Toad Tuesday

Coastal Plains Toad (Incilius nebulifer)

Coastal Plains Toad
photo by Kevin Young

least concern
Common Name: Coastal Plains Toad
Scientific Name: Incilius nebulifer
Family: Bufonidae – True Toad Family
Location: Mexico and the United States
US Locations: Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi
Size: 3 – 5 inches (7.6 – 12.7 cm)

The Coastal Plains Toad is found along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico. They used to be part of the Gulf Coast Toad (Incilius valliceps) species but was split off due to genetic testing. It is still kinda confusing even though it happened over 20 years ago. Additionally, they are one of the largest toads native to the United States and are known for their defined cranial crest.

photo by William L. Farr

The spring and summer rains bring the Coastal Plains Toad out to mate. The frogs breed in a variety of still-water sources such as ponds, wetlands, and roadside ditches. The males call out to females in hopes of attracting them from these water bodies. Once the female shows up, the male grasps her from behind in the amplexus position. Then, the female lays her eggs and the male fertilizes them. Surprisingly, the females can lay up to 20,000 eggs in a clutch and have been observed to lay two clutches in extended breeding seasons. Additionally, neither the male or female show any parental care towards the eggs. The eggs hatch in a day or two and the tadpoles then complete metamorphosis in 20 to 30 days. Once the juvenile frogs reach a year old, they reach sexual maturity and are ready to breed.

The International Union for the Conservation (IUCN) Red List places the Coastal Plains Toad as Least Concern for Extinction. They have adapted alright to the urbanization of their habitat. They have been observed to hide under concrete slabs and in cracks and holes of sidewalks. The frogs seem to be doing great.

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