Fowler’s Toad

Fact File

Scientific Name: Anaxyrus fowleri

Classification: Amphibian

Size: Up to 3 inches

Distribution: This toad occurs statewide in Virginia and is especially abundant in the Coastal Plain region. This species inhabits sandy areas near lakes or in river valleys.

Identifying Characteristics

This is a small- to medium-sized toad with 3 or more warts in each large dorsal blotch, no enlarged warts on the legs, chest and belly with no spots, and a paratoid gland (the enlarged bump behind each eye) that touches the ridge on the forehead (see page 9). The dorsal coloration is usually brownish or gray, occasionally greenish or brick red, with usually a light mid-dorsal stripe. Normally the belly is unspotted, but there is frequently a single dusky spot on the breast.

Did You Know?

Fowler’s Toads can orient themselves by using both olfactory cues (smell) and the sun.

Role in the Web of Life

This species breeds from April-August in shallow pools, pond margins and ditches. Eggs are deposited in long strands numbering as many as 8,000. Their advertisement call is a buzzing, nasal-like bleat lasting up to 5 seconds that sounds somewhat like a baby crying.


Species appears to be secure in Virginia.

Last updated: March 23, 2021