Great Plains toad
|Great Plains toad|
The Great Plains toad (Bufo cognatus) is a relatively large species of 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 predated by the plains garter snake (Thamnophis radix). It uses chemoreceptors to sense chemical cues left by the snake.
- Pauly, G. B., D. F. F. M. Hillis, and D. C. Cannatella. (2004) The history of a Nearctic colonization: Molecular phylogenetics and biogeography of the Nearctic toads (Bufo). Evolution 58: 2517–2535.
- Hammerson & Santos-Barrera (2004). Bufo cognatus. 2006. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN 2006. www.iucnredlist.org. Retrieved on 12 May 2006. Database entry includes a range map and justification for why this species is of least concern
- Herps of Texas: Bufo cognatus
- Grismer, L. L. (2002). Amphibians and Reptiles of Baja California. Los Angeles: University of California Press, 69.
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