Talk:Common toad

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Featured article Common toad is a featured article; it (or a previous version of it) has been identified as one of the best articles produced by the Wikipedia community. Even so, if you can update or improve it, please do so.
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sporn toadsporn I never heard these words. As used, they seem mean spawn or toadspawn. extensive web searching did find a few uses of the word sporn but I still wonder. is this a regular word? a regional variation? on line dictionaries (including wiktionary) and google's define function had no definitions for it. I dont want to change it myself, but perhaps the article's author would consider it.

Thanks for your careful checking. It was just a spelling error! Billlion 06:24, 29 Oct 2004 (UTC)

I modified the sentence that implied that toadpoles are not tadpoles. The wikipedia article tadpole says: A tadpole is a larval frog, toad, salamander, or newt. This is correct. "toadpole" is cute portmanteau word, but it hasn't reached the level of an accepted word, easily found in dictionaries.

I think your edit is fine. Tadpole does serve as a generic term, however toadpole is widely term in the England, although perhaps not so much by biologists! Many small children and their parents who have dipped their jam jars in ponds to catch them for generations would make the distinction between tadpoles and toadpoles. Billlion 06:24, 29 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Interestingly tadpole comes for the old english tadige or tadie for toad! Maybe old english pond dippers didn't make so fine a distinction.Billlion 06:29, 29 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Fuzzy picture[edit]

My picture wasn't "fuzzy". that is actually the toads texture. Not sure if the French picture of mating toads is better, it does illustrate the size difference between male and female and the variation in colour, but it does not show the body shape and shorter legs (compared with a frog). Any views please? Billlion 07:13, 8 May 2006 (UTC)

Earthquake detacter[edit]

I read the news online. Wow! They are the kinda the first species of animals which's scientifically proven to be able to preticted the coming of an earthquake. It had proven they had forecast an earthquake 5 days earlier in central Italy. AMAZING!!! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:53, 19 April 2010 (UTC)


Why are all of the pictures showing them mating? (talk) 12:03, 15 March 2012 (UTC)

They no longer are. Cwmhiraeth (talk) 12:46, 30 April 2012 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Common toad/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: Sainsf (talk · contribs) 13:13, 2 May 2012 (UTC)

This article is a good one, but I think it still needs expansion. These points can prove useful:

  • The lead section seems precise but is unreferenced. You can put some to verify a few statements. See Sasater's comment below. Cwmhiraeth (talk) 13:22, 3 May 2012 (UTC)
  • "Very occasionally the common toad hybridizes with the natterjack toad, (Bufo calamita) or the European green toad (Bufo viridis)." Can you describe the hybrid thus formed? It would be good. My source gave no further information. Cwmhiraeth (talk) 13:22, 3 May 2012 (UTC)
  • "In 2007, researchers using a remotely operated underwater vehicle to search for the monster in Loch Ness, Scotland, were surprised to find a common toad hopping along the bottom of the lake at a depth of 324 feet (99 m). They questioned how an air-breathing animal could survive at such depths." What was the conclusion? Good if you can tell, else you can omit the sentence. They were looking for the Loch Ness Monster and not researching toads! Cwmhiraeth (talk) 13:22, 3 May 2012 (UTC)
  • I think you should describe what the toad eats a bit more with more references. Still, I may not be so correct at that. Done. Cwmhiraeth (talk) 13:22, 3 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Finally, it is my suggestion that instead of making a section called 'Roadkill', you had better make it 'Conservation'. You can add information from the IUCN site, mainly on its conservation status. You can describe the threats to the populations here and also the conservation efforts, though it is in the Least Concern. Done. Cwmhiraeth (talk) 13:22, 3 May 2012 (UTC)
  • I appreciate the 'Cultural significance' section as it is well-written, but it is less referenced. Added another reference. Cwmhiraeth (talk) 13:22, 3 May 2012 (UTC)

These are only some points I noticed. On the whole I do not regard this as a Good Article, sorry for that. But still I have kept it on hold because I don't think I have reviewed well, so I suggest you to ask user Stemonitis to review this article, for he would be someone worth consulting. As notified on the talk page, you can also take help of the German version.

