Fowler's Toad

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Fowler's Toad

photo of Fowler's Toad
Anaxyrus fowleri
Family: 
Bufonidae (true toads) in the order Anura (frogs)
Description: 

Typically have paired dark markings with three or more warts. May have a ground color of gray, greenish-gray, tan or brown. There is often a thin, white stripe down the back. The belly is cream-colored, and there may be a dark gray spot on the chest. Makes a short, nasal "w-a-a-a-h," lasting from 1 to 2 1/2 seconds.

Size: 
Length (head-body): 2 1/2 to 4 inches.
Habitat and conservation: 
Found along many Ozark streams and lowlands of southern Missouri. Often found on river sand or gravel bars and in river floodplains where the soil is sandy. As with other toads, this amphibian remains hidden in burrows by day, becoming active at night to hunt.
Foods: 
Eats a variety of insects.
Distribution in Missouri: 
Found over most of the eastern and southern parts of Missouri.
Status: 
This is the common toad of gravel and sand bars along our many Ozark streams and rivers. It is also the most common toad in the Mississippi Lowlands.
Life cycle: 
Begins to breed in late April (southeastern Missouri) and May (the rest of the state) to early June. A female may lay over 8,000 eggs. The tadpoles usually hatch in less than a week. Toadlets start appearing in late June through mid-July. It takes them two years to reach maturity.
Human connections: 
What would a gorgeous night camping on an Ozark river sandbar be, without nature's symphony of sounds: the lapping of the water, the rasps and chirps of innumerable insects, the calls of whip-poor-wills . . . and the "wa-a-a-a-hs" of Fowler's toads?
Ecosystem connections: 
Like other small amphibians, this toad provides food for several species of predators--birds, snakes, fish, mammals. As a hunter itself, this toad checks the populations of many insect species.
Shortened URL
http://mdc.mo.gov/node/5367