Great Plains toad
|Great Plains toad|
Bufo cognatus Say, 1823
The Great Plains toad (Anaxyrus cognatus) is a relatively large species of true toad. It ranges from southern Alberta, throughout the midwest United States and the inland western United States into northern Mexico.
The great plains toad is grey, brown, and green in color, with darker colored blotching. It can grow to anywhere between 2 and 4.5 in (5.1 and 11.4 cm) in length. Its primary diet is various species of cutworms. It prefers grassland habitat with loose soil that is easy to burrow in. Breeding occurs throughout the spring and summer months, most often immediately after heavy rainfall. In dry areas it may only emerge from its burrow for a few weeks when conditions are right, and usually at night, but in areas with permanent water bodies and abundant rain it may be active all day. Its mating call is a very loud, harsh chirping noise repeated many times, very fast.
The toad is preyed upon by the plains garter snake (Thamnophis radix). It uses chemoreceptors to sense chemical cues left by the snake.
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- Herps of Texas: Bufo cognatus
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