  • If you are minded to fail this article, please specify precisely which of the GA criteria are not met so that I can work on these aspects. Cwmhiraeth (talk) 13:22, 3 May 2012 (UTC)
  • I have added a few facts from the German Wikipedia but Google translate is not ideal and there are very few citations in the German language article. Cwmhiraeth (talk) 13:16, 26 May 2012 (UTC)

Driveby comments by Sasata (talk) 15:35, 2 May 2012 (UTC)

  • the lead does not need to be cited (per WP:LEAD), as everything mentioned in the lead will be (in theory) cited later in the article.
  • there have been some recent phylogenetic studies of the Bufo bufo species complex that should certainly be discussed here
Title: Molecular phylogenetics and historical biogeography of the west-palearctic common toads (Bufo bufo species complex) I have created a Taxonomy section and used this.
Author(s): Garcia-Porta J.; Litvinchuk S. N.; Crochet P. A.; et al.
Source: MOLECULAR PHYLOGENETICS AND EVOLUTION Volume: 63 Issue: 1 Pages: 113-130 DOI: 10.1016/j.ympev.2011.12.019 Published: APR 2012
Title: Multilocus species tree analyses resolve the radiation of the widespread Bufo bufo species group (Anura, Bufonidae) I have created a Taxonomy section and used this.
Author(s): Recuero E.; Canestrelli D.; Voeroes J.; et al.
Source: MOLECULAR PHYLOGENETICS AND EVOLUTION Volume: 62 Issue: 1 Pages: 71-86 DOI: 10.1016/j.ympev.2011.09.008 Published: JAN 2012
  • where's the taxonomy? Done. Cwmhiraeth (talk) 13:22, 3 May 2012 (UTC)
  • does it have any predators? Yes. I have added this information.
  • is it under threat from chytridiomycosis? Yes, mentioned.
  • in general, I think the coverage is a ways from reaching the broad coverage criteria of GA; a Web of Knowledge search brings up over 9000 results, compare that with the 20 references cited here. I have expanded the article with the help of a number of new sources.
  • giving the Mr Toad poem in full seems to be WP:UNDUE weight; also, if it is to be included, there should also be a citation that gives us some kind of indication about its cultural significance Done.
  • Thank you Sainsf for undertaking this review and Sasata for your comments. I will deal with the points you both raise over the next couple of days. I especially agree with what Sasata says about the Mr Toad poem, - its what I thought myself really! Cwmhiraeth (talk) 17:38, 2 May 2012 (UTC)

Driveby comment by LittleJerry (talk) 21:39, 4 May 2012 (UTC)

  • Apart from Iceland and the cold northern regions of Scandinavia, the common toad is found in the whole of Europe with the exception of Ireland and a number of Mediterranean islands including Malta, Crete, Corsica, Sardinia and the Balearic Islands. This sentence doesn't should right. I think, something like "The common toad is found thoughout Europe, excluding...." would be better.
  • Done. Cwmhiraeth (talk) 05:23, 5 May 2012 (UTC)

Another review[edit]

I took another look at the article, and I pass them section-wise:


It is well-written, no need of references. I do not regard it important, the latter part is not linked anywhere. But,  Pass.


Some work here.

  • There is no mention of who named the species and when. Add a sentence about Linnaeus. Done.
  • In the subspecies section, how about adding a photo of the subspecies? I vote for this: File:Bufo bufo spinosus.JPG Photo of B. b. spinosus. It would improve the quality. Done.
  • Very occasionally the common toad...European green toad (Bufo viridis). The phrase 'very occasionally' should be clarified. My source gave no further information so I have removed this sentence.

Bufo bufo gredosicola is not a synonym of Bufo bufo, but of Bufo spinosus, see here:


  • The section needs some more references. The 2 references at the end of the paragraph cover the contents of the whole paragraph.
  • The colour is a fairly uniform shade of brown, olive-brown or greyish-brown, sometimes partly blotched or banded with a darker shade. I think this should be split into two sentences. Done.
  • I see the info about lifespan is in the next section. Better have it here. Done.

Distribution and habitat[edit]

  • You need reference(s) to support the claim in the first sentence. Done.
  • Common toads can live for many years. Any nearby estimate for how many years? Done.

I will be having more comments soon. It is ready to be GA, just some more changes here and there. --Sainsf <^>Talk all words 06:13, 12 June 2012 (UTC)

I have dealt with the points you have made above. Cwmhiraeth (talk) 18:11, 12 June 2012 (UTC)


  • It spends the day concealed in a lair that it has hollowed out under foliage or beneath a root or a stone where its colouring makes it inconspicuous. Is it a camouflage it uses? Better mention it if it is so. It is usually completely hidden.
  • It has a large appetite. Is it generally or always so? I understand that it eats everything of a suitable size that it sees moving.
  • As a defence against predators, the paratoid glands and the warts secrete a toxic, foul tasting substance, a bufotoxin called bufagin. I think it would be better rewording it as It secretes a toxic, unpalatable substance called bufagin the paratoid glands and the warts, a bufotoxin that defends it from predators. Or split it. Done.
  • How about linking the first paragraph?


  • In the first paragraph hibernation, spawned can be linked. There may be a few more terms that ought to be linked. Done.
  • Rather than fighting for the right to mate with a female. The 'right' can be reworded as dominance. I don't think this would be an improvement.
  • Nevertheless, fights do occur. It should be reworded. Done.
  • At one pond where males...mounted on females. Was it an experiment? Better notify. Done.
  • The males are very enthusiastic, will try to grasp fish or inanimate objects and often mount on the backs of other males. Why do they do this? Because of their keenness to mate.
  • The second paragraph describes two things: the amplexus and tadpoles. Split it into two paragraphs. Done.

