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American Toad (Anaxyrus americana)

American ToadNH Conservation Status: Not listed


State Rank Status: Widespread and secure


Distribution: Throughout NH


Description: A small 2-3.5 inch toad that may appear brown, olive, reddish, or gray. Have 1-2 large warts in each dark spot on the body. Chest usually spotted with dark pigment; enlarged warts on tibia; parotoid gland either separated from ridge behind eye or connected with it by a spur.


Commonly Confused Species: Fowler’s toad has 3 or more warts in each dark spot. Fowler’s toads and American toads may hybridize making identification problematic.


Habitat: Considered habitat generalists as they are found in forested and open areas, uplands, wetlands, and suburban backyards.


Life History: Eggs are laid by the thousands in long strings among aquatic vegetation in shallow water. Hibernates terrestrially underground.


Voice: A long, musical trill.





Conservation Threats: Species is secure


Distribution map: View a map showing the towns where this species is reported to occur in NH PDF Document


American toad

American toad tadpoles can be found in large congregations in shallow pools.

Photo by Mike Marchand.

American toad

American toad tadpoles are black, distinguishing them from other tadpoles. Photo by Mike Marchand.


American toad

American toads have 1-2 large warts in each of the largest dark spots on their back.

Photo by Mike Marchand.

American toad

American toads can vary in appearance and may hybridize with Fowler’s toads where their ranges overlap, making identification difficult on occasion. A combination of features should be examined before making a conclusion regarding the identity of a toad. Photo by Mike Marchand.