Fowler’s toad

(Anaxyrus fowleri)


This is a small- to medium-sized toad with 3 or more warts in each large dorsal color spot, no enlarged warts on the legs, chest and belly with no spots, and a paratoid gland (the enlarged bump behind each eye) that touches the ridge on the forehead. This species measures 2-3 in. (5.1-7.5 cm). The dorsal coloration is usually brownish or gray, occasionally greenish or brick red, with usually a light mid-dorsal stripe. Normally the belly is unspotted, but there is frequently a single dusky spot on the breast. This species breeds from April to mid-August. The eggs are laid in long files numbering as many as 8000. The eggs are 1/10-3/16 inch in diameter. Eggs hatch in about a week and tadpoles transform in 40-60 days. Tadpoles are small, 1 1/2 inches, with low tail crests and tooth ridges 2/3. The voice is a short unmusical bleat.


This toad occurs statewide in Virginia. It is an abundant toad in the Atlantic Coastal Plain. This species inhabits sandy areas near lakes or in river valleys. It breeds in shallow pools, pond margins and ditches.


Food preferences are not documented but it is presumed they eat insects.