Southern Toad
Bufo terrestris

The Southern Toad averages 2-4 inches in length. Compared to related frogs, toads have weaker hind legs and rough, dry, warty skin rather than smooth moist skin. They are terrestrial, and must return to water to lay their eggs. They require semi-permanent water for reproduction. Females may lay up to 8,000 eggs in two gelatinous strings. Eggs hatch in 3-12 days, and tadpoles transform into adults after developing for 50-60 days. Adults and young toads burrow into the ground to avoid hot dry spells, and are more active during rainy weather, especially at night. Although toads discourage predators by secreting a poison from their skin, handling toads does not cause warts. In some areas of the country, the American Toad, B. americanus, has been placed on the Threatened Species List, but at this date no reason for their diminishing numbers has been found.

The Southern Toad is usually brown in color (some are known to be gray to brick-red). The cranial crest is high, with prominent knobs. Its preferred habitat is sandhills or oak woods.

The American Toad, Bufo americanus, is of variable color, ranging from brownish-orange to almost black. The adult usually has 1 or 2 brown to orangish warts in each dark spot on its back, or it may be darker with no visible warts. When warts are visible, each is usually separated from the low cranial crest and may be connected by short spurs. The overall length is 2 to 4 inches. Its preferred habitat is highly diverse, from suburban gardens to mouintain forests. These orange-colored toads are rarely seen in the Gulf Coast region

Juvenile Southern Toad, digital image July 14, 2004

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