Eastern Narrow-mouthed Toad
Gastrophryne carolinensis

Common Name:

Eastern Narrow-mouthed Toad  

Scientific Name:

Gastrophryne carolinensis

Etymology:

Genus:

Gastrophryne is derived from the Greek words gaster  meaning "belly" and phrynos meaning "toad".

Species:

carolinensis refers to South Carolina, where the toad was first found and described.

Average Length:

0.9 - 1.3 in. (2.2 - 3.2 cm)

Virginia Record Length:

Record length:

1.5 in. (3.8 cm)

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: This is a small species with a length of 22-38 mm (7/8 to 1.5 in). It has smooth skin, a pointed snout, and a distinctive fold of skin across the bakck of the head *11407* *1014*. The dorsoum varies from gray to brown to reddish in color. The typical pattern is a broad stripe down the center with light stripes down the sides. The pattern is often broken up by mottling or spotting *11407* *1014*. The coloring may change with the individual's environment *11407*. The venter is heavily speckled or mottled, and the males usually have dark throats *1014*. This toad species is also distinctive for its lack of parotoid glands, warts, and webbed toes *1014*.

REPRODUCTION: Breeding is typically triggered by warm rains from May to July. At this time, individuals gather in large groups in shallow puddles, ponds, streams, and swamps *1014*. This species typically uses sites with grassy margins *11284*. Deeper water will be used if mats of dense floating vegetation are available *11407*. The male mating call resembles the bleating of a lamb often preceded by a short peep. The call has a vibrant quality similar to an electric buzzer. Each call lasts 1/2 to 4 seconds. The male often calls while floating in clumps of plants *11407*. Call duration, frequency, and pulse rates are more distinctive in sympatric populations than in allopatric populations *11406*. This species is adherent during amplexus *11406*. Packets of eggs, with typically 850 eggs per packet, are laid on the water surface. Metamorphosis takes place in 20 to 70 days. The newly transformed toad is typically 8.5-12 mm long *1014*. Adults become sexually mature in 1-2 years *11406*.

BEHAVIOR: This species is mainly terrestrial. It is very secretive spending much of its time in burrows, sometimes found under logs, rocks, or boards *1014* *11284*. This species is found in a variety of habitats, but must have shelter and moisture. It can frequently be found on the margins of water bodies *11407*. This species is known to eat ants, termites and beetles *11284* *1014*. Males call during breeding season. Breeding occurs in shallow water bodies *11407*.

ORIGIN: Native

LIMITING FACTORS: This species requires moist shelter typically found under logs or boards. It also requires ants or termites for food *11284*.

POPULATION PARAMETERS: This species was the most abundant anuran in a study of a South Carolina lake. It made up 36% of the total number of individuals found at this lake *11406*.

AQUATIC/TERRESTRIAL ASSOCIATIONS: This species is found in a wide variety of habitats but seems to require shelter and moisture. Breeding occurs in shallow water bodies or in deeper water bodies with abundant floating vegetation *11407*. Is can be found in pine flatwoods, pine woods, bottomland hardwoods, and cypress swamps *11284*.

References for Life History


  • 1014 - Martof, B.S., Palmer, W.M., Bailey, J.R., Harrison, III J.R., 1980, Amphibians and Reptiles of the Carolinas and Virginia, 264 pgs., UNC Press, Chapel Hill, NC
  • 11284 - Wilson, L.A., 1995, Land manager's guide to the amphibians and reptiles of the South, 360 pp. pgs., The Nature Conservancy, Southeastern Region, Chapel Hill, NC
  • 11406 - Duellman, William E. and, Trueb, Linda, 1986, Biology of Amphibians, 671 pgs., The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore
  • 11407 - Conant, Roger and, Collins, John T., 1998, Peterson Field Guide: Reptiles and Amphibians, Eastern/Central North America, 616 pgs., Houghton Mifflin Company;, Boston

Photos:

*Click on a thumbnail for a larger version.


Verified County/City Occurrence

Accomack County
Amelia County
Appomattox County
Brunswick County
Caroline County
Charles City County
Charlotte County
Chesapeake City
Chesterfield County
Colonial Heights City
Cumberland County
Danville City
Dinwiddie County
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Greensville County
Halifax County
Hampton City
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Isle of Wight County
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King and Queen County
King William County
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Newport News City
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Powhatan County
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Southampton County
Suffolk City
Surry County
Sussex County
Virginia Beach City
Westmoreland County
York County
Verified in 47 Counties/Cities.



FROGS

Virginia is home to 28 species of frogs and toads.

SALAMANDERS

We have a large diversity of salamanders consisting of 56 different species and subspecies.

LIZARDS

Virginia is home to 9 native lizard species and two introduced species, the Mediterranean Gecko and the Italian Wall Lizard.

SNAKES

The Commonwealth is home to 34 species and subspecies of snake. Only 3 species are venomous.

TURTLES

Virginia has 25 species and subspecies of turtle. Five of these species are sea turtle.