Anaxyrus americanus - (Holbrook, 1836)
American Toad
Other English Common Names: American toad
Synonym(s): Bufo americanus Holbrook, 1836
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Anaxyrus americanus (Holbrook, 1836) (TSN 773511)
French Common Names: crapaud d'Amérique
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.102753
Element Code: AAABB01020
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Vertebrates - Amphibians - Frogs and Toads
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Craniata Amphibia Anura Bufonidae Anaxyrus
Genus Size: D - Medium to large genus (21+ species)
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: Frost, D. R. 1985. Amphibian species of the world. A taxonomic and geographical reference. Allen Press, Inc., and The Association of Systematics Collections, Lawrence, Kansas. v + 732 pp.
Concept Reference Code: B85FRO01HQUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Bufo americanus
Taxonomic Comments: Hybridizes with B. fowleri in several areas (Green 1984, Green and Parent 2003). Hybridizes also with B. hemiophrys in southeastern Manitoba and north-central U.S. (Green 1983, Green and Pustowka 1997). Sanders (1987) regarded populations in the James Bay region, Canada, as a distinct species, B. copei; other authors have treated copei as a subspecies of B. americanus or as unworthy of any taxonomic recognition.
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G5
Global Status Last Reviewed: 05Jun2015
Global Status Last Changed: 11Oct2001
Ranking Methodology Used: Ranked by inspection
Rounded Global Status: G5 - Secure
Reasons: Large range in eastern North America; large area of occupancy; high abundance; many stable populations; no major threats.
Nation: United States
National Status: N5 (05Nov1996)
Nation: Canada
National Status: N5 (05Jun2015)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
United States Alabama (S5), Arkansas (S5), Connecticut (S5), Delaware (S5), District of Columbia (S5), Georgia (S5), Illinois (S5), Indiana (SNR), Iowa (S5), Kansas (S5), Kentucky (S5), Louisiana (S3S4), Maine (S5), Maryland (S5), Massachusetts (S5), Michigan (S5), Minnesota (S5), Mississippi (S4?), Missouri (SNR), Nebraska (S1), New Hampshire (S5), New Jersey (S5), New York (S5), North Carolina (S5), North Dakota (SNR), Ohio (SNR), Oklahoma (S5), Pennsylvania (S5), Rhode Island (S5), South Carolina (SNR), South Dakota (SU), Tennessee (S5), Texas (S3), Vermont (S5), Virginia (S5), West Virginia (S5), Wisconsin (S5)
Canada Labrador (S5), Manitoba (S4S5), New Brunswick (S5), Newfoundland Island (SNA), Nova Scotia (S5), Nunavut (SU), Ontario (S5), Prince Edward Island (S5), Quebec (S4)

Other Statuses

Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC): Candidate (Low) (26Jan2015)
IUCN Red List Category: LC - Least concern

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent: >2,500,000 square km (greater than 1,000,000 square miles)
Range Extent Comments: Range extends from Labrador, Hudson Bay area, and central Manitoba south to northern Texas, Louisiana, central Alabama, northern Georgia, and North Carolina. Absent from most of Coastal Plain.

Number of Occurrences:  
Number of Occurrences Comments: Represented by many and/or large occurrences throughout most of the range.

Population Size: >1,000,000 individuals
Population Size Comments: Total adult population size is unknown but likely exceeds, 1,000,000.

Number of Occurrences with Good Viability/Integrity: Very many (>125)

Overall Threat Impact: Low
Overall Threat Impact Comments: No major threats. Dispersing juveniles tend to avoid open canopy habitat, so deforestation and fragmentation likely reduce dispersal rates between local populations and could negatively impact population persistence in altered landscapes (Rothermal and Semlitsch 2002).

Short-term Trend: Relatively Stable (<=10% change)
Short-term Trend Comments: Stable overall, with localized declines.

Long-term Trend: Decline of <30% to increase of 25%
Long-term Trend Comments: Likely relatively stable in extent of occurrence, probably less than 25% decline in population size, area of occurrence, and number/condition of occurrences.

Intrinsic Vulnerability: Moderately vulnerable

Environmental Specificity: Moderate to broad.

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: (>2,500,000 square km (greater than 1,000,000 square miles)) Range extends from Labrador, Hudson Bay area, and central Manitoba south to northern Texas, Louisiana, central Alabama, northern Georgia, and North Carolina. Absent from most of Coastal Plain.

