the frog with a reflection

How Many Toes Do Frogs Have?

It may come as a surprise, but not all frog feet look the same. Depending on the species, some frogs live in trees, on land, or in water and therefore have bodies and feet adapted to thrive in their ideal environment.

True frog in pond

Aquatic frogs have webbed feet and long, powerful legs to help them jump and swim. Arboreal frogs have padded toes on their feet to help them stick to vegetation and facilitate climbing. And terrestrial frogs (toads) have finger-like toes made for digging.


Frogs have 18 toes: 4 toes on both front feet, and 5 toes on their hind feet. Frog toes may be webbed (aquatic frogs), padded (arboreal frogs), or finger-like (terrestrial frogs).

Aquatic Frogs Have Webbed Feet For Swimming

As a general rule, frogs with webbed feet are powerful swimmers that live in water. Frogs with webbed feet, like American bullfrogs, can quickly swim away from predators.

Closeup of an American bullfrog, Lithobates catesbeianus.

Frogs that live in water (aquatic frogs) tend to have webbed feet, which act like flippers that propel them in the water.

Having webbed toes allows aquatic frogs to have more velocity and swim faster by pushing the water behind them with more force and volume.

African Dwarf Frogs have webbing on all their feet since they are fully aquatic frogs.

Closeup of an African Dwarf Frog in a lake

Examples of Frogs with webbed feet include American Bullfrogs, Leopard Frogs, Pig Frogs, Pickerel Frogs, Tarahumara Frogs, Common Frogs, African Dwarf Frogs, and Columbia Spotted Frogs.

Arboreal Frogs Have Padded Toes For Climbing

Arboreal frogs, or tree frogs, tend to have feet with sticky pads on each toe. These pads allow them to stick to bark, branches, and leaves. Tree frogs are generally excellent climbers.

Climbing European tree frog

Tree frogs may have long fingers, allowing them to wrap around vegetation and hold it in place.

Toads Have Fingers Made For Digging

Terrestrial frogs (toads) have feet with finger-like, pointed, or spaded digits, allowing them to be excellent diggers. Toads do not climb, swim, or jump very well since their legs are short, but their fingers and toes allow them to dig and crawl.


Toads dig backwards using their hind feet to push dirt out of the way, left and right, until they gradually dig themselves into a hole and can burrow in the moist ground.

Eastern spadefoot toad in natural habitat

Spadefoot Toads also have a distinct, long, claw-like middle spade on their hind feet made for digging.


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