Discover Maryland's Herps

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

True Toads (Family Bufonidae)

Eastern American Toad
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

Photo of adult Eastern America Toad, courtesy of Rebecca Chalmers
Photo of adult Eastern America Toad,
courtesy of Rebecca Chalmers

Size

  • 2 - 3 inches 
  • Record - 4⅜ inches
  • Appearance

  • 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. 
  • Eastern American Toad Habitat, photo courtesy of Jay Killian
    Eastern American Toad Habitat, photo courtesy of Jay Killian

    Habitats

  • 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.
  • Maryland Distribution Map
    Maryland Distribution Map for Eastern American Toad

     

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    Maryland Amphibian
    and Reptile Atlas Project

    "A Joint Project of the Natural History Society of Maryland, Inc. and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources"

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    The Maryland Herpetology Field Guide is a cooperative effort of the MD Natural Heritage Program and the MD Biological Stream Survey within the Department of Natural Resources and their partners. We wish to thank all who contributed field records, text, and photographs, as well as support throughout its development.