Monday, August 24, 2009

Bufo americanus

I discovered this American Toad on the front sidewalk last night about 9:30. It was there for hours and the cats passed by it with nary a glance. They must have instinctively known it was bad news.

Sourced from wikipedia:

The American Toad is a medium-sized toad with color and pattern that is somewhat variable. They hibernate during the winter. It has spots that contain only one to two warts. It also has enlarged warts on the tibia or lower leg below the knee. While the belly is usually spotted, it is generally more so on the forward half.

American Toad have parotoid glands that secrete a poisonous substance called bufotoxin. The poison is mild in comparison to other poisonous toads and frogs, but it can irritate human skin and is dangerous to smaller animals (such as dogs) when ingested.

American toads require a semi-permanent freshwater pond or pool for their early development and dense patches of vegetation for cover and hunting. They are common in gardens and agricultural fields. During daylight hours they seek cover. They are easy to find and their gentle nature makes them good pets. When cold weather comes, these toads dig backwards and bury themselves in the dirt of their summer homes to hibernate. Their diet includes crickets, mealworms, earthworms, ants, spiders, slugs, centipedes and other small invertebrates.
We've got some huge slugs here that are munching the hostas so this little one needs to get to work!

1 comment:

Mark H said...

smart cats. So it is somewhere in your yard now awaiting your bare foot?