AmphibiaWeb - Bufo gargarizans


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Bufo gargarizans Cantor, 1842
Asiatic Toad, Asian Toad
family: Bufonidae
genus: Bufo
Bufo gargarizans
© 2008 Frank Teigler (1 of 22)

AmphibiaChina logo AmphibiaChina 中国两栖类.

Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN Red List Status Account Least Concern (LC)
National Status None
Regional Status None
conservation needs Access Conservation Needs Assessment Report .


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This large toad ranges in snout-vent length from 56-102 mm. Tympanic membrane small, about 1/3 the size of the eyes, partly covered with skin. Dorsal skin tubercles large. Dorsal coloration dark-gray, olive-gray or olive-brownish, with three wide longitudinal bands. Wide dark band extends from the inner surface of the parotoid onto the body flank. This band is interrupted posteriorly into large spots. Belly grayish or yellowish, without pattern or with small spots posteriorly. Head length is about the same as head width. Parotoid glands are present and shaped like kidney beans. The dorsal surfaces and limbs are warty. Hind limbs are very short. Webbing is present on four of five toes (Fei 1999). It is very similar to the Common Toad (Bufo bufo), but differs from it mainly by having spines on the dorsal skin tubercles and a black band which extends from the outer surface of the parotoid onto the body flank.

The sexual differences are the same as in the Common Toad. Females are larger than males. The hindlegs seem to be relatively longer in males, whereas females have a wider head.

Bufo gargarizans (formerly Bufo bankorensis) is the largest species of frog found on Taiwan, with adult males ranging from 60-110 mm and females from 36.5-104 mm in snout-vent length.

Dorsal coloration varies and may be reddish, yellowish, greenish or dark brown. Patterning also varies, with some individuals having a dorsolateral black stripes, running beneath each parotoid gland. Black or orange-reddish dots may or may not be present. These frogs are reportedly also capable of metachrosis, or changing color (

Distribution and Habitat

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: China, Taiwan

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View distribution map in BerkeleyMapper.
amphibiandisease logo View Bd and Bsal data (50 records).
Bufo gargarizans is found in China (provinces of Fujian, Hunan, Jiangxi, Zhajiang, Jiangsu, Anhui, Hubei, Guizhou, Sichuan, Qinghai, Gansu, Inner Mongolia, Shaanxi, Shanxi, Henan, Shandong, Hebei, Liaonin, Jilin and Heilongjiang). It is also known from Taiwan where it was formerly called Bufo bankorensis (Dufresne and Litvinchuk 2022).

It is generally found in mountainous or hilly areas but occurs at elevations ranging from sea level to 2,700 meters (IUCN 2006). Habitat includes broadleaf forest, mixed forests, orchards, and cultivated fields (IUCN 2006); this species has also been reported to occur at the edges of farms, gardens, creeks, and roads, in dirt holes, and under rocks (Fei 1999).

Previous populations in Korea, Japan, the Russian Far East (northwards to the Amur River valley, as well as some islands, including Sakhalin) and East Siberia (Transbaikalia) have been distinguishable into other closely related species (see Othman et al 2022).

Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
The population density of the toad reaches in some places to dense levels (3600 individuals per square kilometer). Population density varies considerably between years and habitats. In the northeastern part of the range hibernation occurs from September - October to April - May, and reproduction from April - May, or in some habitats to late June. Hibernation occurs on land and also occurs in rivers and lakes at depths of more than one meter.

Breeding season differs depending on the altitude (and temperature) at which a population resides (Huang et al. 2005). Two populations have been described: the high-elevation, temperate population breeds throughout the year, while the lower-elevation, subtropical population has a more limited breeding season, extending from September to February (Huang et al. 2005). Reproduction occurs in lakes, ponds, swamps, puddles, old riverbeds, ditches and rivulets with stagnant or semi-flowing water. Males enter breeding areas before females. Amplexus is pectoral. (IUCN 2006).

The clutch in the form of two strings of eggs, 1.5-2.3 m in length, containing 1200-7400 eggs. Eggs are black and pearl-like and are laid in long strands ( Tadpoles hatch in about five days, are dark black in color and gather together to form large groups ( Tadpoles feed on humus and algae (

Sexual maturity of this toad is probably attained during the 3rd-4th year of life; the majority of adults are 5-6 years old.

This species is nocturnal (Fei 1999). Adult toads consume insects, especially Coleoptera and Hymenoptera. Other invertebrates such as Mollusca, Myriapoda and Arachnoidea are eaten in smaller quantities. On Taiwan, adult toads consume mainly ants (53%), with coleopterans (16%) and termites (9 %) also providing significant portions of the diet (Hou, unpublished data, cited in Huang et al. 2007).

Metamorphosis occurs in summer. Mass mortality of B. gargarizans larvae occurs in pools with high tadpole density of the brown frog Rana dybowskii.

Tadpoles are about 36 mm in total length, with the heads about 13.3 mm. Bodies and tails are blackish brown, with a gray tail tip (Fei 1999).

Trends and Threats
The Asiatic Toad is a widespread species and is not declining.

Some peripheral populations, especially at the northern margin of the range (North China, probably Transbaikalia), are small and isolated, and they may be vulnerable to the alteration of habitats.

Relation to Humans
The influence of anthropogenic factors on B. gargarizans is insufficiently known. The species possesses a good potential for synanthropization, especially in central, optimal parts of its range. It often occurs in settlements and cities which results, however, in its mortality on roads.

In Taiwan, the skin and skin secretions of the toad are sometimes used for traditional medicinal purposes. The white fluid extracts from the parotoid glands are made into a dry paste and then eaten. The paste is believed to have antidote-like and diuretic purposes (

Dufresne and Litvinchuk (2022) intentionally made Bufo bankorensis, distributed on the island of Taiwan, a junior synonym of Bufo gargarizans.


Bannikov, A. G., Darevsky, I. S. and Rustamov, A. K. (1971). Zemnovodnye i Presmykayushchienya SSSR [Amphibians and Reptiles of the USSR]. Izdatelistvo Misl, Moscow.

Bannikov, A. G., Darevsky, I. S., Ishchenko, V. G., Rustamov, A. K., and Szczerbak, N. N. (1977). Opredelitel Zemnovodnykh i Presmykayushchikhsya Fauny SSSR [Guide to Amphibians and Reptiles of the USSR Fauna]. Prosveshchenie, Moscow.

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Fei, L. (1999). Atlas of Amphibians of China. Henan Publishing House of Science and Technology, Zhengzhou.

Huang, C., Wang, C-P., and Ping-Chun, L-H. (2007). ''Toads (Bufo bankorensis) influence litter chemistry but not litter invertebrates and litter decomposition rates in a subtropical forest of Taiwan.'' Journal of Tropical Ecology, 23, 161-168.

Huang, W., and Yuh-Lin, J. (2005). ''Reproductive characteristics of Bufo bankorensis at two elevations in Taiwan.'' Zoological Science, 22, 111-117.

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Bufo bankorensis.” Accessed on 3 March 2008.

Bufo bankorensis.” Accessed on 7 March 2008.

Originally submitted by: Sergius L. Kuzmin (first posted 1999-09-30)
Edited by: Kellie Whittaker, Michelle S. Koo (2024-01-20)

Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2024 Bufo gargarizans: Asiatic Toad <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Jul 17, 2024.

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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2024. <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 17 Jul 2024.

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