Fowler's Toad
Anaxyrus fowleri

Common Name:

Fowler's Toad 

Scientific Name:

Anaxyrus fowleri



Anaxyrus is Greek meaning "A king or chief"


fowleri is to honor S.P. Fowler, a naturalist from Massachusetts.

Average Length:

2 - 3 in. (5.1 - 7.5 cm)

Virginia Record Length:

Record length:

3.75 in. (9.5 cm)

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: This species is 2 to 3 inches (50-75 mm) long. Its dorsum color ranges from brown to olive to gray with a light middorsal stripe. The dark dorsal spots typically each have 3 or more warts. The cranial crests are small and connected to the parotoid glands. The venter is generally unspotted though some specimens have a large dark breast patch *11407* *1014*. Males are smaller than the females and have a black throat *1014*. This species hybridizes with Bufo americanus and Bufo terrestris making identification sometimes difficult *1014*.

REPRODUCTION: This species breeds from March to July. During the breeding season, the male emits a dischordant call lasting 1-4 seconds. Mating occurs in the shallows along stream, lake and pond borders *11407*. Fertilization is external *11406*. The female lays approximately 7000 eggs in 2 gelatinous strings. The eggs hatch in about 1 week. These tadpoles metamorphose in 1 to 2 months. The newly transformed toads range in size from 8 to 11 mm *1014*.

BEHAVIOR: During breeding season, males call from shallow bodies of water including ditches, ponds and streams. Toads may appear in areas where not previously known during heavy rains following a period of drought *11407*. This species is an insectivore *11284*.

ORIGIN: Native.

LIMITING FACTORS: This species requires shallow water for breeding *1014*.

AQUATIC/TERRESTRIAL ASSOCIATIONS: This species is abundant on the coastal plain with a more patchy distribution further inland. The inland populations are typically found in sandy areas around shores of lakes or in river valleys *11407*.

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


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