American Toad

Bufo americanus

Find out more about the American Toad from:

 

Websites -
WI DNR - Environmental
Education for Kids

Minnesota Herpetology Page


Amphibian Research and Monitoring Initiative

 

Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles


Publications -

Minnesota Conservation Volunteer articles

 

Other toads -

Canadian toad

Great plains toad

 

About frogs and toads

 

Class: Amphibia

Order: Anura

Family: Bufonidae

American Toad range map

 

American toad range

 

American ToadIf you see a toad, it's most likely an American toad, the most common toad in Minnesota. This toad is often seen in or around wetlands during the spring mating season. At other time of the year it can be found far from water even in backyards and gardens in the city.

Identification

Size: 2 - 3 1/2 inches (5.1-9 cm)

Sounds: A long, drawn-out, high-pitched, musical trill lasting up to 30 seconds. The male's vocal sac is round when inflated.

Identification: Skin coloration is typically brown or reddish. One or two warts are present in each of the large dark blotches on their back. The white chest usually has dark speckles. The parotoid gland is typically separated from the cranial ridge.

Reproduction

Females lay up to 20,000 eggs which normally hatch within one week. Large schools of tiny, black tadpoles feed together along the edge of shallow wetlands, emerging as a mass of tiny toads within approximately six weeks. Maturity occurs in two to three years.

Food

American toads eat insects, worms and snails.

Predators

Few animals eat toads because of their skin tastes bitter. However, hognose snakes eat American toads and raccoons eat the undersides of toads, avoiding the distasteful skin on the toad's head and back.

Habitat and range

Breeding habitat: Temporary wetlands, swamps, shallow bays of lakes, and backwaters of rivers, streams and ditches.

Summer habitat: While this species is most often associated with forest and woodland habitat, it also occupies grasslands, residential yards, and gardens.

Winter habitat: Subterranean, burrows below frost line.

Fun facts

During the winter, the American toad burrows beneath the ground (usually in sandy soils), typically just below the frost line. As the frost line gets deeper, so too will the American toad. Though these toads sometimes have warts, a person cannot get warts by handling toads.