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

American Toad (Anaxyrus americanus)

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

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

Former Name:
Eastern American Toad

Size:
2 - 3 1/2 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. 

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.

Distribution in Maryland:
American toads can be found throughout Maryland in a variety of habitats.
Maryland Eastern American Toad Map in Maryland

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