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces
Color legend for Distribution Map
Endemism: occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States AL, AR, CT, DC, DE, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, NC, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NY, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, VA, VT, WI, WV
Canada LB, MB, NB, NFexotic, NS, NU, ON, PE, QC

Range Map
Note: Range depicted for New World only. The scale of the maps may cause narrow coastal ranges or ranges on small islands not to appear. Not all vagrant or small disjunct occurrences are depicted. For migratory birds, some individuals occur outside of the passage migrant range depicted. For information on how to obtain shapefiles of species ranges see our Species Mapping pages at www.natureserve.org/conservation-tools/data-maps-tools.

Range Map Compilers: IUCN, Conservation International, NatureServe, and collaborators, 2004


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
NE Douglas (31055), Sarpy (31153), Saunders (31155)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
10 Lower Platte (10200202)+, Salt (10200203)+, Lower Elkhorn (10220003)+, Big Papillion-Mosquito (10230006)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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General Description: Warty skin, generally with 1-2 warts in each of the largest dark dorsal spots; chest and adjacent abdomen usually dark spotted; large warts on lower hind leg; parotoid glands (lumps behind eyes) separate from cranial crests (bony ridges behind eyes) or connected only by a short spur; maximum snout-vent length of female around 11 cm. Mature male: dark throat; dark pads on thumbs and inner fingers during breeding season; breeding call is a long, musical trill lasting up to around 30 seconds. Larvae: blackish; low tail fin lacks spots; small eyes in dorsal position; tail muscles unpigmented along lower edge; oral disk indented at jaw edges; labial tooth rows: 2 upper, 3 lower; total length up to about 24 mm. Eggs: laid in long strings that may become tangled in vegetation.
Reproduction Comments: Breeding occurs in spring (or winter in the south). Hundreds of adults may aggregate for breeding. Aquatic larvae hatch in about a week or less, metamorphose in about 2 months, in spring or summer (often June or July, but as early as mid-May in some areas). Larvae metamorphose into tiny toadlets within a couple months. Individuals become sexually mature in 2-3 years. Hundreds may aggregate for breeding.
Ecology Comments: Larvae are palatable to LEPOMIS fishes (Holomuzki 1995).
Non-Migrant: N
Locally Migrant: Y
Long Distance Migrant: N
Mobility and Migration Comments: Adults migrate up to several hundred meters between breeding pools and nonbreeding terrestrial habitats.
Riverine Habitat(s): CREEK, Low gradient, Pool
Palustrine Habitat(s): Bog/fen, FORESTED WETLAND, HERBACEOUS WETLAND, Riparian, SCRUB-SHRUB WETLAND, TEMPORARY POOL
Terrestrial Habitat(s): Cropland/hedgerow, Forest - Conifer, Forest - Hardwood, Forest - Mixed, Grassland/herbaceous, Old field, Suburban/orchard, Woodland - Conifer, Woodland - Hardwood, Woodland - Mixed
Special Habitat Factors: Benthic, Burrowing in or using soil, Fallen log/debris
Habitat Comments: American toads live on land except during the brief breeding season. They live in a wide variety of habitats, ranging from forests to prairies, wherever there is sufficient moisture, food, and a suitable breeding site. They emerge from winter dormancy on land and migrate up to several hundred meters to breeding sites. Breeding occurs in shallows of slow- or nonflowing bodies of water, including both permanent and temporary pools, generally in sites with few if any fishes (e.g., Holomuzki 1995). In northern Minnesota, successful reproduction in acidic bog water either does not occur or is a rare event (Karns 1992).
Adult Food Habits: Invertivore
Immature Food Habits: Herbivore
Food Comments: Larvae eat suspended matter, organic debris, algae, and plant tissue. Metamorphosed toads eat various small terrestrial invertebrates.
Adult Phenology: Crepuscular, Diurnal, Hibernates/aestivates, Nocturnal
Immature Phenology: Crepuscular, Diurnal, Hibernates/aestivates, Nocturnal
Phenology Comments: Hibernates in coldest winter months; may estivate during hot dry months of summer. Most active at night but also active diurnally when breeding and at other times in shady habitats.
Colonial Breeder: Y
Length: 11 centimeters
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary Not yet assessed
Help
Population/Occurrence Delineation
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Group Name: Bufonid Toads

