American Toad Care Sheet

Scientific Facts

Common Name American Toad
Scientific Name Anaxyrus americanus
Life Span 5 – 9 cms (2 – 3.5 inches)
Size 8 – 12 years
Habitat Mostly Terrestrial
Country of Origin East Canada & East USA

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What is American Toad?

Several people are doubtful about how to determine a toad and a frog individually. Toads frequently have a hard, dense, uneven skin and a large body with smaller legs. They are more inclined to wander or leap and manage to remain away from the wetlands. Frogs have moist, glossy skin and a slender body with long legs. Frogs are more apt to bounce or jump and normally dwell near water.

It is subdivided into three subspecies—the eastern American toad, the dwarf American toad, and the rare Hudson Bay toad. Current taxonomic approaches set this species in the genus Anaxyrus alternatively of Bufo.

It’s necessary to understand the distinction between a male and a female. Young toads can be tricky to identify but grown-ups are slightly more lenient. A mature male develops between 2.3 – 3 inches in length and adult female standards between 3.5 – 4 inches in length. So females are somewhat larger than males. Maybe the most natural way single out the males is to attend for their appeal. See them in the scene, if attainable; males possess a blatant invitation.

Appearance & Size

The American toad, seldom called the hop toad, is 2-4½ inches in length. It can range in tint from natural, brownish, reddish-brown, or olive emerald.

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Some American toads are dense in color, but others may be emulated. It has a clear white to a yellow abdomen that commonly has shaded or gray blemishes on it. It has deep round specks on its spine with one or two spots in each spot. Its skin holds glands that create a white poison that aids defend the toad from predators. Some American toads have a streak down the center of their rumps. Males are commonly shorter than females and may possess a shady gorge.

American toads have small legs, fat bodies, and compact skins with prominent spots. These warts can be stained red and yellow. The warty skin includes many organs that create a dangerous white solution, presenting these toads with exceptional security from several of their enemies. This poison is only dangerous if it is consumed or if it goes in the eyes, but it can cause many creatures tolerably weak.

The skin complexion of American toads is commonly a hint of brown, but it can likewise be red with tiny spots, olive, or neutral. The abdomens are a white or yellowish appearance. Toad skin color varies hinging on heat, moisture, and pressure. The color diversity varies from yellow to brown to black. American toads have four toes on each foreleg and five toes attached by webbing on each rear leg. The pupils of American toads are elliptical and black with a circle of gold around them.



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The genitals can be detected in two methods. Males have dark-shaded necks, of black or brown, while females have white gorges and are lighter entirety. Furthermore, female American toads are more extensive than male American toads. American toads are within 50 and 100 mm in diameter but are commonly approximately 75 mm.

American toads can be identified from other species of toads by the bearing of numerous dark blemishes on their spines which comprise solely one or two warts each. These black spots are seldom surrounded by white or yellow. Some species of American toads have a noticeable crest on the crown of their heads.

The eggs of American toads are black on tip and white on the base (counter-shaded) and secured in long strands of a thin gluey clot. The maggots that bear from eggs are termed “tadpoles.” They are dark-skinned with soft skin, arched bodies, and a slightly rounded tail. Like grown-up toads, larvae have protective substances in their skin. They raise to over a centimeter in length before molding. Recently-metamorphosed toadlets are commonly 0.8 and 1.3 cm long when they initially appear. Their complexion is comparable to that of grown-up toads.

Three Subspecies

Eastern American toad

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The eastern American toad is an intermediate-sized toad commonly varying in measurement from 5–9 cm. The shade and shape are moderately changeable, particularly for the females. Skin color can shift hinging on territory colors, rain, pressure, and heat. Color settings change from yellow to brown to black, from compact colors to spot.

This subspecies of the American toad possesses negative or very small indication on it. The trowels on the rear legs are blackish. Some toads of this subspecies have a more prevalent red and profound brown hue, crowded with red spots on their physique. Furthermore, eastern American toads have parotoid organs that are the identical color as the encompassing coat. The organs don’t regularly possess any arranging on them.

The eastern American toad may be mixed with the Canadian toad in the region where they overlay, but the skull peaks in the American toad take not link to create a heightened “boss” (lump) as they appear in the Canadian toad. Its scope also protrudes with the southerly toads, although in this kind, the cranial crests grow two different bumps.

