Dwarf American Toad

Dwarf American Toad

Copyright Tom Krohn

Genus Species: Anaxyrus americanus charlesmithi

Size: 1½ - 2½”

Location: Found throughout Arkansas

Advertisement Call: Long, melodic, high pitched trill lasting up to 30 seconds





This is one of only two true toads in Arkansas.  The Dwarf American Toad is named for its discoverer Charles Smith.  This toad is smaller than the American Toad, has a higher pitched trill, and varies from light to dark red in color.  It has horizontal eye pupils and prominent kidney-shaped paratoid toxin glands.  Some snakes are immune to the toxin (Hognose and Garter) so the toad will urinate on itself to become less appetizing and may inflate to  become harder to swallow.

Interesting Fact: Charles Martin Smith (no relation) played the part of “Toad” in the 1973 movie American Graffiti.

This toad breeds from March through July and the females lay 10,000 eggs or more in long, spiral strings.  The eggs hatch in 3 - 12 days and develop into toads in one or two months.  As adults, these toads will eat anything that fits into their mouths (insects, worms, small snakes, turtles, birds, other frogs).  They have no teeth so must swallow their food whole and let the stomach acid do its work.  These toads will hybridize with Fowler’s Toad where the ranges overlap which adds a whole new level of challenge to identifying them.

The Dwarf American Toad is a member of the Bufonidae (True Toad) family and is a New Frog (Neobatrachia).