What we consider toads are the “true toads”, which are part of a single family, Bufonidae, made up of 600 species. Most of them have the typical traits that we expect in toads. However, there are over 7,000 species of toads and frogs in the world and it can easily get quite confusing to know what is a frog and what is a toad. They have similar features because they both make up the order Anura in the animal kingdom. Toads actually make up one group of frogs, so all toads are frogs, but not all frogs are toads.
It can get confusing because the names “frog” and “toad” are used interchangeably in the common names for amphibians. For example, Bombina bombina is a frog but its common names include European fire-bellied toad, ringing frog, fiery toad, and fire frog. Therefore, some frogs are called toads although they are not, just because they look similar. The reverse also occurs, as Harlequin toads are often called Harlequin frogs. However, the easiest way to know is to look at the scientific family. If its in Bufonidae, it’s a “true toad”.
All in all, “true toads” are the only official toads and can usually be distinguished by their appearance. However, there are also some froggy toads and toady frogs.
I've always liked the way that words can sound together. Combined with my love for nature (and biology background), I'm interested in diving deep into different topics- in the natural world even the most mundane is fascinating!