Order Anura
Frogs and Toads

Family Bufonidae - Toads



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Bufo americanus
Bufo americanus Holbrook - American Toad

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Description: Bufo americanus is a medium-sized toad, with adult head-body lengths ranging from 5.1 to 9.0 cm. Ground color may be gray, brown, or reddish and, when present, dorsal dark spots usually possess only one or two large warts. The venter is usually light, with chest and upper abdomen dark spotted. Parotoid glands are not in direct contact with postorbital ridges, but are usually connected to them by a spur.

Distribution and Habitat: The American toad is most often encountered during its early spring breeding season and is found statewide. It occurs in a wide variety of woodland and openland habitats that provide either permanent or temporary shallow water areas for breeding. Mathews and Echternacht (1984) reported this toad from above 1650 m in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Taxonomy: Two subspecies are recognized in Tennessee. Bufo a. americanus ranges over most of the state (Conant and Collins, 1991), with B. a. charlesmithi Bragg occurring in extreme northwestern Tennessee (Conant and Collins, 1991; Lynch, 1964; Smith, 1961). Collins (1991a) recommends further study of these two subspecies and suggests they may represent two distinct species. Evidence of hybridization of B. americanus with B. woodhousei fowleri has been reported in eastern Tennessee by Johnson (1968), in Montgomery County by Scott and Snyder (1968), in Stewart County by Snyder (1972), and in Hardeman County by Norton and Harvey (1975). In contrast, King (1939) mentions no interbreeding in Great Smoky Mountains National Park where he found both species breeding in the same pond.


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Bufo woodhousei
Bufo woodhousei Girard - Woodhouse's Toad

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Description:
Mature individuals range from 5.1 to 7.5 cm in head-body length. Ground color is variable and ranges from light gray to brick red. When present, each large dorsal dark spot usually possesses three or more small warts. Venter is usually light, but breast may have a single, central dark spot. Anterior edge of parotoids is usually in direct contact with interorbital crests.

Distribution and Habitat: Bufo woodhousei is a very common species that occurs in a wide array of rural and urban habitats throughout the state. The species may occur as high as 1494 m in the Blue Ridge Mountains of eastern Tennessee (Stevenson, 1959). Breeding typically occurs in temporary or permanent aquatic sites, including ponds, sloughs, rivers, and reservoirs.

Taxonomy: Only one subspecies, B. w. fowleri Hinckley has been reported from Tennessee (Conant and Collins, 1991).