Common Name: Oak Toad
Scientific Name: Anaxyrus quercicus
Family: Bufonidae – True Toad Family
Locations: United States – Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia
Size: 1.25 inches (32 mm) max
The Oak Toad is the smallest toad in North America, not even reaching 2 inches when it is fully grown. They are also interesting in the fact that they are mostly diurnal, active during the day, while most true toads in North America are nocturnal, active during the night. They get their name from their preferred habitat – Oak forests.
Breeding takes place from April to October, depending on the arrival of the heavy, warm rains. Breeding mostly peaks in the early spring. The mating call of the males sound like baby chickens. They will call out from the shallows of water bodies to attract the females. Once the female arrives, the male will grasp her from behind in the amplexus position. Then, the female will lay her eggs and the male will fertilize it. While the Oak Toad is small, the female can lay up to 700 eggs, but average between 300 – 500 eggs. The tadpoles hatch from their eggs in a day and fully undergo metamorphosis in a month or two. Neither parent provides any care for their offspring.
The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List categorizes the Oak Toad as Least Concern for extinction. They have a good size range but their habitat is threatened by urban development.