Overview

Comprehensive Description

Description

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.

  • Blem, C. R. (1963). ''Bufo terrestris.'' Catalogue of American Amphibians and Reptiles. American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, 223.1-223.4.
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Distribution

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 )

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Range Description

This species occurs in the Coastal Plain, USA, from southeastern Virginia to the Florida Keys, west to Louisiana; disjunctive population in Upper Piedmont and Blue Ridge of South Carolina (but not Georgia) (Laerm and Hopkins 1997).
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endemic to a single nation

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National Distribution

United States

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

Type of Residency: Year-round

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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).

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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.

  • Blem, C. R. (1963). ''Bufo terrestris.'' Catalogue of American Amphibians and Reptiles. American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, 223.1-223.4.
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Physical Description

Morphology

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.

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Size

Length: 11 cm

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Type Information

Syntype for Anaxyrus terrestris
Catalog Number: USNM 14681
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Amphibians & Reptiles
Preparation: Ethanol
Locality: Micanopy, Alachua, Florida, United States, North America
  • Syntype: Cope, E. D. 1889. United States National Museum Bulletin. (34): 288.
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Ecology

Habitat

Inhabits sandy areas, cultivated fields, pine barrens and hammocks (Mount 1975).

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Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
It is 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.

Systems
  • Terrestrial
  • Freshwater
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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.

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Migration

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.

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Trophic Strategy

A. terrestris generally feeds on a variety of insects and

invertebrates (Bullpine Forestry 1999).

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Comments: Metamorphosed toads eat a variety of small terrestrial arthropods. Larvae eat organic debris, algae, and plant tissue.

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Population Biology

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.

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Global Abundance

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.

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Life History and Behavior

Cyclicity

Comments: Inactive during coldest months.

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Life Cycle

Development - Life Cycle: metamorphosis

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Life Expectancy

Average lifespan

Status: captivity:
10 years.

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Lifespan, longevity, and ageing

Maximum longevity: 10 years (captivity)
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Reproduction

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.

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Lays clutch of a few thousand eggs, usually after rains in spring. Aquatic larvae metamorphose into terrestrial form in 1-2 months.

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Bufo terrestris

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 1
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

US Federal List: no special status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: least concern

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IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2004

Assessor/s
Geoffrey Hammerson

Reviewer/s
Global Amphibian Assessment Coordinating Team (Simon Stuart, Janice Chanson, Neil Cox and Bruce Young)

Contributor/s

Justification
Listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution, tolerance of a broad range of habitats, presumed large population, and because it is unlikely to be declining fast enough to qualify for listing in a more threatened category.
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National NatureServe Conservation Status

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: N5 - Secure

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure

Intrinsic Vulnerability: Moderately vulnerable

Environmental Specificity: Moderate to broad.

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Population

Population
It is common in many areas throughout range, despite habitat alteration.

Population Trend
Stable
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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.

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Threats

Major Threats
Basically unthreatened. However, this species has become uncommon in areas where introduced Bufo marinus has proliferated in southern Florida (Bartlett and Bartlett 1999).
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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).

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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
No conservation needed.
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Wikipedia

Southern toad

The southern toad (Anaxyrus terrestris) is a true toad native to the southeastern United States, from eastern Louisiana to southeastern Virginia. It often lives in areas with sandy soils. It is nocturnal and spends the day in a burrow. Its coloring is usually brown but can be red, gray, or black. It is approximately 8 cm (3 inches) long.

Description[edit]

The southern toad is a medium-sized, plump species with a snout-to-vent length of up to 92 mm (3.6 in) with females being slightly larger than males. The most obvious distinguishing feature is the knobs on the head and the backward-pointing spurs that extends as far as the paratoid glands. The dorsal surface is covered with warts, some of which may be spiny. The color of the head, back and sides varies from brick red to mottled grey, brown and black while the underparts are pale.[2]

Distribution[edit]

The southern toad is found on the coastal plain of the southeastern United States. Its range extends from southern Virginia to Florida and Louisiana and there are two isolated populations on the Piedmont plateau and the Blue Ridge Mountains in South Carolina.[1]

Behavior[edit]

The southern toad is nocturnal and lives in a burrow by day, or sometimes hides under a log or pile of debris. It occurs in woodland in cultivated land and gardens and sometimes stands beneath outdoor lights at night to pick up the attracted insects that fall to the ground. In winter it may become inactive and remain in its burrow for extended periods.[3]

Breeding starts in spring when the males migrate from their upland habitats to the lowland pools, ditches, swamps and the margins of lakes where they breed. Heavy rain triggers large numbers of males to congregate and call, forming choruses.[3] Each female lays a clutch of up to 4,000 eggs and the water may be thick with spawn. The eggs hatch and the tadpoles take 30 to 55 days to develop before undergoing metamorphosis into juvenile toads about 1 cm (0.4 in) long. The tadpoles feed on algae which they scrape from underwater vegetation. Adults are carnivorous and feed on any small invertebrates they can find.[3]

Status[edit]

The southern toad has a wide range and is common in much of that range, though it has become scarce in Florida in areas where the cane toad has become established. In general it is an adaptable species and faces no particular threats, the population seems stable and the IUCN has listed it as being of "least concern".[1]

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Hammerson, G. 2004. Anaxyrus terrestris. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.1. Downloaded on 21 July 2013.
  2. ^ Egeler, J. (2000). ""Anaxyrus terrestris": Southern toad". Animal Diversity Web. Retrieved 2014-09-11. 
  3. ^ a b c Jensen, John B. "Anaxyrus terrestris". AmphibiaWeb. Retrieved 2014-09-11. 
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