Do Toads Have Tadpoles? Learn All About Tadpole Hatching Today!

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If you have a toad as a pet, then you would know that most species of frogs and toads do lay eggs that turn into tadpoles. But some species do not have a tadpole stage. And if you want to learn more about the hatching process of toads and many other interesting facts, then this post is for you.

Do Toads Have Tadpoles?

Like frogs, toads are amphibians, and most of the species of toads, after hatching the egg, go from tadpole stage to adult toad. But this is not true with all the species as there is an exception as well. Some species skip the tadpole part of the toads.

Tadpoles are the early stage of toads. When tadpoles are first born, they are only 1 inch long. These little guys live in water and breathe through their gills.

A tadpole will grow to about 4-5 inches before finally turning into a toad.[1] Tadpole bodies are soft and weak. Their mouths are small with no teeth. They have long, thin tails that help them swim through the water.

How Many Babies Do Toads Have At Once?

A female toad will lay anywhere from 300 to 30,000 eggs at a time.[1.1] Then, she will leave them alone and move on. She does not stick around for the hatching or tadpole stage.

Tadpoles are typically about an inch long when they hatch, but their bodies grow by about 500% during the first couple of weeks of their lives. Some may even reach 8 inches in length.

Tadpoles have gills that are used for breathing in water, but as they get bigger, they need to come out of the water more often so they develop lungs that can breathe outside of the water.

Toads lay their eggs in the water, providing no parental care. The female will then fertilize her eggs while they are still within her body and release them into the water, where they are immediately carried away by the current to find a suitable breeding ground.

Toads can have up to 50,000 eggs in a lifetime.[1.2] The female will lay eggs in the water. Some of these may be eaten by fish and not their destination.

What time of year do toads have babies?

YouTube video

Most toads mate in spring or summer. The best time to find a toad with a fertilized egg is day or evening hours. The toads can start mating in March or April, going long up to July.

The mating and procedure of having babies depend upon the right temperature and environment for the toads. That is why the climate, like in spring or summer, is perfect for the toads to have toad babies.

They do not breed in winters as they have to go to hibernate to survive. At the mating season, the males come up to the surface first and start searching for the best place to mate.

How do Toads lay there eggs?

YouTube video

Toads lay their eggs in waterbodies like ponds, ditches and marshes while doing a mating ritual called amplexus. In it, Male and female float together and when the female sees fit, the male fertilizes the eggs and then the eggs are released there.[2]

The ritual is quite intense and they produce heavy sounds while doing so. A female can release as many as 30,000 eggs in mating. Very few of them eventually become tadpoles.


Do Toads Lay Eggs In Chains? What do they look like?


Toad egg pattern thanks to SetterGuy at

Toads lay their eggs side by side in what appears like a ribbon or a chain like formation.[3] The spot is chosen by the female and these are laid where the mating happens.

Thanks to Eastsideloco on

This is usually done by going over the ground and looking at the spot where they want to mate.

However, there have been recorded cases where these animals laid their eggs on chains made up of occasionally loose stones spaced apart by not more than one inch.

Do All Frogs And Toads Start As Tadpoles?

A very small number of species of toads do not pass through a tadpole stage but instead use an unusual reproducing strategy where females give birth once every two years without mating with males.

But generally speaking, most frogs and toads start their life cycle as eggs floating in the water, and then developing into tiny tadpoles that hatch about 2-4 days later.

Toads and frogs start as eggs laid by the female frog or toad in ponds or lakes, groundwater, or puddles. When the eggs hatch, they become tadpoles.

Tadpoles spend most of their time in the water and undergo a process called metamorphosis, which is when they change from larvae into frogs or toads. Finally, they leave the water and live on land as adults with viviparous reproductive cycles.

Where Do Toads Lay Their Eggs?

Toads lay their eggs in wet areas where there is ample amount of water, heat, and vegetation for the tadpoles to survive.

But they may also lay them on dry land covered by leaf litter because they need plenty of moisture but not too much sun.

The toad will pick a spot both deep enough and shaded by trees and plants; these help keep the egg moist, warm, and safe from predators like birds and snakes.

Some toads even choose places with lots of insects so that there’s always company for their young.

Do American Toads Have Tadpoles?

American toads lay their eggs in a string to hatch in from five to ten days. Then you would see the eggs turning into tadpoles.

It takes six to eight weeks to grow these tadpoles into fully grown adults. You can differentiate the American toads because of their black color.

They usually grow to the length of two to three centimeters. Scientists have found that American toads produce tadpoles when there is too much water nearby for them to lay eggs.

What Toads Do Not Have A Tadpole Stage?

common toad, bufo bufo, amphibian

The common toad or a bufo bufo toad is among those that do not go under a tadpole stage.[4] Tadpole and other breeding stages lie in the safety and the environment of the place.

The toads often lay their eggs in water, but some lay an egg on the ground. Thus to have safe and secure situations, the eggs directly turn into a young toad, and it skips the stage of being a tadpole.

