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threatened and/or endangered

Gulf Coast Toad Bufo valliceps


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Gulf Coast Toad
credit: Clinton & Charles Robertson

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Family: Bufonidae, Toads view all from this family

Description Black/brown with orange flecks and white spots. Stripe down back.

Dimensions 5-13cm. (2-5 1/8")

Warning Toads have enlarged glands (called the paratoid glands) on the side of the neck, one behind each eye. These glands secrete a viscous white poison that gets smeared in the mouth of any would-be predator, inflaming the mouth and throat and causing nausea, irregular heart beat, and, in extreme cases, death. Toads pose a danger to pets, which may pounce on and bite them. Humans should take care to wash their hands after handling a toad, and to avoid touching the mouth or eyes until having done so.

Voice Repeated short trill.

Breeding March-September.

Habitat Humid areas, ditches, ponds & barrier beaches of Gulf.

Range Gulf Coast through Mississippi, Texas, Mexico. Scattered in Arkansas.

Discussion Most active at twilight. Sometimes found in city storm sewers. Catches insects under street lamps.