Wednesday, October 22, 2014

American Toad

The American Toad is found in the eastern United States and eastern Canada.  They live primarily in grassy and wooded areas.

Toads eat insects and assorted invertebrates, such as earthworms.  The average adult toad can put away 1,000 insects a day.  They eat much like a frog, a long sticky tongue extends and catches food.  Unlike the frog, however, the toad will sometimes use his front feet to stuff more bugs and whatnot into his mouth.  Toads don't need to drink water, they get enough moisture from the food they eat.

Being amphibians, a body of water is needed for reproduction.  At the age of 2 or 3, toads reach sexual maturity.  In Spring, male toads call alluringly to female toads.  After a short but intense relationship, the couple parts.  The female lays 4,000-8,000 eggs in a pond.

In 3-12 days the eggs hatch into tadpoles.  Tadpoles are born with gills.  Over the next 30-70 days the tadpole undergoes metamorphosis, growing legs, arms and lungs, eventually crawling out of the pond as a toad.  The rest of his life (average life span 2-10 years), the toad is terrestrial.  In winter, the toad hibernates.

The American Toad is a solitary sort, most active at night.  The skin of a toad is dry and covered with bumps (warts).  Skin color varies from grey to brown, the underside a lighter shade.

When threatened, glands under the toad's skin secrete a milky substance (poisonous to some predators).

Another reaction to a threat is pooping.


  1. hahahaha... assume they are good to have around for the bugs and stuff .
    Loved the dear walking though your back yard.

    cheers, parsnip

  2. I had no idea they could live that long. This fellow looks not quite so cheerful.

  3. My favorites growing up were the toads just after they lost their tails from the tadpole phase. I used to capture them by the dozens and keep them as pets. I secretly wanted a real "frog" but could never find them where I lived. We only had toads. Loads and loads of toads! Interesting data. Thanks for sharing.

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