Eastern American Toad

Fact File

Scientific Name: Anaxyrus americanus americanus

Classification: Amphibian

Size: Up to 4.25 inches

Distribution: Found throughout Virginia, except in the extreme southeastern portion of the Coastal Plain. Occupies a variety of habitats in both rural and urban areas.

Identifying Characteristics

This is a large, warty toad, usually with 1-2 warts in each dorsal color spot, conspicuous cranial crests (see page 9), and a short spine atop most of the femoral wart. The color is highly variable, from brick- red through browns and olive grays to light gray. Belly can be spotted or not.

Did You Know?

The Eastern American Toad is one of two subspecies of American Toad. The other being the Dwarf American Toad (A.a. charlesmithi)

Role in the Web of Life

During breeding events, Eastern American Toads congregate in shallow pools and wet meadows in March or April. A single female may lay up to 20,000 eggs in long gelatinous strands. Their advertisement call is a long, sometimes up to 30 seconds, musical trill. During the peak of the breeding season, however, calling may also occur during the day. Toads typically burrow into the soil just below the frost line to hibernate.


Species appears to be secure in Virginia.

Last updated: March 23, 2021