Dwarf American toad

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The dwarf American toad is a shorter account of the American toad which attains lengths of nearly 6 cm and is commonly a dim reddish color varying to light red in some examples in confined communities. The blemishes on the rear are decreased or missing, and when present they bear several little red warts and a black loop around it same in the standard American toad. The spots are eternally darker than the flesh of the toad.

Some examples have a white posterior mark in the core of their backs. The visceral surface or abdomen is commonly cream colored with a few tan blemishes in the chest area. This subspecies can be recognized from the above-specified species in the same practice as for the easterly American toad. The southwestern division of the Dwarf American toad’s scope overlays with much of the Gulf Coast toad. The recent species is characterized by the appearance of a dark parallel line as well as a profound “gap” within its noticeable cranial combs. It feeds chiefly spiders, larvae and small bugs.

Hudson Bay toad

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The Hudson Bay toad is a unique Canadian subspecies of A. americanus. This subspecies of the American toad has held observed in the northerly regions of Ontario where there are several separated communities. These northern dwarf toads essentially possess the red coloring on the surfaces of their bodies and have an oddly huge number of blemishes for the subspecies. Crossbreeding with eastern American toads created this subspecies to miss the red coloring on their rears.

Geographical Range

American toads, Anaxyrus americanus, are solely endemic to the Nearctic province. They are seen throughout vast regions of North America, from north Chihuahua in Mexico, northward to James Bay in Canada and eastward from the Imperial Valley of California and the Columbia River Valley in Washington and Oregon to the Atlantic shore from Florida to southern Quebec.

They are usually not existing in most southerly countries or, if they are, particularly in the northerly portion. These toads have an enormous capacity to adjust to their environment as long as there is a reservoir of semi-stable water for them to utilize in the mating season. This feature has enabled them to victoriously establish local and agrarian fields.


American Toads are discovered in a broad category of mundane territories from harvested grass and fields to massively forested regions. They populate lakes exclusively throughout the breeding season and as maggots.

They favor to reproduce in transient woodland lakes and other transitory wetlands, but will likewise utilize other bodies of water, from shallow pools to perennial fishponds and idle backwaters of streams.

Numerous thousand eggs are stored in long chains and produce in several days. The tiny blackish tadpoles emerge in approximately eight weeks, metamorphosing into small toadlets smaller than half an inch long. American toads may crossbreed with Fowler’s and southern toads in regions where their fields overlay.

Diet & Feeding Habits

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In the primitive, a toad’s menu commonly consists of a diversity of insects; spiders, larvae, crickets, lizards, etc. In custody, though, it’s most accessible to serve them whatever is possible at the neighborhood pet shop; crickets, waxworms, super worms, mealworms, etc.

Young toads must be served competently sized bugs every day. 1/8 inch crickets or fruit bugs will satisfy. Grown-ups can devour mature crickets and all the bugs noted in the preceding section. Nourish them 3 – 6 crickets each day. It’s always sufficient to hold a variety of meals. If their principal reservoir of meat is crickets, provide them the particular mealworm or waxworm as a feast.

All the bugs you supply them must be sifted with nutrient and mineral complements. It may be smart to ask a doctor for the precise quantities, if attainable. Otherwise, a great starting tip is to sprinkle with a calcium additive regularly and apply a nutrient and mineral complement 2 – 3 times per week.

Common Behavior and Habits

The chief predators of American toads are serpents. One species, eastern hognose snakes, train on having toads. When frightened, American toads will squat and stay still, relying on deception. Some serpents, such as garter snakes, are resistant to the toxic glands of American toads. When these toads are confronted with a hunter that is resistant to their virus, they will seldom pee on themselves to display a less engaging feed. They also expand their bodies with breath to give themselves more complicated for a snake to consume.

Female toads choose to yield their eggs in lakes without fish. The eggs they deposit are counter-screened: lighter on the base and dimmer on the head to combine in with the environment when observed from above or beneath.

Tadpoles evade predators by floating in pretty trivial water, and by swimming collectively in schools throughout the day. They likewise have poisonous substances in their skin that dissuade some possible predators. Diverged toads are ambiguously painted, and are busy chiefly in the evening, causing it tougher for hunters to locate them.

Confronted occasionally during the summer, American toads are dormant during hot, droughty seasons and from late autumn until mating commences early in the year. They are most productive at night, wasting the day sheltering in tunnels or below timbers, forest ground jumble, or stones. These toads exhibit shading spot care, seldom reverting to the same place every day.

