Toad Tuesday

Southern Toad (Anaxyrus terrestris)

Southern Toad
Southern Toad photo by Norman Benton
least concern


Common Name: Southern Toad
Scientific Name: Anaxyrus terrestris
Family: Bufonidae – True Toad Family
Locations: United States – Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia
Female Size: 1.7 – 3.6 inches (44 – 92 mm)
Male Size: 1.6 – 3.2 inches (42 – 82 mm)

The Southern Toad is your typical toad. It is nocturnal and hides in burrows or under rocks or logs during the day. The toad varies in color from reddish brown to dark brown and to gray. They can appear similar to the Cane Toad (Rhinella marina), an invasive species. The Southern Toad has two larger ridges behind their eyes that the Cane Toad lacks.

In the spring / late winter, the toads migrate to a variety of different water bodies, including lakes, ponds, ditches and canals, to breed. The toads breed in temporary and permanent water sources. The males will call from shallow waters close to shore to attract their mates. Once the female arrives, the males will embrace the female in amplexus. The female will lay her eggs and the males fertilize them. Around 2500 – 4000 eggs are laid. Neither of the parents will provide any care from the eggs. The eggs hatch in two to four days and complete metamorphism in one or two months.

Southern Toad
photo by Todd Pierson

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List categorizes the toad as Least Concern for Extinction. The toads have a wide range, presumed large population, and are tolerable to habitat changes. There are no major threats currently for them.

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