Use Class: Not applicable
Subtype(s): Breeding Site
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Occurrences are based on evidence of historical presence, or current and likely recurring presence, at a given location. Such evidence minimally includes collection or reliable observation and documentation of one or more individuals (including larvae or eggs) in or near appropriate habitat where the species is presumed to be established and breeding.
Separation Barriers: Busy major highway such that toads rarely if ever cross successfully; roads with nonpermeable barriers to toad movement; urbanized areas dominated by buildings and pavement.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 1 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Justification: Opportunistic observations of various toad species in lowland habitats indicate regular movements of up to at least several hundred meters from the closest known breeding site (G. Hammerson, pers. obs.). Sweet (1993) recorded movements of up to 1 km in Bufo californicus. In defining critical habitat for B. californicus, USFWS (2000) included breeding streams and upland areas within a 25-m elevational range of each essential stream reach and no more than 1.5 km away from the stream. In northwestern Utah, Thompson (2004) recorded movements of Bufo boreas of up to 5 km across upland habitat between two springs during the summer-fall season. Another toad moved 1.3 km between May of one year and May of the next year; the following June it was back at the original breeding location (Thompson 2004). Most studies of toad movements have not employed radiotelemetry and were not designed to detect long-range movements or dispersal.

The separation distance for unsuitable habitat reflects the nominal minimum value of 1 km. The separation distance for suitable habitat reflects the good vagility of toads, their ability to utilize ephemeral or newly created breeding sites, and the consequent likely low probability that two occupied locations separated by less than several kilometers of suitable habitat would represent truly independent populations over the long term.

Inferred Minimum Extent of Habitat Use (when actual extent is unknown): .5 km
Date: 27Apr2005
Author: Hammerson, G.
Population/Occurrence Viability
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U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
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Authors/Contributors
Help
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 25Jan2010
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Hammerson, G.
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 25Jan2010
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): Hammerson, G.

Zoological data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs) and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
Help
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  • Collins, J. T. 1982. Amphibians and reptiles in Kansas. Second edition. Univ. Kansas Mus. Nat. Hist., Pub. Ed. Ser. 8. xiii + 356 pp.

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  • Crother, B. I., editor. 2008. Scientific and standard English names of amphibians and reptiles of North America north of Mexico, with comments regarding confidence in our understanding. Sixth Edition. Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles Herpetological Circular 37. 94 pp.

  • DeGraaf, R. M., and D. D. Rudis. 1983a. Amphibians and reptiles of New England. Habitats and natural history. Univ. Massachusetts Press. vii + 83 pp.

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  • Frost, D. R. 1985. Amphibian species of the world. A taxonomic and geographical reference. Allen Press, Inc., and The Association of Systematics Collections, Lawrence, Kansas. v + 732 pp.

  • Frost, D. R. 1985. Amphibian species of the world. A taxonomic and geographical reference. Allen Press, Inc., and The Association of Systematics Collections, Lawrence, Kansas. v + 732 pp.

  • Frost, D. R. 2002. Amphibian Species of the World: an online reference. V2.21 (15 July 2002). Electronic database available at http://research.amnh.org/herpetology/amphibia/index.html.

  • Frost, D. R. 2010. Amphibian Species of the World: an Online Reference. Version 5.4 (8 April 2010). Electronic Database accessible at http://research.amnh.org/herpetology/amphibia/index.php. American Museum of Natural History, New York, USA.

  • Frost, D.R., T. Grant, J. Faivovich, R. Bain, A. Haas, C.F.B. Haddad, R.O. de Sa´, S.C. Donnellan, C.J. Raxworthy, M. Wilkinson, A. Channing, J.A. Campbell, B.L. Blotto, P. Moler, R.C. Drewes, R.A. Nussbaum, J.D. Lynch, D. Green, and W.C. Wheeler. 2006. The amphibian tree of life. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 297: 1-370. [Available online at http://digitallibrary.amnh.org/dspace/handle/2246/5781 ]

  • Green, D. M. 1983. Allozyme variation through a clinal hybrid zone between the toads BUFO AMERICANUS and B. HEMIOPHRYS in southeastern Manitoba. Herpetologica 39: 28-40.

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  • Johnson, T.R. 1977. The Amphibians of Missouri. University of Kansas Museum of Natural History, Public Education Series 6: ix + 134 pp.

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