American Toad – Anaxyrus americanus

imageEastern American toads can easily be identified by their dry rough skin and large bumps behind their eyes called paratoid glands. Size can range from about 2” – 3” (5-8 cm) on average, but can get as large as 5” (13 cm)

‘Merican toads can be sporting colors from yellow to brown to black, from solid colors to speckled, many times they have dark circles around the bumps on their back. Toads have thick skin that traps in body fluids better than most amphibians, which allows them to live farther away from water.

Toads live in a wide variety of habitats ranging from prairies to wetlands to forests. They are somewhat adapted to urban settings where they occasionally shack-up in gardens and parks. They really like my front perennial garden. I leave broken, overturned pots for them to hideout in.

A toad’s call can last up to 30 seconds and each male has a slightly different pitch. Can you hold a note for 30 seconds? Exactly, that’s a pretty amazing thing.

Toads don’t have to worry much about getting eaten as toxic skin secretions are distasteful to predators. And no, the toxins do not cause warts in humans.

They are a beneficial species in garden by eating many insect pests. A average-sized toad will eat about 3,300 insects in a season. I find many toads near my outside lights (like the one above)… They’re not dumb!!

© Ilex – Midwestern Plant Girl

34 thoughts on “American Toad – Anaxyrus americanus

  1. It always makes me happy to see toads/frogs in my yard. They eat many insects as you have mentioned. I hope readers take heart and not use pesticides or other harmful chemicals so that the toads can have a healthy environment and “make many new toadies.”

    Liked by 2 people

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