American Toad

The American Toad is an amphibian that has short legs, short and wide bodies and they have skin that is thick and full of warts.  Their warts are sometimes yellow or red.

What Do American Toads Look Like?

The American Toad can be different colors such as yellow, white, olive, gray or brown.  They also have different colors throughout their skin such as red or yellow and warts that can be seen.

The skin of the toad can change depending on the weather and how much humidity is in the air.  Their skin can change from yellow to brown and even go to black.

The American Toad has four different legs and each of their front legs have four toes and their back feet are webbed together so that they can swim better.

Most of the American Toads have eyes that are black with a gold circle around them and they are in the oval shape.

The American Toad female has white throats and is lighter in color than the males.  The male American Toad has dark-colored throats that are brown or black.

The difference between the American Toad and other amphibians or toads is warts that grow on their backs.  Below these warts are different colored spots which are sometimes black or dark brown.  The spots are usually circled with yellow or white.

The American Toads have ridges on the top of their head.


The warts that the American Toad has are used for protection.  They let off poison when they feel that they are being attacked and the poison flows from the warts.

American Toad Tadpoles

The tadpoles of the American Toad are almost black when they hatch.  Their eggs are different than other frog or toad eggs because they are black on top and white on the bottom.  When they hatch, they have long, round bodies and their tails are round so they can swim.

Where Do American Toads Live?

American Toads live throughout North America but they aren’t usually seen in states that are more Southern.  They are able to adapt to their area but they need a place that is close to the water so that they can lay their eggs there.

They need to have a place that is full of vegetation so that they can be protected from their predators.  Since all they need is basically water and vegetation, they can be found in back yards, around ponds, bogs or other places where water is found.  Sometimes, they are found in gardens because they look for places where they can hid and be3 safe.

What Do American Toads do During the Winter?

During the winter and cold months, the American Toad will either find a new place to hibernate, or they will dig backwards into the mud and stay there until the weather gets warmer.  Since the American Toad is an amphibian, it is a cold-blooded animal.  Cold-blooded means that the toad cannot regulate its own body temperature and has to use the environment around it to stay warm or cool.

How Long Does the American Toad Live?

The American toad can live up to 36 years if they are a pet toad, but ones that live in the wild normally don’t live past 10 years.

Behavior of the American Toad

The American Toad is a nocturnal animal which means that they are mostly active when it is nighttime.  They also are more active when the weather is warm and humid.

American Toads can be found hiding under rocks or logs or making noises to call other toads.


American Toads communicate with each other by giving a long trill sound that can last even up to 20 seconds.  They use this call to find a mate.  Sometimes when it is mating season, the call will be louder and last longer.

Male toads will cause their throat to puff out like a balloon when they are calling and attracting a mate.

What Do They Eat?

The American Toad is a carnivore but the tadpole is a herbivore.  A carnivore eats meat and an herbivore eats plants.

Most adult American Toads will eat a variety of foods such as insects, beetles, slugs, worms, snails and other small things that they can catch with their tongues.  One American Toad can eat over 1,000 different insects in one day.

What Eats the American Toad?

The American Toad has its own predators that it has to look out for.  Some of the biggest predators are snakes.  Some snakes are immune to the poison of the American Toad and can eat these when they are hungry.

Facts About American Toads:

  • You will not get a wart from holding a frog. They use the warts to let out a chemical if they feel that they are being threatened.
  • There are two species of the American Toad called the Dwarf American Toad and the Eastern American Toad.
  • American Toads are important to the environment because they help to control the bug population.
  • Tadpoles avoid predators by swimming together in schools in very shallow water.
  • Female American Toads try to lay their eggs in places that don’t have fish.
  • Toads will urinate on themselves to stop their predator from attacking them.

What Did You Learn?

  • What is the American Toad?  The American Toad is an amphibian that is found is known for the warts that grow on its thick skin.
  • What are the two types of American Toads? The Two types of American Toads are the Eastern American Toad and the Dwarf American Toad.
  • Where do American Toads live? Most American Toads find a home close to fresh water such as a pond, lake or bog.
  • What do American Toads need to survive? American Toads need fresh water and vegetation to be able to survive.
  • What do American Toads eat? Most American Toads eat small insects such as snails, mosquitos and other small insects that live around them.