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eastern American toad

(Anaxyrus americanus americanus)


This is a large, warty toad with a few warts in each dorsal color spot, conspicuous cranial crests, and a short spine atop most of the femoral wart. The length is 2-3 1/2 inches to 4 1/4 inches. The color is highly variable, from brick-red through browns and olive grays to light gray. The belly can be spotted or not. There are only 1 or 2 large warts on each of largest dark spots. The adults congregate in breeding pools starting in March or April. The eggs are laid in long spiral gelatinous strings and each egg is 1/25 to 1/16 inch in diameter. The eggs, 4000 to 8000 in number, are laid in two strings, and hatch in 3 to 12 days.


This species breeds in shallow pools and is mostly nocturnal, and hides during the day under debris.


Tadpoles are omnivorous, adults are carnivorous. Prey items recorded for the American toad are: beetles, beetle larvae, ants, wasps, crickets, leafhoppers, moths, caterpillars, flies, plant bugs, stoneflies, isopods, spiders, harvestmen, and millipides.