The American toad (Anaxyrus americanus) is a familiar species that are sighted all through Canada and the eastern part of the United States. Concerning their taxonomy, this species is positioned under the genus Anaxyrus. They have further branched into three subspecies namely, the very unusual Hudson Bay toad, the eastern American toad, and the dwarf American toad.
The Dwarf American toads are just the mini version of the common American toad and devour primarily insects, worms, and spiders. This subspecies is distinguished because of the pattern of lateral stripes on their head. The Hudson Bay toads are infrequent of all the toads which are generally found in the less populated region on northern Ontario, Canada. They have an extraordinary amount of warts on their body with on the side has red pigments, however, this red pigment of their back is getting obsolete due to interbreeding of the species. The eastern American toad is medium size toad, the incredible feature of this toad is its tendency to change color according to its habitat, temperature, and other certain factors.
If you want to know more intriguing information about the American toads then keep reading this article. You can also have a read of our other articles like bullfrog and leopard frog facts.
What do they prey on?
Insects, beetles, snails
What do they eat?
Average litter size?
How much do they weigh?
0.8 oz (21.7 g)
How long are they?
2-4.4 in (5.1-11.2 cm)
How tall are they?
What do they look like?
Black, gray, greenish
What are their main threats?
Snakes, predaceous diving bugs, racoons
What is their conservation status?
Where you'll find them
American Toad Interesting Facts
What type of animal is an American toad?
The American toad is widespread species of toads.
What class of animal does an American toad belong to?
The American toad belongs to the class of amphibians.
How many American toads are there in the world?
There are superabundant American Toads and these amphibians are very common in the continent of America so an accurate digit cannot be assigned.
Where does an American toad live?
The Anaxyrus americanus (American toad) belongs to the family Bufonidae which can be found in every place other than Florida. Their span may expand from the regions of Manitoba (east), the Maritime regions, parts of southern Newfoundland, and the provinces of Quebec and Ontario. Their range can be extended from the United States’ northeastern regions to the parts of Dakotas and the eastern part of Kansas. The dwarf toads may also live in the eastern parts of Oklahoma and the northeastern parts of Texas. This species of toad prefers a terrestrial environment and thus prefers living in the forest, they commonly avert open places or residential neighborhoods because they require dirt for burrowing and also to hide and hunt. Their habitat also requires superficial water bodies like ponds, ditches, with no fishes so that the toads can breed.
What is an American toad's habitat?
This species of toad is found all through North America and the subspecies like the eastern American toads during their initial development needs shallow water so that they can breed in it during the breeding season. These toads also require thick vegetation so that they can act as a cover and they can hunt effortlessly. They are very adaptable as they can adjust everywhere be it grassland or forest. The females are most flexible than the males as they can adapt to the indoor arboretum. Adult toads are nocturnal and become very active during the rain but as they are highly adaptable they can survive anywhere be it burrows, under the stones, logs, window wells, ponds, and such, as they can seek cover anywhere. During the winter season to hibernate they dig backward and conceal themselves to take cover when cold weather prevails. The dwarf American toad exists in the terrestrial environment including the hardwood and the white pine forest.
Who do American toads live with?
American toads lead a solitary life but during the season of breeding, they often assemble in choruses and the male American toad call for mating to the females can be heard.
How long does an American toad live?
The American toad life cycle ranges from 5-10 years, their life cycle depends on various factors including their environment.
How do they reproduce?
The breeding season for the Anaxyrus americanus, American toad, commences from January-February and continues till July. When the toads reach reproductive maturity the males assemble in choruses and then the male American toad calls the females. Toads are nocturnal animals and hence this entire action takes place at night. The male American toad sounds very high-pitched, long, and tuneful, this is also known as the American toad mating call. Then the female picks a mate for mating, soon after the female deposits her eggs which maybe submerge at the bottom or remains attached to the verdure and after 4-12 days these eggs are hatched.
What is their conservation status?
The Anaxyrus americanus (American toad) is adequately available and their population is also stable. They are not a threatened species hence their conservation status is classified as Least Concern.
American Toad Fun Facts
What do American toads look like?
The American toads or Anaxyrus americanus have three subspecies and individually they have distinguishing features. They are spotted throughout the Eastern part of the United States and Canada. American toads have a length of 2-3.5 in and the color varies from brown, gray, olive, tan, even reddish sometimes dark patches uniformly distributed on their back, the eastern American toad subspecies the color changes based on their environment. It is comparatively easier to recognize the males and females because adult toads are sexually dimorphic, the female toads are larger than the male toads and during the mating season, they develop dark throats. The Anaxyrus americanus has extremely dry skin and their back consists of one or two warts and on their tibia they have expanded warts. They have major two subspecies and one very rare subspecies as hybridization frequently occurs between these species.
