Anaxyrus quercicus is the smallest toad species in North America, ranging from 1.9 to 3.3 cm. It is so small that adults found in the wild were commonly classified as “half-grown” or “juvenile” southern toads (Bufo lentiginosus). They have a short head with a pointed nose and the short, flat body is black or brown in color (color can change with temperature) with a long dorsal stripe that may be white, cream, yellow, or orange. There are 4 to 5 pairs of dark blotches found on the back. The back is finely tuberculate, with the fine bumps (red, orange or reddish-brown in color) giving it a rough texture. The underside is grayish white and has no blotches, but is covered in tubercles. Oak toads have elongated, teardrop-shaped paratoid glands that extend down either side. These glands house a poisonous fluid used deter predators. Males can be distinguished by their dark, dusky colored throats.
Range length: 19 to 33 mm.
Other Physical Features: ectothermic ; heterothermic ; bilateral symmetry ; poisonous
Sexual Dimorphism: female larger; sexes shaped differently
- Dickerson, M. 1969. The Frog Book: north american toads and frogs, with a study of the habits and life histories of those of the northern states. Canada: General Publishing Company.
- Anonymous, 2004. "Virginia Department of Game & Inland Fisheries" (On-line). Virginia Wildlife Information: Bufo Quercicus. Accessed October 20, 2005 at http://www.dgif.state.va.us/wildlife/species/display.asp?id=020063.