Great Plains toad

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Great Plains toad
Bufo cognatus1.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Amphibia
Order: Anura
Family: Bufonidae
Genus: Anaxyrus
Species: A. cognatus
Binomial name
Anaxyrus cognatus
(Say, 1823)

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.[2] 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.


  1. ^ Hammerson, G.; Santos-Barrera, G. (2010). "Anaxyrus cognatus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 2014-10-09. 
  2. ^ Grismer, L. L. (2002). Amphibians and Reptiles of Baja California. Los Angeles: University of California Press, 69.
  • Frost, D. R.; Grant, T.; Faivovich, J. N.; Bain, R. H.; Haas, A.; Haddad, C. L. F. B.; De Sá, R. O.; Channing, A.; Wilkinson, M.; Donnellan, S. C.; Raxworthy, C. J.; Campbell, J. A.; Blotto, B. L.; Moler, P.; Drewes, R. C.; Nussbaum, R. A.; Lynch, J. D.; Green, D. M.; Wheeler, W. C. (2006). "The Amphibian Tree of Life". Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 297: 1–291. doi:10.1206/0003-0090(2006)297[0001:TATOL]2.0.CO;2. hdl:2246/5781.  edit
  • Pauly, G. B; Hillis, D. M.; Cannatella, D. C. (November 2004). "The history of a Nearctic colonization: Molecular phylogenetics and biogeography of the Nearctic toads (Bufo)". Evolution 58 (11): 2517–2535. doi:10.1111/j.0014-3820.2004.tb00881.x. 
  • Herps of Texas: Bufo cognatus

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