The ‘Call”: Communication

American toads possess one of the most distinguished signals of all toads. They deliver off long vibrato articulates that each last within 4 and 20 seconds. American toads work this call as a means to lure females for mating. American toads reproduce from February to April. Their calls grow wild, powerful, and consistent throughout the mating period.

Many juvenile males extend to call late into the summer. When they cry, their necks swell out like huge, enlarge balloons. Males also create a chirping “discharge call” if managed or falsely seized by another male.


American toad administration can work either way in times of prosperity. Many owners perceive they don’t need specific requirements to make their pets to reproduce, while others hold no success. If this is your situation, you might desire to think mimicking their concrete habitat throughout the mating season.

American toads reproduce from delayed March to spring June, hinging on how distant north they live. They lay their eggs in two fibers that are covered around marine vegetation or deposited on the bottom. The eggs incubate in several days to a few weeks, and the tadpole phase persists from 50 to 65 days. Developing toadlets are among the tiniest lately modified amphibians and quickly scatter into the neighboring environment.

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Both tadpoles and toads have toxin organs in the skin that decrease their sensitivity to predators. A puppy that strikes up a toad will release it and may foam at the muzzle but will not be harmed. These toads consume bugs and small animals that dwell in the dirt, such as worms and slugs.

American toads are quickly drawn to garden lakes and fields, particularly where night light lures swarms of bugs. These toads can go surprisingly agile.

Breeding Process

Breeding transpires in March or April but may stretch into July. It, generally, provoked by thawing temperatures, and more prolonged days. The males constantly appear on the mating regions well advanced of females. They meet in idle wetlands, fishponds, pools, and gradual-moving rivers. After locating a decent area, the male toads set boundaries and commence summoning the females. Females may select their husbands by evaluating the males’ breeding cries as well as the nature of the protected breeding region.

In a captive environment, however, seasonal variations are not identical. If you’ve owned a male and female in the same room for a few months already, and they’re not reproducing, you will most fit have to mimic their actual setting to have them to propagate.

To achieve this, reduce the temperature in their room 5 – 10 degrees and hold showering for 2 – 4 weeks. So long as they have means to water in their vessel, they will be excellent. Also, lower their day-time light period to 10 – 12 hours per day. Keep these requirements for two to four weeks.

Next, you’ll need to duplicate spring-time by raising the heat back to standard or somewhat above. Furthermore, modify their day and night period to present 14 hours of light and 8 hours of darkness. Start drizzling their enclosure again and contemplate supplementing another water vessel or change their current bowl with something larger.

With any success, the males will start inviting around nighttime. Should you be victorious, you’ll see your toads in an ’embraced’ form. This is where the male clasps his limbs around the female. The female then transfers the eggs through her cloaca; the male then implanted the eggs outside the frame. They will stay in this state for several hours or yet days.

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After copulating takes place, the females yield their eggs in the water, in long winding tunnels of pulp. They produce 4000 to 8000 eggs in two series. When each line of eggs is extended, it commonly holds between six and twenty meters long (20 to 66 ft.). Each distinct egg is 1.5 mm in width. The eggs grow fastest at greater temperatures.

They commonly bear in 3 to 12 days. After growing for 40 to 70 days, the tadpoles metamorphose into grown-ups. This generally gets place from June to August, varying on the area. They attain reproductive development at approximately 2 to 3 years of age.

Female toads produce minerals for their eggs inside their bodies. Once the eggs are deposited and generated, the progenitors disregard them.

Care Sheet

Having an American Toad as your pet can be a fulfilling activity and they’re excellent for amateurs. Their room doesn’t need an immense expense, they’re not finicky eaters, and they’re broadly obtainable in the United States.

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Toads don’t need a lot of areas but the larger the more enjoyable. Most frog lovers pursue a manageable course; 10 gallons per frog. This checks for the American Toad. A 10-gallon fish tank will dwell one toad. A 30-gallon fish tank will take 3 or 4. Though, if you aspire to work a 50-gallon aquarium for a particular toad, that’s great too! There is no boundary to measurement. Oh, last but not least, get sure your room is provided with a cover roof to hold the toad from jumping.

Load the base of the container with a non-granular substrate, at most limited 2 inches deep. These toads choose to dig, so a baggy foundation like coconut thread is suggested. Learn the substrate part later for more knowledge on this matter.

You can supplement leaf scattering on the tip of the substrate to produce an extra hiding setting. Install plug case, twigs, woods, or other accessories fit for hiding. Append a stable, dull water vessel at one edge of their room, and supply it with fresh water. Live or artificial shrubs are desirable.


