American toad

(Anaxyrus americanus)

Conservation Status
Xxxxxxxxxx
 
  IUCN Red List

LC - Least Concern

 
  NatureServe

N5 - Secure

S5 - Secure

 
  Minnesota

not listed

 
           
           
           
 
Description
 
 

American toad 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 3 or 4 pairs of brown to black spots, sometimes bordered in white, on the back. There is often a pale line down the center of the back. Each spot contains 1 or 2 large warts. There are 2 cranial ridges between the eyes. These ridges do not join at the front or back. There are 2 large swellings behind the eyes. These are the paratoid glands, which secrete a toxin to discourage predators. The belly is pale with dark spots. The throat of the male is dark.

 
     
 

Size

 
 

2 to 4

 
     
 

Voice

 
 

The call of the male is a high-pitched trill lasting 10 to 30 seconds. The pitch remains constant throughout the call, it does not rise. Other toads may answer with an overlapping call in a the same or a different pitch.

 
     
 

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.  
     
 
Habitat
 
 

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

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Behavior

 
 

 

 
     
 

Lifespan

 
 

5 to 8 years

 
     
 

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.

 
     
 

Tadpole Food

 
 

Algae, plant tissue, organic debris

 
     
 

Adult Food

 
 

Small terrestrial insects and other invertebrates

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

7, 11, 12, 13, 14, 24.

 
  11/4/2021      
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

Common and abundant

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
  Class Amphibia (amphibians)  
  Superorder Batrachia (amphibians)  
  Order Anura (frogs and toads)  
  Suborder Neobatrachia  
  Superfamily Hyloidea  
 

Family

Bufonidae (true toads)  
 

Genus

Anaxyrus  
       
 

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.

 
       
 

Subordinate Taxa

 
 

dwarf American toad (Anaxyrus americanus charlesmithi)

eastern American toad (Anaxyrus americanus americanus)

Hudson Bay toad (Anaxyrus americanus copei)

 
       
 

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.

 
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Attach one or more photos and, if you like, a caption.
 
 

Alfredo Colon

 
    American toad   American toad  
           
 

the size of a quarter They were sunbathing on leaves.

 
    American toad   American toad  
 

Bill Reynolds

 
    American toad   American toad  
           
    American toad   American toad  
           
    American toad      
 

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  
           
 
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)  

Bufo americanus (Eastern Toad)
Allen Chartier

  Bufo americanus (Eastern Toad)  

 

slideshow

       
 
Visitor Videos
 
       
 

Share your video of this amphibian.

 
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Dan W. Andree

 
  720p "Color Variations in the American Toad" filmed by Dan W. Andree 2015
Published on Nov 11, 2015
 
   
 
About

Published on Nov 11, 2015

This brief video shows two color variations of the American Toad. One little toad was cranky. Though it may look like I'm teasing it I was trying to cheer it up. As you will see it didn't work and I left the little toad alone.

Hopefully its following day was better.

   
       
 
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
 
           
 

Report a sighting of this amphibian.

 
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Simply email us at info@MinnesotaSeasons.com.
Be sure to include a location.
 
  Alfredo Colon
6/2/2021

Location: Woodbury, MN

American toad  
  Alfredo Colon
August 2019

Location: Slinger, Wisconsin

American toad  
  Alfredo Colon
7/2/2018

Location: Woodbury, Minnesota

the size of a quarter They were sunbathing on leaves.

American toad  
  Bill Reynolds
June 2018

Location: Pennington Co MN

American toad  
  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  
           
 
MinnesotaSeasons.com Sightings
 
   

 

 

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