, Cuban Toad
Bufo fluviaticus Dominican Caribbean Toad
Bufo fractus
Bufo fustiger
Bufo guentheri Gunther's Caribbean Toad
Bufo gundlachi Gundlach's Caribbean Toad
Bufo lemur Lowland Caribbean Toad
Bufo longinasus Stejneger's Caribbean Toad
Bufo peltocephalus Tschudi's Caribbean Toad
Bufo taladai Cuban Caribbean Toad

Subgenus Phrynoidis

Two species. Redelimited and removed from the synonymy of Bufo by Frost et al., 2006. Others implied that this taxon should be considered a subgenus of Bufo.

Binomial Name and Author Common Name
Bufo asper Malayan Giant Toad
Bufo juxtasper Giant River Toad

Subgenus Poyntonophrynus

Ten species. Frost et al. moved it in 2006 to a separate genus.

Binomial Name and Author Common Name
Bufo beiranus Beira's Toad
Bufo damaranus
Bufo dombensis Dombe Toad
Bufo fenoulheti Transvaal Dwarf Toad
Bufo grandisonae Mossamedes Toad, Grandison's Toad
Bufo hoeschi Okahandja Toad, Hoesch's Toad
Bufo kavangensis Khwai River Toad, Kavanga Toad
Bufo lughensis Lugh Toad
Bufo parkeri Parker's Toad
Bufo vertebralis African Dwarf Toad, Pygmy Toad

Subgenus Pseudepidalea

15 species. Frost et al. moved it in 2006 to a separate genus. It is the Bufo viridis group of previous authors.

Binomial Name and Author Common Name
Bufo balearica
Bufo boulengeri
Bufo brongersmai Tiznit Toad
Bufo latastii Ladakh Toad, Lataste's Toad
''Bufo luristanicus
Bufo oblongus Danatea Toad, Middle Asiatic Toad
Bufo pewzowi
Bufo pseudoraddei Swat Green Toad
Bufo raddei Tengger Desert Toad, Radde's Toad
Bufo surdus Pakistan Toad, Iranian Toad
Bufo turanensis
Bufo variabilis
Bufo viridis European Green Toad
Bufo zamdaensis
Bufo zugmayeri

Subgenus Rhaebo

Eight species. Redelimited and removed from the synonymy of Bufo by Frost et al., 2006. Others implied that this taxon should be considered a subgenus of Bufo.

Binomial Name and Author Common Name
Bufo anderssoni Andersson's Toad
Bufo blombergi Colombian Giant Toad, Blomberg's Toad
Bufo caeruleostictus
Bufo glaberrimus Cundinamarca Toad
Bufo guttatus Spotted Toad, Smooth-sided Toad
Bufo haematiticus Truando Toad
Bufo hypomelas Choco Toad
Bufo nasicus Werner's Toad

Subgenus Vandijkophrynus

Five species. It is the former Bufo angusticeps group of Tandy and Keith, 1972. This group was placed by Frost et al. in a separate genus.

Binomial Name and Author Common Name
Bufo amatolicus Amatola Toad
Bufo angusticeps Sand Toad, Common Cape Toad
Bufo gariepensis Karroo Toad, Gariep Toad
Bufo inyangae Inyanga Toad
Bufo robinsoni Paradise Toad


  • Amphibian Species of the World 5.1 - Bufonidae. Retrieved on 2008-04-05..
  • amphibiaweb.org - Bufo
  • (2004) The history of a Nearctic colonization: Molecular phylogenetics and biogeography of the Nearctic toads (Bufo). Evolution 58: 2517–2535.
  • Frost, Darrel (2006). "The Amphibian Tree of Life". Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 297 1–371.
  • Frank and Ramus, 1995, Compl. Guide Scient. Common Names Amph. Rept. World
  • Blair (ed.), 1972, Evol. Genus Bufo.

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