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Rori Paloski

American Toad (Anaxyrus americanus)

American Toad photo.
Photo © A.B. Sheldon
  • Family: Bufonidae (Toads)
  • Status: Common
  • Size: 2 to 3.5 inches

range map

Species range

The American toad can easily be identified by its dry rough skin and large swellings behind the eyes (paratoid glands). Its dorsal color can vary from brown to reddish to olive, with scattered dark spots, each encircling one to three wart-like bumps on the back. Their thick skin, which traps in body fluids better than most amphibians, allows toads to live greater distances from water than most frogs. 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 persist in gardens and parks. The toad's call is a long, uninterrupted trill lasting up to 30 seconds. Each male has a slightly different pitch. They lay eggs in long strands, unique among Wisconsin's amphibians. Toad tadpoles form schools, also unique among Wisconsin frogs.


American Toad  Photo

Adult American toad.

Photo by Rori Paloski, WDNR.

American Toad  Photo

Photo by  staff, WDNR.

American Toad  Photo

Photo by  staff, WDNR.

American Toad  Photo

Photo © A.B. Sheldon.

American Toad  Photo

Photo © William Barthen.

American Toad  Photo

Photo © A.B. Sheldon.

Last revised: Wednesday, May 01, 2019