Toad Tuesday

Oak Toad (Anaxyrus quercicus)

Oak Toad
photo by the USGS
least concern


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.

Oak Toad
photo by Eric Shashoua

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.

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3 thoughts on “Oak Toad (Anaxyrus quercicus)”

  1. I am having a frog fest around my concrete slab porch! A VERY LARGE (over 2″ long) toad comes sits on my doorstep right up next to my door. There is a smaller version of him (about 1″ long) that sits in the cat food bowl.Drives my cat gonzo.
    But this guy is one of the weirdest frogs (yes it’s a toad) one I’ve ever seen! Oh and there is a TINY green tree frog that makes the loudest sound.
    I live way out in the country and around my porch is overgrown with grass & weeds. Don’t Don’t know WHY I have so many froggy friends.
    The weird toad has a yellowish/white streak from the tip of his snout all the way down to the butt. It’s about 1-1/2″ long. Maybe its one of the Oak Toads but it doesn’t look just like the photos here. It is much more upright in height than I can tell from your photos.
    I have a photo I can send you.
    I am unable to catch any of them because I’m wheelchair bound and my photos are from my crappy cellphone but I’m happy to share.
    Would love to know what my froggy friends are. My dog & cat love to watch them hop but don’t try to eat them. In fact my cat Bobo goes nutz when 1 gets close to the door. He is scared when they jump but when still he loves watching them. He meows up a storm until I go to & open the door (he’s normally a nearly SILENT cat).
    Thanks for listening to my Frog Friend Tales.

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