A Tale of Two Toads

Two types of toads, that is. Specifically Eastern American Toad (Anaxyrus americanus) and Fowler’s Toad (Anaxyrus fowleri). Eastern American- and Fowler’s Toads are similar in appearance and often coexist in the same habitat.

A rule-of-thumb that may be used to differentiate the two species is the number of “warts per dark spot”: Eastern American Toads have only one- or two large warts in each of its largest dorsal dark spots; Fowler’s Toads have three or more warts in each of its large dorsal color spots.

Eastern American Toads

A couple of Eastern American Toads were spotted during photowalks through Huntley Meadows Park the past two years.

Specimen 1 (17 May 2012)

The color is highly variable, from brick-red through browns and olive grays to light gray. Source Credit: eastern American toad (Anaxyrus americanus americanus), Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.

Specimen 2 (20 September 2013)

Fowler’s Toad

The following photos show a Fowler’s Toad spotted on 16 August 2013 near the head-end of “Basin Trail” at Accotink Bay Wildlife Refuge.

Fowler's Toad (Anaxyrus fowleri)

Fowler's Toad (Anaxyrus fowleri)

Thanks to Jim Waggener, Bob Studholme, and Kevin Munroe for confirming my tentative field identification of the three toads featured in this post. These gentlemen conduct wildlife surveys of the Potomac River National Wildlife Refuge Complex, coordinated by Mr. Waggener.

Related Resources:

  • Friends of Huntley Meadows Park Amphibians species list
  • eastern American toad (Anaxyrus americanus americanus), Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries
  • Fowler’s toad (Anaxyrus fowleri), Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries

Copyright © 2014 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

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2 Responses to “A Tale of Two Toads”

  1. naturesnippets Says:

    Interesting. How did you get them to cooperate? They must of wanted the fame of being blogged.

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