Recognized Subspecies in VA: None
Size: 2 - 3 inches
Range: Almost statewide, but absent from parts of the Blue Ridge
Status: Least Concern
Meet the most common frog in most yards in the summer. This frog has interrupted many summer cookouts, when a child runs around with one they just picked up and shows it off to everyone just trying to have a conversation with their family. The warm summer rains draw hundreds of these toads to the roads, where many find their fate on the warm, wet asphalt. Yet somehow, this frog is still numerous in fields, yards, and forests in most anywhere with sandy or clay soil. They often sleep in burrows or under debris during the day, and hunt insects at night. This species usually breeds from May until August, though Fowler's on the Eastern Shore breed earlier in the year, likely due to lack of competition with the absent American Toad. In the absence of these other toads on the Eastern Shore, the Fowler's has seemingly converged into a niche more similar to the Southern Toad; having similar patterns to Southerns, larger heads, larger warts, and even higher cranial ridges.
This species can be various shades of yellow, reddish, gray, or brown with darker blotches on their dorsal. Some may lack spots, but this is not the normal case. They usually have plain bellies, and lack enlarged warts on the body and calves.
Similar Species: This species is very similar to the other True Toads of the state. The American Toad has a larger head, cranial ridges that do not abutt on the parotid glands, and very enlarged warts on the calves and body. The Southern Toad is found in the southeast, has mildly enlarged warts, and high cranial knobs.
Calls are like loud, short groans.
Maps and External Sources
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