Once spawning is completed in the spring months, toads spend the next few months on land, leaving their aquatic habitat behind. Some toads finish breeding in May, but some do not finish until early June. However, from the end of the breeding season, toads leave the safety of the water.
Toads are terrestrial in summer and must ensure that their skin doesn’t dry. Toads have to be careful of predators in summer, and poisonous parotoid glands on their sides help to keep them safe.
Please read on if you want to find out how toads survive during the summer. There is also a great video below.
Toads are more active at night than during the day in summer. As with all amphibians, toads are cold-blooded, so they need to warm up in the warm sunshine of a summer day.
Toads can only spend a few minutes at a time in the sun as they will start to overheat. If they overheat for too long, they can die. To prevent this, toads have moist skins, which cools them down along with their skins’ evaporation. Toads must balance keeping warm from the sun and being too cold from moisture evaporation.
Toads have moist skins and have various methods to keep them this way. Toads will stay near to water in the summer to swim or drink from it. Toads have mucous glands below the skin, which secrete and keep the skin moist.
Toads shed their skin much like snakes do over the summer, which keeps the skin in good condition. Toads will eat the transparent skin they take off with their feet.
On a scorching summer day, toads can be seen burrowing into sandy soil to avoid the heat. Toads use their long legs to bury themselves, which they can do very fast. They conserve moisture by sheltering from the sun before coming once the sun has gone down.
If you find a toad in your garden during the summer, you may notice that they do the same things daily. Toads stick to their habits in the summer and are very predictable.
Toads will feed in the same place for many weeks, catching food from a favorite place, such as a rock.
Toads are also predictable in where they hide or bury themselves during the summer. They can often be found in the same place at the same time each day. Once a few weeks have passed, the toad will select a new place to feed and hide during the day. The toad will continue their predictable habits for a few more weeks before moving on again.
Toads will almost eat anything that moves. They have been known to eat insects, earthworms, spiders, and small mammals such as mice and small snake species.
A toad can be your best friend when dealing with pests such as slugs, snails, and ants if you have a garden.
Toads use both stealth and quickness to feed. They wait until they see their prey moving within their range. Once the insect is in range, they use its tongue, which is modified for catching insects.
The tongue extends forwards very quickly and catches the prey on the tip, which is sticky. They then flick it back into the mouth when squashed between the jaws. Toads do not have teeth, using bony jaws to crush prey instead.
During the summer, many predators will feed on toads. Stoats are small mammals that will feed on toads during summer, as will many bird species, including gulls, crows, jays, herons, and egrets.
Toads do not seem like they are the most aggressive animals, and indeed they are not, but they do have defense mechanisms that they use.
Toads have poison glands located just behind the eyes on either side of their body. These glands are called parotoid glands and can be seen as oblong bulges. If predators try to eat the toad, they produce a secretion, a mild poison. Although not deadly, this will cause inflammation to the skin and is enough to put off most predators.
Some toads can grow quite large, and another defense mechanism they use is to inflate themselves to make themselves appear even more significant. They can be almost round, with their legs outstretched and their head lowered.
By summer, the tadpoles are ready to leave the water where they grew from eggs. After rainfall, they usually go into the water as tiny toads. Even when young, toads are not as reliant on water as frogs and can live on land in their first year. The young grow over the summer by feeding insects, worms, spiders, and slugs.