Common toad

Finland’s only toad

Common toad, photo Jussi Helimäki

The common toad (Bufo bufo) is a stocky, ungainly toad, and the only toad species found in Finland. It moves mostly by walking, as its hind legs are much shorter than those of frogs. Its uniformly brown skin is covered in wart-like lumps.

The common toad is numerous in Harakka as well as several other places in the archipelago. The female lays two parallel strings of eggs that are typically several metres long and wrap around the stalks of aquatic plants. Each string contains thousands of individual eggs. The tadpoles sometimes swim around in dense schools. The common toad does not reach maturity until the age of three or four, and it can live up to the age of ten in its natural habitat. The largest individuals are female.

Common toads are easiest to see in Harakka in late April, during the spawning season. At night, you can also see them hunting by roads and in yard areas. Be sure to bring a torch if you wish to spot them in the dark! The common toad is a protected species.