Bufo fowleri

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Fowler's toad
FowlersToad.JPG
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Amphibia
Order: Anura
Family: Bufonidae
Genus: Anaxyrus
Species: A. fowleri
Binomial name
Anaxyrus fowleri
Hinckley, 1882
Anaxyrus fowleri range map.png
Synonyms

Bufo fowleri (Hinckley, 1882)
Bufo woodhousei fowleri

Fowler's toad in leaf litter

Fowler's toad (Anaxyrus fowleri syn. Bufo fowleri) is a species of toad in the family Bufonidae. It is native to North America, where it occurs in much of the eastern United States and parts of adjacent Canada.[1]

It was previously considered a subspecies of Woodhouse's toad (Bufo woodhousii).[2]

Description[edit]

Fowler's toad is usually brown, grey, olive green and rust red in color with darkened warty spots. If the toad has a pale stripe on its back its an adult. The belly is usually uniformly whitish except for one dark spot. The male may be darker in overall color than the female.

The toad is 5 to 9.5 cm in length. The tadpole is oval with a long tail and upper and lower fins. It is 1 to 1.4 cm long.

Reproduction[edit]

Fowler's toad reproduces in warmer seasons of the year, especially in May and June. It breeds in open, shallow waters such as ponds, lakeshores, and marshes. The male produces a call which attracts not only females, but also other males. The calling male may attempt to mate with one of the other males, which will then produce chirping "release call", informing him of his mistake. When he finds a female the pair will initiate amplexus and up to 7,000 to 10,000 eggs are fertilized. They hatch in 2 to 7 days. A new tadpole may reach sexual maturity in one season, but the process may take up to three years.

Behavior[edit]

Predators of the toad include snakes, birds, and small mammals. It uses defensive coloration to blend into its surroundings. It also secretes a noxious compound from the warts on its back. The secretion is distasteful to predators and can be lethal to small mammals. The toad is also known to play dead.

Habitat[edit]

Fowler's toad lives in open woodlands, sand prairies, meadows, and beaches. It burrows into the ground during hot, dry periods and in winter.

Diet[edit]

The adult eats insects and other small terrestrial invertebrates, but avoids earthworms, unlike its close relative, the American toad (Anaxyrus americanus). The tadpole scrapes algae and bacterial mats from rocks and plants using the toothlike structures in its mouth.

Conservation status[edit]

An important conservation measure for the toad is the protection of its breeding sites. Off-road vehicles commonly used in beach and dune habitats are damaging to this species. Agricultural chemicals have caused declines in some areas. It is considered a species at risk in Ontario.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hammerson, G. 2004. Anaxyrus fowleri. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.1. Downloaded on 21 July 2013.
  2. ^ a b Fowler's Toad. Natural Resources Canada.

External links[edit]