Common Asiatic Toad
Duttaphrynus melanostictus (Schneider, 1799)

Family: Bufonidae - True Toads

Order: Anura - Frogs and Toads

Class: Anura

Phylum: Chordata - Vertebrates

Kingdom: Animalia

Red List status: Least Concern

Common Asiatic toad, Nakhon Ratchasima Province, Thailand

Adult length  

Male: 57-83 mm    

Female: 65-85 mm, exceptionally to over 150 mm

Tadpole total length: 26-27 mm, tail length to 20 mm


Widespread through southern Asia, from India and Bangladesh to China on the mainland and from the Andaman and Nicobar Islands to Papua New Guinea. Populations on islands east of Borneo represent introductions, and this is probably also true of Bornean populations.

Other common names: Black-spotted toad, common Sunda toad, Javanese toad, black-spectacled toad


Adult: A typical toad, with warty skin, prominent oval parotid glands and short hindlimbs. This large species possesses a relatively small head, with prominent crests leading from the eyes to the parotid glands, and a tympanum half the diameter of the eye. The most distinctive features are black markings along the crests, often outlining the parotid glands and spotting the warts and toes. The parotid gland is large, its length matching the distance between the eye and snout. Ground colour is grey or sometimes brown, and patterning is usually absent. Toes are webbed to half the digits' length. Fingers are blunt, with the first digit as long as or shorter than the second.

Tadpole: Typical of the family, being small, oval and completely black..

Call: Characterised as a "low rattling trill" (Inger & Steubing, 2005).

Similar species: Other large terrestrial toads. The black markings of common Asiatic toad are distinctive and reliably distinguish it from related species. The combination of large size, a narrow, elongated parotid gland, rounded fingertips, and a bony crest curving round the eye to the base of the parotid gland, and the lack of short ridges running between the eyes further distinguishes this species.



Cleared or otherwise disturbed areas, generally found around temporary pools or artificial water sources such as drains. Strongly associated with human habitation and agriculture, and rare in closed forest. The species is often confined to towns in areas where it has been introduced, as in Borneo. Mountains may represent this species' natural habitat.

Elevation: 0-1,800 m



The adult diet consists of ants. This primarily nocturnal toad is fully terrestrial, and shelters under rocks and other large cover objects during the day. It breeds in areas of standing or slow-flowing water, commonly temporary pools.



Before 2006, this species was part of the large typical toad genus Bufo, and so the species is still listed as Bufo melanostictus in most available field guides. It is likely that D. melanostictus represents a complex of multiple species.



Bufo melanostictus, Amphibiaweb, University of California, Berkeley

Berry, P. Y. (1975) The Amphibian Fauna of Peninsular Malaysia, Tropical Press, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Frost, Darrel R. 2008. Amphibian Species of the World: an Online Reference. Version 5.0 (1 February, 2007). American Museum of Natural History, New York, USA.
Inger, R.F. and Stuebing, R. B. (2005) A Field Guide to the Frogs of Borneo, 2nd Edition. Natural History Publications (Borneo) Sdn. Bhd., Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia

van Dijk, P.P., Iskandar, D., Lau, M.W.N., Huiqing, G., Baorong, G., Kuangyang, L., Wenhao, C., Zhigang, Y., Chan, B., Dutta, S., Inger, R., Manamendra-Arachchi, K., Khan, M.S. 2004. Duttaphrynus melanostictus. In: IUCN 2008. 2008 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

Head details of common Asiatic toad. Note the shape of the parotid glands and the black markings.

Duttaphrynus melanostictus, Krong Kep, Kampot Province, Cambodia. Note the rounded tips to the fingers.