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

Eastern Narrow-mouthed Toad (Gastrophryne carolinensis)

Eastern Narrow Mouth Toad 
Former Name:

  • ⅞ - 1¼ inches 
  • Record - 1½ inches

  • Shape is unlike any other toad or frog. 
  • A rotund body, narrow and sharp-pointed head and very small mouth. 
  • It has the chameleon-like ability to change color fairly rapidly, but body coloration is usually varying shades of gray, brown, or reddish. 
  • It typically has a lighter colored blotch or line separating the darker back from the grayer sides.
  • Its skin has a granular knobby appearance.

  • Uses many habitats, but must be moist and provide shelter. 
  • Typically found in areas of sandy, loose soil. 
  • Found at margins of bodies of water and in small seasonally wet depressions, usually under debris.

Photo of Eastern Narrow-mouthed Toad Habitat courtesy of Rebecca Chalmers
Photo of Eastern Narrow-mouthed Toad Habitat
courtesy of Rebecca Chalmers

How to Find:
  • Listen for its explosive buzzy call “baaaaaa”, that has been likened to the “bleat of a sheep”.
  • An explosive breeder that calls at night during and immediately following “gully washers” from May to early July, it may call only a few nights per year at any one site. 
  • Look under debris (even human garbage) next to potential breeding ponds. 

Distribution in Maryland:
Found only in a handful of coastal plain counties. This species is listed as state Endangered. If found, please report sightings to the Maryland Wildlife and Heritage Service.
Eastern Narrow-mouthed distribution map

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