Anaxyrus americanus americanus
formerly Bufo americanus
Eastern American Toad / Crapaud d'Amérique
The Eastern American Toad is a large, squat toad with warty brown, reddish or olive skin
and variously coloured spots and skin glands. There is often a light line down the
middle of the back. It is distinguished from other toads by its long
parotoid glands which do
not touch its prominent cranial
crests. Maximum adult size is 11 cm.
call is a monotone trill up to 30 seconds long, preceded by a single, slightly
lower introductory note. In a breeding chorus each male selects a different note to
The Eastern American Toad is the only toad in most of eastern Canada.It overlaps with the
Canadian Toad in central Manitoba.
The cranial crests of the Canadian Toad are fused into a bony hump between the eyes.
In extreme southern Ontario it also overlaps with the
Fowler's Toad, whose parotoid glands touch the
cranial crests. Eastern American Toads can hybridize with these two species which makes
identification more difficult in the zones of overlap.
The Eastern American Toad is widespread throughout the eastern half of Canada from the
central Manitoba and southern James Bay to Labrador and Prince Edward Island. It
is also widespread through the eastern United States.
Eastern American Toads are found in a wide variety of terrestrial habitats from mown grass
and gardens to heavily forested areas. They inhabit ponds only during the breeding
season and as larvae. Breeding occurs in warm, shallow ponds, shallow streams and
river margins and even large puddles and roadside ditches.
Eastern American Toads breed from late March to early June depending on how far north they
are. Eggs are laid in two strands which are wrapped around aquatic vegetation. The
eggs hatch in a few days to a few weeks and the tadpole stage lasts 50-65 days.
Emerging toadlets are among the smallest newly transformed amphibians and soon
disperse into the surrounding habitat.
Eastern American Toads hibernate on land and burrow beneath the frost line in the soil.
Both tadpoles and toads have poison glands in the skin which reduce their
susceptibility to predators. A dog which picks up a toad will drop it and foam
at the mouth but will not be hurt. They eat insects and small soil creatures
such as worms and slugs.
Eastern American Toads are easily attracted to backyard ponds and gardens. There is no
evidence that they have declined.