How to Identify Toad Eggs from Frog Eggs

ID and Disposal the Easy Way

cane toad eggs out of the water

In Australia at least, toad eggs look nothing like any Australian frog's eggs so they are easy to identify (If you are overseas and have other species in the Bufo genus, you might not be able to tell which species of toad the eggs are.). All Australian frogs lay their eggs in clumps or spreading mats rather than strings. They might be clumps under water attached to a rock or vegetation, a lump of foam (like frothed up laundry soap) on the water's surface, or as a film which spreads across the surface. (Microhylids lay clumps of eggs in soil and would not be readily identifiable to most people as being frog eggs at all, much less confused for toad eggs.)

It is rumoured that the cane toads in Australia are two different subspecies - this photo would suggest that as the eggs are double stranded where most toad eggs are single stranded (as above)

Cane toads lay their eggs in very long strands of clear jelly, sort of like small black pearls in a long clear plastic tube. These strands can get all tangled up in underwater vegetation so, at first, they might look like the eggs are clumped together, but if you use a stick or rake to try to pick them up, the long strands will hang down and you'll see that they are not clumped at all. If there is nothing underwater for the eggs to tangle onto, then they will sink to the bottom.

Pull the toad eggs out of the water and dispose of them by either putting them into your compost bin, burying them in the garden or leaving them on the lawn to dry in the sun.

In a warm climate, the eggs will hatch in only 24 to 48 hours so a daily vigilence of a pond is necessary to catch them while they are still eggs.