Fowler’s toad (Anaxyrus fowleri) is a species of toad found in North America. It belongs to the family Bufonidae and is native to the eastern and central United States and parts of Canada. Fowler’s toad is named after the American herpetologist Herndon B. Fowler.
Here are some key features and information about Fowler’s toad:
- Appearance: Fowler’s toad is relatively small, with adults typically ranging from 2 to 4 inches (5 to 10 cm) in length. It has rough, bumpy skin that can vary in color from gray to brown, often with blotches or spots. A distinguishing feature is its cranial crests, which are two bony ridges that run from behind the eyes to the back of the head.
- Habitat: This toad species can be found in a variety of habitats, including forests, grasslands, meadows, and suburban areas. It is often found in sandy or loose soil regions.
- Behavior: Fowler’s toads are primarily nocturnal, meaning they are most active during the night. They are known for their distinctive call, which sounds like a short trill or musical note. This call is used by males to attract females during the breeding season.
- Breeding: Breeding typically occurs in the spring and early summer. During this time, male Fowler’s toads gather near water sources, such as ponds, marshes, and slow-moving streams, and emit their characteristic calls to attract females. The females lay their eggs in long strings that float on the water’s surface. After hatching, the tadpoles develop in the water.
- Diet: Fowler’s toads primarily feed on insects and other small invertebrates. They use their long, sticky tongues to catch prey.
- Conservation: Fowler’s toad populations are generally stable and are not considered threatened or endangered. However, like many amphibian species, they can be affected by habitat loss, pollution, and disease.
- Similar Species: Fowler’s toad can sometimes be confused with the closely related American toad (Anaxyrus americanus). Both species share similar habitats and features, but there are differences in their calls, coloration, and cranial crests that can help distinguish between them.
Remember that when encountering wild animals like Fowler’s toad, it’s important to observe them from a distance and avoid disturbing their natural behavior. If you’re interested in learning more about local amphibians, consider reaching out to local nature organizations, herpetology clubs, or wildlife experts in your area.