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Oak Toad

Fact File

Scientific Name: Anaxyrus quercicus

Classification: Amphibian

Conservation Status:

Size: Up to 1.3 inches

Distribution: In Virginia, this species only occurs in the southeastern Coastal Plain where it reaches the northern end of its range. Non-breeding habitats are associated with open pine or oak forests with sandy soils.

Identifying Characteristics

This small toad has a conspicuous light mid-dorsal stripe that may be white, cream, yellow, or orange and 4-5 pairs of spots on the back. It is black or brown in color and the skin is finely roughened with tubercles (small bumps), many of which are red.

Did You Know?

This is the smallest species of toad in North America.

Role in the Web of Life

Oak Toads are unique in that they are primarily active during the day, although daytime and nighttime breeding events have been observed. Breeding occurs from April-September in shallow pools often following heavy rain. Up to 500 eggs are deposited with tadpoles emerging 24-36 hours after fertilization. Hibernation occurs from early December to early March. Their advertisement call sounds like the peeping of newly hatched chicks and can be loud at close range.

Conservation

Tier II Species of Greatest Conservation Need in Virginia’s Wildlife Action Plan

Last updated: March 23, 2021