Just one point about 'Development and growth'. Link it at places. Done.


  • You say toads are adaptable. How about describing these adaptations in the article (if you can)? It is adaptable because it is not limited to a single habitat but is found in many different environments.
  • All places should be linked, where the toad is restricted or conserved. Done.


Hmm, I find it all right.  Pass.


  • Who are Wieland and Pettit? Researchers?
  • You may place the main article template linking to bufotoxin. The main article on bufotoxin is rather less comprehensive than what I have included here.
  • Link digitalis. Done.
  • Some more references should better be added. Done.

Cultural significance[edit]

  • How about a photo here? If possible. I can't find a suitable image.
  • Were there contradictions to any of these beliefs?  ?

I have this much points. I asked Keilana too, who is currently busy. Still, I believe it will be GA.--Sainsf <^>Talk all words 12:09, 13 June 2012 (UTC)

I have dealt with most of these points and added some extra images. Cwmhiraeth (talk) 05:55, 14 June 2012 (UTC)
Very good work! Thanks for your great patience. I have fixed the 'Wieland and colleagues' with a good citation, no worries. So I go on to make it a GA! --Sainsf <^>Talk all words 06:13, 14 June 2012 (UTC)
You have still not finished making it a GA. As far as I can see, you've only done step 3 in the "Pass" section delineated near the top of the WP:GAN page. Don't forget to do steps 1 and 2! Thanks. BlueMoonset (talk) 16:18, 14 June 2012 (UTC)

Some comments[edit]

After skimming the article (I'll give it a thorough read later), I came across a few issues. The most serious one is that the article specifically states it's only about the Northern European subspecies of Bufo bufo. But if that's the case, then it's not sufficient for an article supposed to cover the whole species. Then it should either have its own article at Bufo bufo bufo, or be expanded to cover all subspecies. I think the last option would be best. It also seems the cultural section covers toads in general, for example by mentioning Zoroaster, but the common toad does not seem to be present in Iran. On that note, it could be nice to have some images in the culture section, and I'll see if I can find any, since you stated you were unable to. There is also other interesting free media which could be used, for example the call[1], a video[2], and a "valued set" showing camouflage[3]. Maybe a lead image where the toad is less obscured by grass could be used? FunkMonk (talk) 13:52, 17 June 2012 (UTC)

There are some medieval etchings here[4], would they not most likely depict the common toad? And some here:[5] FunkMonk (talk) 14:11, 17 June 2012 (UTC)
You make some interesting points here. With regard to the subspecies, I know they exist but I have found practically nothing about them which limits what I can include in the article. I could omit the statement that the article is about Bufo bufo bufo because very few of the sources distinguish between the subspecies at all. Your other points are good too. The etching of the witch feeding her familiars is probably out of copyright. Cwmhiraeth (talk) 05:40, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
Your solution for the subspecies issue is good, and as for the familiars, I can upload that if you don't have time. Since it's most likely from North Europe, isn't it also most likely supposed to depict Bufo bufo? FunkMonk (talk) 07:45, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
I've now read the article and added some more comments on the peer review page. FunkMonk (talk) 22:48, 20 June 2012 (UTC)
Some more suggestions, perhaps you should left align a few images (mainly those that face away from the text otherwise, per MOS), they seem cluttered on the right side? And perhaps add the "upright" parameter to the vertically long images? Then they will not be so huge. Another thing that might be nice is to have a collapsible synonym list, like on Red Rail. FunkMonk (talk) 13:32, 26 August 2012 (UTC)
Maybe we should have a vertical version of the tadpole image made. It protrudes very far vertically, and interferes with much of the article... FunkMonk (talk) 18:38, 7 September 2012 (UTC)

Satan's coat of arms[edit]

Is it just me, or are those frogs instead of toads? The file description also says they are frogs. FunkMonk (talk) 04:57, 10 September 2012 (UTC)

If you look at the article Frog you will see that toad is a term commonly used to describe certain species of Anuran but that there is no taxonomic distinction between frogs and toads. However, I couldn't find a reliable reference for the coat of arms and would suggest that I remove the fact and the image from the article. Cwmhiraeth (talk) 07:58, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
It's of course not an anatomically correct drawing either, but it seems to be more slender, and have a pointier snout than a toad, more like a green frog. FunkMonk (talk) 08:41, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
Found a source for the fact. LittleJerry (talk) 17:56, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
Thank you. That's very helpful. Cwmhiraeth (talk) 18:11, 10 September 2012 (UTC)