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We have found lots of small (about 1cm) amphibians. Could they be toads rather than frogs?

Sent in by Matthew Hamman

These tiny amphibians could be young common frogs. They have smooth skin and have two lines down their backs with spots. After hatching from their eggs, the tadpoles will gradually develop into small frogs. This will take about ten to 15 weeks. Once they have completed their metamorphosis, they emerge from the pond and disperse. This usually occurs towards the end of the summer. At this stage they are only about 1cm long. They then spend the next few weeks of their lives in amongst damp vegetation only occasionally returning to water so you might find more in your garden, particularly following wet weather.

Over the next couple of years they will double in size each summer and should be ready to breed after two or three years. They are normally 5cm long when they first breed.

Common toads can look similar to frogs but they have warty skin. They also tend to walk rather  than hop. Common toads have a similar lifecycle to the frogs. Their metamorphosis takes eight to 12 weeks. They emerge from the water and live amongst the undergrowth. They are a similar age and size to the common frogs when they return to breed.

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