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threatened and/or endangered

American Toad Bufo americanus


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American Toad
credit: Scrumshus

© Lang Elliot/ (audio)

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Family: Bufonidae, Toads view all from this family

Description Brown-reddish-olive. Sometimes patterned. Brownish/orange warts. Underside spotted. Dark throat on males.

Dimensions 5.1-11.1cm. (2-4 3/8")

Warning Toads have enlarged glands (called the paratoid glands) on the side of the neck, one behind each eye. These glands secrete a viscous white poison that gets smeared in the mouth of any would-be predator, inflaming the mouth and throat and causing nausea, irregular heart beat, and, in extreme cases, death. Toads pose a danger to pets, which may pounce on and bite them. Humans should take care to wash their hands after handling a toad, and to avoid touching the mouth or eyes until having done so.

Subspecies Eastern - 1-2 warts. Manitoba province, Louisiana through n. Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana, ne. Kansas towards Canada.

Voice Musical trill. Lasts 30 seconds.

Breeding March-July.

Habitat Grassy yards, forested mountains.

Range Manitoba-Labrador & Maritime Provinces & New England Canada. Also Gerogia, e. Oklahoma, Kansas, Wisconsin.

Discussion Nocturnal. Diet mainly insects. Occasionally hybridised with Woodhouse toad.