Fowler’s Toad

Fowler's Toad

Copyright Anita Hayden

Genus Species: Anaxyrus fowlerii

Size: 2 - 3¾”


Advertisement Call: Short, low-pitched “waaa”





This toad may be as big as your fist.  Note the white stripe down the middle of its back and the large paratoid gland on each side of its head behind the tympanum.  Please remember that although toads cannot give you warts, the secretions from their skin are toxic and can cause you extreme discomfort if they get in your eyes or mouth.  Wash your hands immediately after handling a toad.  Fowler’s Toad is named in honor of Samuel Fowler (1800-1888) who first described it.  Fowler’s has a single vocal sac and well-defined dark patches with light borders.  It has a single dark spot on its otherwise white belly.

Interesting Fact: When frogs and toads hibernate they grow another layer (or ring) of bone tissue.  Scientists can use these rings to determine the age of a frog or toad (similar to using tree rings to determine the age of a tree).

These toads call from about March to May and the females will lay 10,000 or more eggs in long strings (as opposed to the clumps of frog eggs).  Tadpoles will hatch out in about a week and the toads will leave the pond by mid-summer.  They will spend their days on land, but return to the water to breed.  Fowler’s will burrow into the ground when it gets too hot and in the winter.  They eat insects and small invertebrates, but no worms, unlike their cousins the Dwarf American Toads.

Fowler’s Toad is a member of the Bufonidae (True Toad) family and is a New Frog (Neobatrachia).