Oak Toad - Bufo quercicus
Description & Identification:
Smallest toad in the United States; may reach 1.5" (38mm); coloration variable, dorsum may be dark chocolate brown to light gray and lighter forms may have 3-4 pairs of dark spots on the back and legs; creamy-yellow to bright orange stripe down the center of the back; parotoid glands are round; ridges between and behind the eyes are very small; belly light with variable flecking.
Eggs laid singly or in short gelatinous strands, 2-7mm long, containing up to 6 eggs; single eggs or strands may float freely or they may be attached to submerged vegetation in shallow ponds that are usually less than 12" deep; female may deposit up to 70 or more strands; hatch in 2 or more days, depending upon water temperature.
Habitat & Behaviors:
Inhabits upland environments such as longleaf pine-turkey oak, xeric hammocks, and sand pine scrub. More commonly seen during the day than other toads, particularly after rain. During dry periods will construct shallow burrows in sandy soil. Its food includes insects and spiders.
May be confused with young southern toads which may also be spotted and also have a stripe down the back. As adults, southern toads have have large ridges between the eyes and the parotoid glands are kidney shaped. Spadefoots do not have ridges between the eyes and their pupils are vertical (toads have horizontal pupils).
A high-pitched, continuous "cheep-cheep-cheep" like that of a hatchling chick; call from the edges of roadside ditches and other temporary ponds; late January to October.
This frog has been observed at the following locations. Click on the map to view the data.