Anaxyrus (Bufo) terrestris Photo Fiona Sunquist ©
Toads are heavy-set amphibians with short back legs and a broad rounded snout. They have warty, dry looking skin that allows them to live in relatively dry habitats. Most species also have large prominent toxin-secreting parotid glands on the shoulder area of the back, one behind each eye.
Southern toads are habitat generalists, common in yards and gardens, near porches and streetlights. If you keep your dog’s water and food dishes outside, you will often find that one of these toads appears in the evening for a dip and a meal.
Southern toads are medium-sized, 9.2 cm (3.6 inches), variable in color, from red, brown, gray to dark charcoal. They can be distinguished by two large ridges between the eyes that end as knobs just behind the eyes. Large kidney-shaped parotid glands behind the eyes secrete bufotoxins. Males have a dark throat.
The call is a long penetrating high-pitched trill.
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