American toads are chiefly night-loving, consuming their days sheltering beneath leaves, burrowed in the dirt, or otherwise resting in colder temperatures. That’s not constantly the situation, though. But, overall, they’re prone to remain until evening to attempt out for feeding. As before-mentioned, UVB lighting is not a necessity.

Must you select to install live plants inside their room, a full-spectrum LED light, provided to developing plants will offer an appreciated enhancement to your toad’s room. What’s most essential is your pet holds a day and night period, particularly if you’re having them in a place that doesn’t acquire direct lighting from stained-glass. If this is the problem, then yes, please grant them with light! Experts suggest within 12 – 15 hours of light each day.


In the sultry, toads are revealed to a broad array of temperatures. They require warmth varying between 60 – 75 degrees Fahrenheit. In the United States, it’s not unusual to hold 90 – 100 degree days throughout the summer. To withstand the heat, they excavate in the territory or cover beneath leaf rash in cold, dark spaces.

If the standard chamber heat in your home is around 70 degrees, you’re suitable to go. At midnight, the temperature can fall several degrees without hurting your pet. Grant a sites for your toad to shelter during the day. Cork case flats, leaf scattering, or accessories are invariably essential. Possessing these hiding stretches will enable them to stay cool, if they prefer, during the day when they’re not as productive.


American toads like to delve. With this in thought, you should give them a foundation fit for excavating. Coconut filament substrates like eco ground are well appropriate for this. Other choices include farm soil, ABG mix or soil saturated with peat moss, coconut husk or amphibian warm manure will all operate properly.

The extent of the base depends on the area of your toad. As a point, supply the room with at least 2 inches of foundation. A mature toad may favor 3 – 4 inches of soil for precise burrowing.

In enhancement to the substrate, you can include leaf rash for hiding places. This isn’t wanted, granted you possess other concealing areas like ornaments, limbs, shrubs, etc. Leaf litter is generally observed in sultry terrarium settings to design hiding points for more diminutive frogs. Not solely does it benefit your pet appear more secure, owning an adjacent concealing place, but, over course, the leaves tear down and supplement nourishment back into the base which aids live shrubs to stay healthy.

Water Quality

The American Toad is from the Bufonidae Family, also popular as “True Toads”. Unlike frogs, true toads can outlast a slight better without water. This is why you’re more inclined to discover toads distant away from a water reservoir than frogs. Though they’re yet amphibians and they do need water. Toads possess semi-absorptive skin which enables them to consume whatever gets in touch with them. Due to this, sanitary, poison-free water is necessary for their well-being.

Applying faucet water is frequently the fastest and most natural approach to supply your toad’s water bowl, but it can be fatal. This varies on your regional water rations, of course. Some tap-water carries chloramine, fluoride, chlorine, and other substances. Total of which are dangerous to amphibians.

On the contrary side of items, utilizing purified water may appear like a more reliable option because it’s 100% pure water. Regrettably, this isn’t the solution either. You see, purified water lacks the essential minerals these toads are employed to in the native. The best answer is to manage water modifiers like ReptiSafe or, maybe, apply bottled water.

Having assumed that, supply a little, slight water bowl with fresh, dechlorinated water. Give your most meticulous to never make them fall out of the water and replace it frequently to maintain the water safely. Guarantee they cannot drop or otherwise startle their water plate.


Toads endure in a broad scope of similar moisture levels. What’s most significant is holding a small water vessel with clear water accessible at all events, which enables them to dip their skin whenever they need. For the moisture balance within the enclosure, attempt to hold it approximately 50% humidity. This can vary 15% up or below at any provided moment.

To be specific, you can apply a hygrometer to examine the humidity balance within the container. A hygrometer is fine, but it’s not a condition rendered you always have their water vessel sufficient and you shower their place 2 – 3 events per day. Raising the moisture is as simple as showering with a shower container.

Availability – Where to get one?

Those toads can be difficult to obtain in pet shops. Numerous localities market them online, though, it is forbidden for some from their state to send or exchange any to your residence.

American toads do excellent first amphibian pets. They are simple to manage, economical and can be spotted approximately anywhere in the United States. They do possess qualifications and earn regard and care similar to all pets.

Toads convict raised and produced will be more robust and bacteria clear. If you obtain toads from the native, they may be contaminated, or dangerous. It is always more reliable and more profitable to use the few added dollars to purchase one that has been previously held in custody.

