Toads are about as personable as an amphibian can be, and far bolder than most. Well-protected by powerful skin toxins (they do not cause warts, but their secretions can irritate mucus membranes and abraded skin), they hop about by day, rarely in a rush and often willing to feed from an owner’s hand. Folks frustrated by their generally shyer cousins the frogs may find toad-keeping to be a pleasant change-of-pace.

As most are terrestrial and tend to pass their wastes in water bowls, their care is generally simpler than for other amphibians. However, toads do need a varied diet of live invertebrates, and are sensitive to ammonia build-up in both water and substrate. Most will happily clamber onto one’s palm for a snack, but other handling may damage the skin and cause the release of protective toxins. But from the inch-long Oak Toad to the mammoth Cane Toad, there is a species that can provide many years of fascination for every amphibian enthusiast.