American Toad


American Toad  (Anaxyrus americanus )

When we see an American Toad, we have to smile. They are so cute with their stubby legs, fat bellies and bodies covered in warts. They move slowly with short hops compared to frogs. 

Toads have thick skin to minimize water loss which allows them to live in dry habitats. These habitats include forests, meadows, suburban backyards and gardens. 

The American Toad is widespread throughout the eastern half of Canada from central Manitoba and southern James Bay to Labrador and Prince Edward Island. It is also widespread throughout the eastern United States. 

They eat beetles, moths, grasshoppers, mosquitoes and other insects, larvae, slugs and worms.

American Toads breed from late March to early June depending on how far north they are. Females may choose their mates by assessing the males' breeding calls as well as the quality of the defended breeding territory. 

Breeding occurs in shallow wetlands, ponds, lakes and slow-moving streams. Eggs are laid in two strands which are wrapped around aquatic vegetation. The eggs hatch in a few days to a few weeks and the tadpole stage lasts 50-65 days. When hatched the tadpoles are recognizable by their skinny tails in relation to the size of their solid black bodies. Tappoles are herbivorous and feed on the algae that grows on plants or on rocks.

The tadpoles avoid predators by swimming in very shallow water often with thick grass vegetation, and by swimming close together in schools during the day. Tadpoles also produce toxic chemicals in their skin that discourage some potential predator. 


Emerging toads are like minature versions of the adult. These tiny toadlets blend in very well with the brown leaves in the forest.


American Toads are often attracted to backyard gardens, especially where nighttime lighting attracts insects.


Toads have to remain moist and dig into soft dirt depressions or under debris during the day. They dig them with their hind legs and then back into them.


Little black tadpoles avoid predators by swimming in very shallow water often with thick grass vegetation.


American Toad GALLERY 

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