Field Guide to Maryland's Frogs and Toads (Order Anura)

Eastern American Toad

Family: ​True Toads (Family Bufonidae)

Common Name:

Eastern American Toad​

Scientific Name:

Anaxyrus americanus americanus

Photo of adult Eastern America Toad, courtesy of Scott A. Smith

Photo of adult Eastern America Toad, courtesy of Scott A. Smith

2 - 3 1/2 inches

  • A “warty” toad.  Only one or two large warts in each of the largest dark spots on an otherwise brownish-red, gray or olive back.
  • The wart count is the main way to differentiate between this and Fowler’s Toad, our most common Coastal Plain toad.
  • The parotoid glands are either separated from the ridge behind the eye or connected by a short spur.
  • The chest and forward part of the abdomen are usually darkly spotted, and warts are enlarged on the arms.
  • May hybridize with Fowler’s Toad. 



  • A habitat generalist, can be found anywhere from yards and fields to forests.
  • Breeds in any shallow wet depression, even tire ruts.

How to Find:
  • Listen for the call, a long musical trill “quaaaaaaa....” lasting from 6-30 seconds, on humid nights from March to July.
  • Will be active on warm rainy nights, but are also easily found during daytime anywhere.
  • A nighttime favorite is on the ground adjacent to buildings where they feed on the insects attracted to exterior lights.

Distribution in Maryland:

Maryland Eastern American Toad Map in Maryland