Snout-vent lengths range from 42 to 82 mm in males and 44 to 92 mm in females. Dorsal coloration is usually some shade of brown, but varies from red to nearly black. Dark spots often enclosing more than one wart are present. The cranial crests approach each other anteriorly and are posteriorly raised to form clublike knobs. A faint mid-dorsal stripe is frequently present.
A video of Bufo terrestris feeding can be found here.
Anaxyrus terrestris occupies areas from North Carolina to Florida
and west to the Mississippi River. It is commonly found in the
coastal states of the Southeast. Its westernmost range enters
into eastern Louisiana. The northern range extends into
southeastern Virginia (Wright 1949).
Biogeographic Regions: nearctic (Native )
endemic to a single nation
Regularity: Regularly occurring
Type of Residency: Year-round
Global Range: (200,000-2,500,000 square km (about 80,000-1,000,000 square miles)) Coastal Plain from southeastern Virginia to the Florida Keys, west to Louisiana; disjunct population in Upper Piedmont and Blue Ridge of South Carolina (but not Georgia) (Laerm and Hopkins 1997).
Distribution and Habitat
Found in the coastal plain from southeastern Virginia to the Florida Keys, and westward along the gulf coast to eastern Louisiana. Abundant throughout its range, but particularly common in areas with sandy soils. May attempt to breed in almost any aquatic habitat.
Anaxyrus terrestris is a medium-sized toad in which adults of the species can attain snout vent lengths between 41mm and 92mm. Males usually average between 42-82mm and females slightly larger between 44-92mm (Wright 1949). Much larger specimens, however, have been found on islands along the coasts of Georgia, Florida, and South Carolina. The most distinguishing characteristic is the knobs found on the head which are actually extensions of the interorbital ridges. As usual with a member of the family Bufonidae, parotoid glands are present and the skin is warty. The warts are often spine-tipped. The spotted and mottled dorsal coloration can vary from shades of brick red to black. The ventral side is lighter. Post orbital ridges are not in contact with the parotoids but are connected to them by a backward projecting spur (Mount 1975).
Other Physical Features: ectothermic ; bilateral symmetry
Average mass: 19.267 g.
Average basal metabolic rate: 0.00698 W.
Length: 11 cm
Catalog Number: USNM 14681
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Amphibians & Reptiles
Locality: Micanopy, Alachua, Florida, United States, North America
Inhabits sandy areas, cultivated fields, pine barrens and hammocks (Mount 1975).
Habitat and Ecology
Comments: Adaptable and ubiquitous. Occupies a wide variety of wooded and unwooded habitats, which usually have sandy soil. Burrows underground when inactive. Eggs and larvae develop in shallow water of permanent ponds, woodland pools, and flooded depressions.
Non-Migrant: No. All populations of this species make significant seasonal migrations.
Locally Migrant: Yes. At least some populations of this species make local extended movements (generally less than 200 km) at particular times of the year (e.g., to breeding or wintering grounds, to hibernation sites).
Locally Migrant: No. No populations of this species make annual migrations of over 200 km.
Migrates between breeding pools and adjacent nonbreeding terrestrial habitats.
A. terrestris generally feeds on a variety of insects and
invertebrates (Bullpine Forestry 1999).
Comments: Metamorphosed toads eat a variety of small terrestrial arthropods. Larvae eat organic debris, algae, and plant tissue.
Number of Occurrences
Note: For many non-migratory species, occurrences are roughly equivalent to populations.
Estimated Number of Occurrences: > 300
Comments: Represented by many and/or large occurrences throughout most of the range.
100,000 - 1,000,000 individuals
Comments: Total adult population size is unknown but likely exceeds 100,000. Common in many areas, despite habitat alteration.
Life History and Behavior
Comments: Inactive during coldest months.
Development - Life Cycle: metamorphosis
Status: captivity: 10 years.
Lifespan, longevity, and ageing
This species breeds during wet-weather periods from around the first of March to late May (Mount 1975). However, occasionally continue on to September (Wright 1949). Breeding usually occurs on the edges of small permanent ponds, woodland pools, or flooded depressions. As is the case of closely related Bufo fowleri, Anaxyrus terrestris will never breed in creeks or rivers. The eggs which number between 2500-3000 are laid in long coils of jelly which hatch within 2-4 days. Anaxyrus terrestris spends 30-55 days as a tadpole before metamorphasing upon attaining a length between 6.5-11mm (Wright 1949).
Key Reproductive Features: iteroparous ; gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate); fertilization (External ); oviparous
Average time to hatching: 3 days.
Average number of offspring: 2750.
Lays clutch of a few thousand eggs, usually after rains in spring. Aquatic larvae metamorphose into terrestrial form in 1-2 months.
Molecular Biology and Genetics
Statistics of barcoding coverage: Bufo terrestris
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 1
Species With Barcodes: 1
US Federal List: no special status
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: least concern
IUCN Red List Assessment
Red List Category
Red List Criteria
National NatureServe Conservation Status
Rounded National Status Rank: N5 - Secure
NatureServe Conservation Status
Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure
Intrinsic Vulnerability: Moderately vulnerable
Environmental Specificity: Moderate to broad.
Global Short Term Trend: Relatively stable (=10% change)
Comments: Population trend is unknown but probably stable to slightly declining.
Global Long Term Trend: Increase of 10-25% to decline of 30%
Comments: Likely relatively stable in extent of occurrence, probably less than 25% decline in population size, area of occurrence, and number/condition of occurrences, but better information is needed for Mexico.
Degree of Threat: Medium
Comments: Basically unthreatened. However, this species has become uncommon in areas where introduced Bufo marinus has proliferated in southern Florida (Bartlett and Bartlett 1999).