American Toad
Bufo americanus
Family Bufonidae

* Skin rough, warty, mottled brown and black with many color variations. Underside finely rough. Chest usually spotted with dark pigment.
* Eyes prominent.
* Female larger than male.
* Body length: 3 1/2-5 1/2".

Natural History:
* Habitat: Gardens, lawns, moist woodland areas that offer damp soil and concealment.
* Range: Eastern North America; other similar species of toad cover the rest of the continent.
* Voice: A long, musical trill, heard most often in early spring. The trill may last from 6 to 30 seconds.
* Behavior: In the spring, male toads go to shallow breeding ponds and emit their trill, usually in rainy weather, providing a mating signal for females. After mating, the female lays approximately 15,000 eggs enclosed in jelly-like strings. The eggs hatch into black tadpoles, which develop into adult toads in two to three years. Toads feed on insects, earthworms, beetles, and slugs. They spend the winter buried in up to three feet of soil.
* Native.

* Contrary to popular folklore, toads do not cause warts! And kissing one will not turn it into a prince. However, toad skin is used medicinally in China - it contains the hormone adrenalin.

* "Give me your arm, old toad;
Help me down Cemetery Road."
-Philip Larkin, 1922-

* "The clever men at Oxford
Know all that there is to be knowed.
But they none of them know one half as much
As intelligent Mr. Toad."
-Kenneth Grahame, 1859-1932, author of The Wind in the Willows


Created by: Niki Zhou and Carla Holleran
Maintained by: Nick Rodenhouse
Created: June 25, 2004
Last Modified: August 7, 2004
Expries: June 1, 2005