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Reptiles of the United States  
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A Guide to the Reptiles &
Amphibians of the United States
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Toads of the United States

(REVISED 2006): Only one genus with 3 species occur in our range

Toads are squat and plump with rough warty skin. They have horizontal pupils, no teeth on the upper jaw, and lack the acnterior breastbone. Enlarged parotoid glands are located on each side of the neck over or behind the tympanum. These glands secrete a viscous white poison, which gets smeared in the mouth of any would be predator. The poison inflames the mouth and throat, causing nausea, irregular heartbeat, and, in extreme cases, death. Survivors of such a poisoning seldom ever again attack toads.

Toads in our range breed in spring and summer. Males congregate at the breeding ponds and sing in order to attract females. Males clasp the willing females around the body behind the forelimbs. Males also have rudimentary ovary, which can become functional ir the testes are damaged of removed. Eggs are usually laid in strings attached to vegetation. They hatch into tiny black tadpoles which weeks later metomorphose into lieel toads.


There is only one genus with 18 species in the United States.

Colorado River Toad (Bufo alvarius)

Found in extreme southeastern California to extreme southwestern New Mexico, south into Mexico.

American Toad (Bufo americanus)

Found in Canada from southeastern Manitoba to James Bay and Labrador, south in the east through the Maritime provinces, New England, and the Appalachian Mountains, west from central Georgia to eastern Oklahoma and Kansas, north through Wisconsin into Canada.

Western Toad (Bufo boreas)

Found in the Pacific Coast from southern Alaska to Baja California, east to west-central Alberta, Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, and Nevada.

Yosemite Toad (Bufo canorus)

Found in Alpine County to Fresno County, California.

Great Plains Toad (Bufo cognatus)

Found from southeastern Alberta to western Wisconsin in the north, south through the Great Plains to northwestern Texas and into Mexico, west to southern New Mexico, Arizona, and southeastern California, and north to parts of southeastern Nevada and central Utah.

Green Toad (Bufo debilis)

Found from southwestern Kansas south through Texas to the Gulf coast and into Mexico, north to southeastern areas of Arizona, New Mexico, and Colorado.

Black Toad (Bufo exsul)

Found in Deep Springs Valley, Inyo County, California.

Canadian Toad (Bufo hemiophryes)

Found in Canada from extreme southern Mackenzie and eastern Alberta southeast to northeastern South Dakota and northern Montana.

Houston Toad (Bufo houstonensis)

Found in central and southeastern Texas.

Giant Toad (Bufo marinus)

Found in extreme southern Texas and into Mexico.

Southwestern Toad (Bufo microscaphus)

Found in coastal southern California and northern Baja California.

Red-Spotted Toad (Bufo punctatus)

Found from central Texas west into southeastern California and south into Mexico.

Oak Toad (Bufo quercicus)

Found in the coastal plain from southeastern Virginia to Louisiana.

Sonoran Green Toad (Bufo retiformis)

Found in a narrow band from south-central Arizona to west-central Sonora in Mexico.

Texas Toad (Bufo speciosus)

Found in extreme south-central Kansas through Oklahoma, Texas, and southern New Mexico into northern Mexico.

Southern Toad (Bufo terrestris)

Found in the coastal plain from southeastern Virginia to Louisiana.

Gulf Coast Toad (Bufo valliceps)

Found in the Gulf Coast from southern Mississippi, west through eastern Texas and south into Mexico.

Woodhouse's Toad (Bufo woodhousei)

Widespread throughout most of the United States.





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