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Fowler's Toad Bufo fowleri (Bufo woodhousii fowleri)


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Fowler's Toad
credit: Jimpaz/CCSA

© Lang Elliot/ (audio)

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Family: Bufonidae, Toads view all from this family

Description 2 1/2-3 3/4" (6-9.5 cm). Mid-size, usually gray-brown toad with light stripe down middle of back. Large brown blotches on back, each with 3 or more rusty warts. Chest unspotted. Prominent cranial crests contact elongate parotoids. Yellow, green, brown, or gray.

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 Plaintive, descending, 1- to 3-second "wraaaaaah."

Breeding March to August. Egg strings are attached to vegetation in shallow water.

Habitat Sandy areas near marshes, irrigation ditches, backyards, and temporary rain pools.

Range Lake Michigan east through most of Pennsylvania to se. New York and s. New England, south to the Gulf coast (excluding coastal South Carolina and Georgia, and most of Florida), west to e. Texas and north to Missouri and s. Illinois.

Discussion This is a common toad in the East, active night and day from April to October. It was formerly considered a subspecies of Woodhouse's Toad.