A toad of open forests, sandy prairies, meadows and river valleys, Fowler’s toad spends much of its time underground, particularly during hot or cold periods, and is most active at night.
Description: Fowler's toads are 2 to 3 inches long. Their coloration varies from shades of gray or brown to brick red. They do not have any spotting on the chest.
Similar Species: Distinguished from the American toad by the lack of space between the cranial crests and the parotoid glands. Also, they have 3 or more warts in each of the large spots on their back; the American toad has 1 or 2.
Voice: A short unmusical w-a-a-a-h lasting 1-4 seconds.
Habitat: Fowler’s toad occurs in a wide array of rural and urban habitats across the state.
Diet: Adults eat insects and ground-dwelling invertebrates. Unlike the American toad, Fowler’s toads tend to avoid earthworms.
Breeding information: Breeding typically takes place in May or June, sometimes as late as early August. Females lay strands of 7,000 to 10,000 eggs that hatch in 2 to 7 days. Metamorphosis of tadpoles takes thirty to forty days; Fowler’s toads become mature in 2 to 3 years.
Status in Tennessee: Common.
- Will occasionally appear after heavy rains in areas where they were not suspected of living
- Like many toads, the Fowler’s toad produces a toxin from its skin. This can be poisonous to smaller animals
- Breeds later than the American toad
Best places to see in Tennessee: Found statewide.
For more information:
The Frogs and Toads of Tennessee web site
LEAPS Consulting web site on frogs and toads
Animal Diversity Web - The University of Michigan Museum of Zoology
Conant, R. and Collins, J. 1998. Peterson Field Guides: Reptiles and Amphibians (Eastern/Central North America). Houghton Mifflin Company, New York. 616pp.
Recording ©2010, Robert English, Leaps