Thursday, October 1, 2009

Toxic Toad

I found this tiny toad – a juvenile that’s developed from one of this year’s toadpoles – sheltering under a stone in the company of two slugs that were substantially larger than this bite-sized amphibian.

Baby toads like this are not as vulnerable as they look, because their skin secretes a foul-tasting poison that deters most potential predators. Just behind the eye, on either side of the head, there’s a dense area of poison-secreting tissue concentrated in the parotid glands, which are clearly visible as paler, elongated swollen lumps with prominent pores in this alarmed youngster.


  1. What a grand set of photographs, thanks.

  2. I echo Adrian. Beautifully clear photos which illustrate the text perfectly.

  3. What a tiny little feller.
    Great shots too Phil, especially that last close-up.