Threats and Trends

The same warnings that influence other amphibians (territory destruction, road death, corruption, etc.) also impact American toads, but they manage to endure them more efficiently than other species do. This is slight because American toads are environment naturalists, and the decline of a particular territory nature does not severely impair this species.

Economic Roles

American toads are accountable for managing the populace of many species of bugs. The number of insects they consume gives them a vital role in regulating these communities.

American toads devour several species of pest bugs and other insects. They are universally recognized advocates to horticulturists and growers. The poisons generated by their skin may ultimately demonstrate valuable in pharmaceutical analysis.


Toads are an essential component of the universal food series. They are greedy eaters of pests and other tiny insects and, particularly as tadpoles, they are necessary for the menu of many creatures. Amphibians demand wetlands to breed. If persistent or ephemeral wetland territory is contaminated, depleted or poisoned, amphibians cannot quickly settle and move to a different lake.

To support conserve amphibians, wetland regions need to be saved and defended. Transient wetlands can be significant tadpole territories because there aren’t fish to the victim on them. In the springtime, grown-up toads will be reverting to fishponds as have periods before them, but presently there may be streets or structures across their tracks. Youngsters can be trained to understand that these beings are only attempting to revert to their mating ponds to reproduce another age.

Toads consume numerous insects, worms, and larvae that can wreck herb yields. Protected territories or toad dwellings and a supply of water in fields can lure toads to drive in.

American toads have no particular protection status, as they are still prevalent in the most utmost of their scope. They are readily drawn to garden lakes and patios. Some communities have decreased in modern years, probably due to contamination.

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Neither the Committee on the Status of Species at Risk in Ontario nor the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada has evaluated the situation of the American toad. The species has no security following the Ontario Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act. The International Union for Conservation of Nature classifies the global rank of the American toad as Least Concern. The species’ situation was settled in 2010.

Fun Facts:

  • One American toad can consume up to 1,000 bugs every day.
  • The chief predators to American toads are serpents. The Eastern hognose snake depends fundamentally on toads for their menu. Other snakes, such as garter snakes, are resistant from the toxins expelled by toads.
  • Toads sip by consuming water through a section on their lower belly called a seat patch.
  • Opposite to public-view, you will not get blemishes if you get in contact with a toad. Though, the protective elements in the toad surface are lethal to humans, so it’s essential to cleanse one’s hands delicately after touching one.
  • American toads utilize body positions, sense, and biochemical odors to interact with one another.
  • They also are associated to urinate in self-defense, particularly when plucked up by a human. This may not trouble some people but you must still make certain to cleanse your hands after handling one.
  • American Toads are nearly four and a half inches long- approximately as long as a kid’s fist. Unlike most toads, which remain for a victim to get along and dive on it, American Toads can fire out their gluey tongues to capture prey. They likewise may utilize their front legs to consume more substantial food. They seize their food and drive it toward their mouths.
  • While developing, American toads cast their outside skin every two weeks. More grown toads drop their skin nearly four times per year. The skin strips off in one-pieces and is gathered beneath its tongue and is consumed.


How long do they last?

In the native, most American toads presumably don’t last longer than a year or two. The majority perish before modifying from tadpoles into toadlets. Nevertheless, they are fitted with living much longer. Some toads have existed longer than 10 years in the sultry. There is a recorded statement of a restricted toad that existed to the mature old age of 36 and was annihilated by error.

Do they create dilemmas?

There are no adverse results of American toads on people.

Are they endangered?

No. American toads have no particular protection state, as they are still prevalent in most of their area.

Do they make a great pet?

No. While toads are very simple to attend for, and it is not difficult to mimic their actual settings in an aquarium, it is still very relevant to abandon wild toads wherever you see them.

Do toads want to be caressed?

Toads, on the other hand, are hard to the sense. They can be tender but shortly touched and stroked and most toads appear to appreciate this in short treatments, although, if a male toad starts producing sounds while you caress him, he is NOT humming to you in the luxury.

Are toads toxic?

Yes. Touch with a toad’s flesh will not present you blemishes and it will not harm you merely through skin-to-skin association. However, they have organs just at the back of their eyes that when compressed, will emit a milky-white material that can seriously cripple someone if consumed.

Do toads cry?

Some frogs positively can, particularly the traditional frog. The common reason for this sharp, loud cry is signal at a predator, often a feline or canine. The cry can last for more than five seconds and matches the cry of a frightened child. If a bird strikes a frog, for example, the frog’s shriek may attract a cat.

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