American toad

(Anaxyrus americanus)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

LC - Least Concern

American toad

NatureServe

N5 - Secure

S5 - Secure

Minnesota

not listed

Occurrence

Common and abundant

Habitat

A wide variety of habitats, from forests to prairies, with semi-permanent water adjacent to dense vegetation.

Lifespan

5 to 8 years

Size

2 to 4

Photo by Wayne Rasmussen

Identification

This is the most common toad in Minnesota. It can be 2 to 4, averaging 3, at maturity.

The background color is usually brown, rarely greenish, red, or gray. There are brown to black spots, sometimes bordered in white, on the back. The spots contain 1 or 2 warts. There are 2 cranial ridges between the eyes. These ridges do not join at the front or back. There are 2 large warts behind the eyes. These are the paratoid glands, which secrete a toxin to discourage predators.

 
Similar
Species

Canadian toad (Anaxyrus hemiophrys) background color is lighter, white or light brown. The warts on the back may be black, brown, or reddish. The 2 cranial ridges join at the rear to form a prominent bump (boss). In Minnesota it is found only in the west-central and northwest regions.


Tadpole Food

Algae, plant tissue, organic debris

 
Adult Food

Small terrestrial insects and other invertebrates

 
Life Cycle

Eggs are laid in the early May. Larvae hatch in 3 to 12 days. The tadpole stage lasts 40 to 70 days. Toadlets emerge in late June or early July.

Sexual maturity is reached in 2 or 3 years. Most individuals do not survive the tadpole stage. Those that do may reach 10 years of age, but most reach only 5 to 8 years of age in the wild.

Adults hibernate in the coldest winter months and may aestivate during the hot, dry months of summer.

 
Behavior

 


Distribution Distribution Map   Sources: 7, 11, 12, 13, 14, 24.

Comments

Taxonomy
This species was formerly classified Bufo americanus. In 2006 all North American true toads (family Bufonidae) were transferred out of the genus Bufo by Frost et al. and several new genera were created.


Taxonomy

Superorder:

Batrachia (amphibians)

 

Order:

Anura (frogs and toads)

 

Suborder:

Neobatrachia

 

Superfamily:

Hyloidea

 

Family:

Bufonidae (true toads)

 

Subfamily:

Raninae

 
Subordinate Taxa

dwarf American toad (Anaxyrus americanus charlesmithi)

eastern American toad (Anaxyrus americanus americanus)

 
Synonyms

Bufo americanus

 
Common
Names

American toad


 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

aestivate

A period of reduced metabolic activity in the summer, similar to hibernation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

       

Visitor Photos

   
Share your photo of this amphibian.

Brian Blom


  American toad   American toad

Wayne Rasmussen


American toad found in Nerstrand Big Woods SP a few years ago. Hiking here will usually provide wildlife of some kind or flowers in the spring.

  American toad    
       

This is one of Minnesota's best known herp species. Adults are 2 to 3 1/2 inches snout to vent. The ground color is highly variable, but it is usually a shade of brown. Rarely it is gray, red, or greenish. There are black spots on the back. These spots contain one or two warts. These black spots often have a white border. They have an oval partoid gland behind each eye. The belly is white or yellowish and is heavily mottled with black. There is usually a light mid dorsal stripe down the back.

  American toad    

Bill Reynolds


  American toad    

       
       

MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos

   
  American toad   American toad
       
  American toad   American toad
       
  American toad    
       

 

Camera

     

Slideshows

   
  American Toad (Bufo americanus americanus)
Andree Reno Sanborn
 
  American Toad (Bufo americanus americanus)  
     
  American Toad (Anaxyrus americanus)
Bill Keim
 
  American Toad (Anaxyrus americanus)  
     
  Bufo americanus (Eastern Toad)
Allen Chartier
 
  Bufo americanus (Eastern Toad)  
     
  American Toad
newfoundlander61
 
  American Toad  

 

slideshow

     

Visitor Videos

   
Share your video of this amphibian.

     
     

Other Videos

 
  Eastern American Toad (Anaxyrus americanus)
WisCBMnetwork
 
   
 
About

Published on Apr 30, 2012

WI Frog and Toad Survey: http://wiatri.net/inventory/FrogToadSurvey/

WDNR Eastern American Toad profile: http://dnr.wi.gov/org/land/er/biodiversity/index.asp?mode=info&Grp=21&SpecCode=AAABB01020

 
     
  Eastern American Toad Tadpole Die Off
Scott Tucker
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Jan 25, 2012

In this 2 minute scene from Expedition New England's episode #86 Scott Tucker and his family stumble upon a die off of thousands of Eastern American Toad tadpoles in a Vermont river bed . This was a very unexpected breeding area since these amphibians are usually found in vernal pools that are isolated from fish habitat. Was this a sign of climate change where our aquatic environments are drying up too quickly or was it just a typical seasonal fluctuation? Either way the fact remains that thousands of these creatures never metamorphosed into toads and their gene pool is gone.

 
     
  American toad calling
HerpNet
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Mar 20, 2009

American toad calling

 
     
  American toads calling 2
HerpNet
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Dec 19, 2009

American toad calling from a flooded stream.

 
     

 

Camcorder

         

Visitor Sightings

   
Share your sighting of this amphibian.

Brian Blom
8/24/2017

Location: Crow Wing County, Deerwood

American toad


Wayne Rasmussen
5/31/2006

Location: Nerstrand-Big Woods State Park

American toad found in Nerstrand Big Woods SP a few years ago. Hiking here will usually provide wildlife of some kind or flowers in the spring.

American toad


Wayne Rasmussen
5/31/2016

Location: Nerstrand-Big Woods State Park

This is one of Minnesota's best known herp species. Adults are 2 to 3 1/2 inches snout to vent. The ground color is highly variable, but it is usually a shade of brown. Rarely it is gray, red, or greenish. There are black spots on the back. These spots contain one or two warts. These black spots often have a white border. They have an oval partoid gland behind each eye. The belly is white or yellowish and is heavily mottled with black. There is usually a light mid dorsal stripe down the back.

American toad


Bill Reynolds
10/1/2013

 

American toad


     
     
 

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