Description: Like all toads, Fowler's
Toads have dry, warty, skin and short legs. They are fairly small -- 2-3
in. (5.1-7.5 cm) -- with a record of 3.75 in. (9.5 cm). The dorsal coloration
is usually brownish or grayish, with the occasional greenish or reddish
coloration. There are sometimes some bits of yellow. Also, there is often a light
stripe down the dorsum. This species looks similar to other toads in our region.
It can be distinguished from the American Toad (Bufo [Anaxyrus] americanus)
by the presence of at least 3 warts within dark spot on the back (B.
[A.] americanus generally has 3 or less). It has smaller cranial ridges
than the Southern Toad (B. [A.] terrestris), which is generally restricted
to the Coastal Plain.
Range and Habitat: Fowlers Toads are found
throughout much of the eastern US, but are absent from most of the Coastal Plain
of South Carolina and Georgia and most of Florida. In our region they are generally
restricted to the Piedmont and lower areas of the Mountains. These toads are often
common in forested habitats, particularly near temporary or permanent waters.
Fowler's toads are generally terrestrial and nocturnal and are most often seen
active on humid summer evenings. Breeding takes place from spring to early summer
in a variety of wetland types, from roadside ditches to large ponds. Males call
from shallow waters. Females lay eggs in strings with clutches of up to 25,000
eggs in spring or summer after a heavy rain. Tadpoles go through metamorphosis
within 2 months. Sexual maturity is reached in 1-3 years, differing among sex
and locality. Adults primarily eat insects and other invertebrates.
The call of the Fowler's Toad sounds like a sheep-like bleat lasting from 1-4
Conservation Status: Although common and not protected in
our region, this species is a conservation concern in some northern portions of
its range. This species is vulnerable to habitat loss, particularly wetland destruction.
Author: Glenn Thomas, University of Georgia - edited by J.D. Willson
Dorsal coloration - note multiple warts within blotches