These species skip the tadpole stage because they cannot get the proper requirement of the tadpole stage.

For example, there is not enough water on the surface, or if they are near the river, the water could be too fast to have tadpoles.

Do Fish Eat Toad Tadpoles?

tadpole, water snail, underwater

Large predatory fishes such as goldfish, betta, and much more feed on tadpoles. But some of the species of tadpoles are not for the fish to eat as they are quite poisonous.

If any fish would try to eat those poisonous tadpoles, they can suffer severe health problems, or it may result in their death. That is why fishes avoid the harmful tadpoles, such as tadpoles of common toads.

Do Baby Toads Need Their Mom?

Baby toads are independent and don’t need their mom to survive in harsh conditions. It is common for all the mom toads to lay their egg and move on.

But this does not mean that they do not care about their babies. The toads lay their eggs in a safe and secure place both underwater and on the ground. They try to lay the eggs in hiding spots under the stones or the plants under the water.

How Long Does It Take For Tadpoles To Turn Into Toads?

A tadpole takes a little more time than the frogs to finally reach the adult phase hood. So right from the hatching of the eggs, it may take the toad’s tadpole about 14 to 16 weeks to get fully transformed into adult toads.

After that, there are many stages of growth associated with the tadpoles. Then, the final stage of metamorphosis takes place quite quickly in the toad’s tadpoles.

What Do Baby Toads Eat?

Thanks to Reddit user u/BerIsHer

Tadpoles eat tiny plant life that falls on the bottom of the pond. They also eat insects and other small animals that find their way into the water.

As you know, tadpoles mostly live underwater till they become mature and adult toads. Thus, they feed on the plant matter present inside the water to survive.

Should I Feed Tadpoles?

If you have toads as your pet, you want their tadpoles to be healthy and grow properly. Thus you should feed them with nutritious food to keep them healthy.

You can give them food items such as bloodworms, fish pellets, insect larvae, small fish, mealworms, crickets, boiled eggs, etc.

As you know, tadpoles are important to becoming toads, and they are continuously growing in this stage. Thus you should feed them regularly and at least twice a day.

What Is A Tadpoles Favorite Food?

The tadpoles living in the wild eat whatever they get, but the tadpole’s pet in the house usually likes tadpole foods. The favorite food of tadpoles is egg yolks, algae wafers, vegetables, and fruits.

The tadpoles eat a variety of food items, making it easy to pet them in the house.

What To Feed Tadpoles When They Get Legs?

The tadpoles starting to grow legs are very near to adulthood, which means that they are bigger and now need nutritious food. You now have to serve them more protein in the food for their proper growth.

If you are confused about what to give to your tadpoles, don’t worry; serve them with flaked food.

Fish food like pellets and other small insects is a good option for them to fulfill their everyday need of food.

Where Do Baby Toads Hide?

Thanks to Reddit user u/sharklar

Baby Toads hide in damp places like holes, muddy pathways, and under leaves. They have soft, slimy skin. An adult toad is as big as your hand and is covered with warts.

The eyes of a baby toad are tiny dots on top of its head. Its belly is slimy white. Baby toads find their way into the water by hopping on wet grass or leaves that stick together.

When the weather is getting warmer, and their skin is hardening, toads stop hiding and find secure places to live.

Like muddy pathways and under leaves, Damp places are all good places for baby toads to hide. They also hide in small holes they make in damp soil and under rocks.

Do Tadpoles Eat Each Other?

tadpoles, lake, water

The chances of a tadpole eating other of their own are very rare, but this happens. The young tadpoles are herbivores, but as they grow and reach adulthood, they become carnivores.

Thus if the conditions would be against them or due to high completion for food, they can kill and eat each other to fulfill the need for meat.

In general, the tadpoles are peaceful and docile, but hunger can lead to anger issues in them, forcing them to eat other tadpoles.

Why Do Tadpoles Come To The Surface?

Even after having gills, you must be wondering what makes tadpoles swim to the surface. The tadpoles have gills, but they do not function as strong as fish and other aquatic animals.

That is why they need to come to the surface to breathe oxygen from the surrounding. But sometimes, in doing so, they expose themselves to the risk of getting eaten by their predators.

This is because the predators such as birds and other animals prey on the tadpoles, and more likely, they can be the dinner of their predators while taking oxygen from the surface.

Do Tadpoles Sleep At Night?

Tadpoles have so many predators both underwater and on the ground; thus, they are very active during the day. They get exhausted during the day though they sleep very little because of the presence of so many life threats. They do not always sleep at night.

Instead, they are very light sleepers, which mean they take shorter naps to stay fresh and active all the time. You can get an idea of how rough life is for the tadpoles.


  • How Do You Tell A Male From A Female Toad?

The easiest way to tell the difference between a male and a female toad is by looking at their back legs. Male toads have dark patches on their backs, while female toads do not.

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