The eastern American toad is medium-sized and has a large, kidney-shaped gland called the parotoid gland behind each eye. The pupil of each eye is horizontal. This toad may be gray, greenish gray, or various shades of brown. The dark spots on the back may encircle 1–3 warts. The belly is white with dark gray mottling. The call is a sustained, high-pitched musical trill lasting 6–30 seconds.
Similar species: There are two subspecies of American toad in our state: The eastern American toad (Anaxyrus americanus americanus), described above, which generally lives in the northern half, and the dwarf American toad (A. americanus charlesmithi), which lives in the southern section. The latter is smaller (only about 2 inches, snout to vent) and more reddish brown, with fewer, smaller, or no dark spots on the back; belly is cream colored with a few dark gray spots on the breast.