Bufo americanus

Common Names: Eastern American Toad
Category: Amphibians
Sub-category: Toads

A common species of toad found throughout the eastern United States and Canada. The eastern American toad is a medium-sized toad usually ranging in size from 2.0-3.5 inches; The color and pattern is somewhat variable. Skin color can change depending on humidity, stress, and temperature. Color changes range from yellow to brown to black. The eastern American toad has spots that contain only one to two warts. It also has enlarged warts on the tibia or lower leg below the knee. While the belly is usually spotted, it is generally more so on the forward half (in some rare individuals there may be few or no spots). This subspecies of the American toad has no or very little markings on it. The spades on the back legs are blackish. Some toads of this subspecies have red warts on their bodies. Also eastern American toads have parotoid glands that are the same color as the surrounding skin. The glands don’t have any patterning on them.

American toads require a semi-permanent freshwater pond or pool with shallow water in which to breed and for their early development. They also require dense patches of vegetation, for cover and hunting grounds. Given these two things and a supply of insects for food, American toads can live almost everywhere, ranging from forests to flat grassland. Adult toads are mostly nocturnal, although juveniles are often abroad by day. These toads commonly seek cover in burrows, under boardwalks, flat stones, boards, logs, wood piles, or other cover.

Edible Notes: Not known to be edible.
Warnings: Eastern American Toad skin secretes bufotoxin, a poisonous substance. The poison the toad excretes is mild in comparison to other poisonous toads and frogs, but it can irritate human skin and is dangerous to smaller animals (such as dogs) when ingested. Amphibians, like reptiles, can carry Salmonella, which is a potentially deadly bacteria. It is safer for you (and the amphibian) to not touch them or anything in the area where they live, but if you do: Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water immediately after touching. Use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not readily available.