The eastern American toad is of medium size and its skin color largely depends on the habitat, climate, and other environmental factors. These toads are around 2–3.5 in (5-9 cm) and the appearances and color may vary particularly in females, it can be a solid color varying from black to yellow to brown or there can be peculiar patterns of various colors. The eastern American toad vs Fowler’s toad has always been an issue because eastern American toads are often confused with the Fowler’s toad because of the presence of three or more warts. Fowler’s Toad is troublesome to identify sometimes but one prominent disparity is that the spotted gut is absent in a Fowler’s Toad and the parotoid glands are touched by both the cranial crest. In the eastern American toad, the parotoid glands are touched by the cranial crests and they do not secrete bufotoxin. The dwarf American toad is just the small size of the American Toad which is around 2.5 in (6 cm). This subspecies of toad is reddish with scanty spots or even nonexistent and even if it exists it may comprise of scanty red warts with a black circle around it. The most infrequent subspecies is the Hudson Bay Toad which is red with plenty of warts sometimes interbreeding may cause the red color to disappear.
How cute are they?
The cuteness of these toads depends on the person. Several people find them cute while others consider these creatures unpleasant.
How do they communicate?
The American toads inflate their throats and produce a mating call during the humid summer nights and the American toad sound is prolonged, loud, and incessant throughout the season of breeding.
How big is an American toad?
The American toads are sexually dimorphic and their average size is 2 in-4.4 in they are twice the size of an Oak toad.
How fast can an American toad move?
American toads are not so much fond of hopping around they are generally slow.
How much does an American toad weigh?
An American toad is not very heavy and weighs around 0.8 oz (21.7 g) on average.
What are their male and female names of the species?
There is no particular name that has been assigned based on their gender.
What would you call a baby American toad?
The baby American toads are known as tadpoles, and these tadpoles take 4-12 days to hatch. It takes around 40-70 days for tadpoles to metamorphize into an adult.
What do they eat?
The American toad tadpoles can be referred to as vegetarian because they largely depend on the aquatic vegetation for their survival but the adults are carnivores because the adult American toad diet consists of several insects, earthworms, snails, and beetles. More than 1000 insects can be consumed by a single American toad every day and unlike all the other toads the American toads wait for their prey to come close and with the help of their sticky tongue, they grasp their food.
Are they poisonous?
The American toad poisonous compound that it secretes is not as toxic compared to other species, it can mildly disturb the skin of humans but they are not deadly. However, other animals may react differently to this secretion.
Would they make a good pet?
The American toads are highly adaptable creatures as they can survive in the wild and even in a terrarium ecosystem with no predators and a proper breeding setting. They are not very high maintenance and keeping an American toad pet is not tedious work so they make a good pet.
Did you know...
Here is a list of a few curated interesting facts about the American toads.
The defense mechanism of these toads from snakes and other predators is urinating on themselves or secreting a poisonous material from their skin.
The American Toads like other amphibians and reptiles shed their skin but to conserves the nutrients they consume their shredded skin.
Diving beetles are one of the major predators of the tadpoles.
Despite their five to six-year-long lifespan, an American toad when kept in a captive environment lived till 36 years.
The American toads expand themselves when they are being swallowed by snakes to make it difficult for swallowing.
What are in an American toad's warts?
Adult American toads have two types of glands in their epidermis which are the granular and the mucus glands. The mucus glands secrete mucus which is responsible to keep keep the outer layer of the skin slimy and moist while the granular glands secrete a toxic compound and these warts on a toad’s skin are the agglomerations of granular glands which also protect and defend them from various predators.
What is a similarity between American toads and frogs?
The American Toads and frogs have assorted similarities beginning with their taxonomy, as they have similar taxonomic classification with their kingdom, phylum, group, class, order all being the same. Both of them possess glands that secrete certain compounds however, the location of these glands is different on their body. Both of them may survive in a different environment but both of these are carnivores. Both the toads and frogs need to perceive the motion of insects otherwise they will starve themselves.
Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other amphibians including pool frog, or tree frog.
At Kidadl we pride ourselves on offering families original ideas to make the most of time spent together at home or out and about, wherever you are in the world. We strive to recommend the very best things that are suggested by our community and are things we would do ourselves - our aim is to be the trusted friend to parents.
We try our very best, but cannot guarantee perfection. We will always aim to give you accurate information at the date of publication - however, information does change, so it’s important you do your own research, double-check and make the decision that is right for your family.
Kidadl provides inspiration to entertain and educate your children. We recognise that not all activities and ideas are appropriate and suitable for all children and families or in all circumstances. Our recommended activities are based on age but these are a guide. We recommend that these ideas are used as inspiration, that ideas are undertaken with appropriate adult supervision, and that each adult uses their own discretion and knowledge of their children to consider the safety and suitability.
Kidadl cannot accept liability for the execution of these ideas, and parental supervision is advised at all times, as safety is paramount. Anyone using the information provided by Kidadl does so at their own risk and we can not accept liability if things go wrong.
Sponsorship & Advertising Policy
Kidadl is independent and to make our service free to you the reader we are supported by advertising.
We hope you love our recommendations for products and services! What we suggest is selected independently by the Kidadl team. If you purchase using the buy now button we may earn a small commission. This does not influence our choices. Please note: prices are correct and items are available at the time the article was published.
Kidadl has a number of affiliate partners that we work with including Amazon. Please note that Kidadl is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.
We also link to other websites, but are not responsible for their content.