Discover Maryland's Herps

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

True Toads (Family Bufonidae)

Fowler’s Toad
Anaxyrus  fowleri

Photo of Adult Fowler's Toad courtesy of Scott A. Smith
Adult Fowler's Toad, photo courtesy of Scott A. Smith


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

  • Three or more warts in each of the large dark spots on a brown, grey or greenish back.
  • A light line often bisects the back from between the eyes to the lower back.
  • It has a comparatively unspotted chest and belly.
  • No enlarged warts on the arms.
  • A parotoid gland that touches the ridge behind the eye.
  • This is the most common toad on the Coastal Plain. May hybridize with American Toad.

  • Photo of Habitat for Fowler's Toad courtesy of Andy Becker
    Photo of Habitat for Fowler's Toad courtesy of Andy Becker


  • Primarily in areas with sandy soils, but can be found in most habitats, from fields to forests.
  • Breeds in shallow wet depressions, roadside ditches, and shallow margins of permanent bodies of water.
  • Onset of breeding is later than American Toads, from late April through July.
  • How to Find

  • Listen for the call, a short nasally buzzing trill “quaaaa” lasting from 1-4 seconds, on humid nights. 
  • Like the American Toad, will be active on warm rainy nights, but are also easily found during daytime anywhere. 
  • A nighttime favorite, can be found on the ground adjacent to buildings where they feed on the insects attracted to exterior lights.
  • Maryland Distribution Map
    Maryland Distribution Map for Fowler's Toad

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

    For monthly newsletters of the Maryland Amphibian & Reptile Atlas Project click on Recent Newsletters and scroll down to the MARA Newsletters.

    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.