Recognized Subspecies in VA: Eastern American Toad (Anaxyrus americanus americanus)
Size: 2 - 3.5 inches
Range: Statewide, excluding the Eastern Shore and the far southeastern corner
Status: Least Concern
The Eastern American Toad is a common species, especially in the late winter/early spring. They can be found in yards, fields, and forest across the state often attracted to lights that draw insects. These toads can be found by road cruising, spotlighting fields and yards, or flipping debris during the day. As with most frogs, they are easy to track down when they are calling from vernal pools, ditches, or even ponds in February to April.
American Toads often have spotted bellies and enlarged warts on the dorsal and the calves. They are typically yellow, reddish, gray, or brown sometimes with small, dark blotches.
Similar Species: The easiest species to confuse is the Southern Toad. Southern Toads are only found in the southeastern portions of the state, and often have larger blotches, high cranial knobs, and less enlarged dorsal and tibial warts. That said, the Fowler's Toad is probably the most often misidentified toad. Fowler's Toads have much smaller heads, cranial ridges that fit snug to the parotid gland, and lack the overly enlarged warts on the dorsal and calves. These three species are known to hybridize readily, with American x Fowler's being the most common.
Calls are long, high-pitched trills that average over 12 seconds.
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