Dwarf American Toad
Anaxyrus americanus charlesmithi

Dwarf American Toad
Scott County, Arkansas
The American Toad (Anaxyrus americanus) is a widespread and well-known toad of the northeastern United States.  

Here in Texas however it has a much more restricted range.  It is only known from a few counties in north-eastern part of the state.  It's range in Texas isn't fully understood because it is very difficult to distinguish from the more common Fowler's Toad.  
I still haven't seen an American Toad in Texas :-( so these photos and this recording come from nearby Arkansas.

In many areas of the northeastern US, this is a common "yard toad".  They are variable in general color ranging from brownish-black to bright reddish.  They often have dark spots on their back.  There is usually a light mid-dorsal stripe visible and a lighter stripe running from the tympanic membrane (ear) down towards the hind leg.  These lighter stripes are sometimes obscured by the ground color.

American Toad
Fairfield County, Connecticut
American Toad
North Carolina
Our Texas and nearby populations of American Toad are smaller than the typical American Toads of the Northeastern US and have been identified as belonging to a separate subspecies, the Dwarf American Toad (A. americanus charlesmithi). 

Dwarf American Toad
Ouachita County, Arkansas
They breed in spring into early summer.  When they breed successfully, you can often find their distinctive helical strings of black eggs in nearby ponds and streams.

American Toad Eggs
Scott County, Arkansas

The call of the American Toad is a very long, high-pitched trill.  It lasts from 5 seconds to over 30 seconds.  The Dwarf American Toad subspecies has a slightly higher pitched call than the typical larger northeastern subspecies.
Here is an American Toad from the Ouachita National Forest in Arkansas calling from the middle of a forest road low water crossing.

Dwarf American Toad call - Arkansas

Here's a video shot by Tim Evans of that frog making its call.

© Chris Harrison 2017

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