Southern Toad - Bufo terrestris
long high trill
Description & Identification:
Large, reaching 3.6" (92mm). Dorsum may be brick red to brown or light gray; many have dark blotches on the back while absent on others; some have a faint stripe down the center of the back; the underside is creamy, often flecked with black; two large ridges between the eyes that end as knobs just behind the eyes; parotoid glands are large and kidney shaped.
Several thousand black eggs are laid in dual gelatinous strands on the surface of the water; hatch in 2-3 days. Newly hatched tadpoles appear nearly all black; upper fin of tail is spotted and the lower is almost clear. Metamorphose in 1-2 months. Tadpoles feed on algae scraped from aquatic vegetation.
Habitat & Behaviors:
The common yard and garden toad that is frequently seen feeding around porch and street lights at night. Found in nearly all types of Florida habitats, from xeric to hydric. Abundant in sandy areas where during the day it makes shallow burrows for refuge or retreats under other cover to escape the dehydrating heat. After dark it forages for small invertebrates but will eat almost any living thing small enough to swallow. Toads may live at least ten years.
Juveniles may be confused with the oak toad since both have small ridges between the eyes, small parotoid glands, and a stripe down the back. As adults, oak toads are typically smaller with a yellow to orange stripe down the center of the back and do not have bony ridges between the eyes. Additionally, oak toads have narrow heads while southern toads are broad headed. Spadefoot toads have vertical pupils while all true toads have horizontal pupils.
A long, high-pitched trill; frequently heard on warm, humid nights calling from any body of fresh water; large numbers produce a deafening chorus; mid-March to October.
This frog has been observed at the following locations. Click on the map to view the data.