Our Florida Southern Toad
Our Southern Toad
Bufo terrestris

Photo credit: gator-woman.com
Toad Sounds credit: USGS


The Endangered Amphibians of Florida



The Florida Toads


To begin: what is an amphibian?

Amphibian is from the Greek amphibios, or two lives.

Amphibians are cold blooded animals that spend time

both in and out of water. They usually go through a change

or metamorphosis and become another animal.



All Amphibians have thin skin which is quite susceptible

to temperature changes, so they are careful

not to get too hot or too cold.


Our Southern Toad
Our Southern Toad
Bufo terrestris
Photo credit: gator-woman.com


Florida has three Native True Toads:

the Southern, the Oak and the Fowler's Toads.

These Toads range in size from one to three inches.

Anything bigger than four inches may likely be an

invasive species like the Cane/Marine/Bufo Toad.

Our three Native Toads are harmless to people and pets.

Toads do not have the little clinging pads on

their feet like Treefrogs do and they have glands that

secrete fluids that makes them taste bad to predators.

Toads have dry skin which is somewhat lumpy,

unlike frogs who are shiny and smooth

and Toads prefer dry areas, not wet.


The Southern Toad
Bufo terrestris

The Southern Toad is the most common in the Southeast

and its size ranges between one and three inches.

Ours is brown with small darker brown blotches.

He is a night eater, which we know first hand, as he

can be found on our patio very early many mornings,

looking for his favorite breakfast of ants and cockroaches,

for which I personally want to thank him~


The Oak Toad
Bufo quercicus

Two things make this Toad easy to identify,

its size and its markings.

This tiny Toad is only about an inch and a half long,

making it the smallest Toad in the U.S.,

and it has a yellow stripe down its back.


The Fowler's Toad
Bufo fowleri

In Florida this Toad is only found in the Panhandle.

Its size is between two to three inches, with a brown

body and a cream colored stripe on its back.

It prefers to live in sandy areas, shallow ponds,

road side ditches and our yards.



Non-Native Invasive Toads


The Cane/Marine, or Bufo Toad

This invader was either accidentally released in a Miami Airport

or brought in from South America intentionally to deal with

insects devouring the Sugar Cane Fields in South Florida.

Whichever story is true, they are now a big problem.

They are eating our Native Frogs and Toads statewide and if they

are touched, licked or eaten by a dog, it can end badly for the dog.

This predator is very similar in appearance to the Southern Toad,

except that it is five times bigger, so there should be no

problem in indentifying it.

We don't want frightened people running around

confusing harmless Southern Toads with this invader.

Various agencies in Florida are recommending a

so-called "Humane" way of eliminating the invader.

What ever they call it, it is not pleasant.

This Toad should not be here, it is from another Country,

and the thoughtless actions that brought it here, now leaves all

of us at odds with Human Nature, which is to protect Wildlife.



Amphibians have become the Canary of Wildlife,

and they are disappearing in unthinkable numbers.

Some of those who still remain are demonstrating

genetic alterations or anomalies and sexual morphing

and indicating clearly that our casual use of chemicals

is quite risky and having profound consequences.

The most significant fact of all, is that Amphibians

are not the only ones who are being affected.


Places to learn more:


Center for North American Herpetology

Anura: Frogs and Toads


Environmental Health News

Watching Florida's Water


Florida Museum of Natural History



Florida Nature: Anura

Frogs and Toads


Florida Wildlife Extension

Florida Frogs and Toads


Frogwatch USA

Frogs and Toads of Florida


Marshall University

Fowlers Toad


National Biological Information Infrastructure



San Diego Zoo

Animal Bytes: Amphibians


Science Daily

Agriculture Linked to Abnormalities


Ancient Amphibians



Frog Listening Network



Marine Toad


St. Louis Zoo



University of Florida

Florida's Frogs and Toads

Fowler's Toad

Frogs and Toads of Florida

Oak Toad

Southern Toad



Cane/Bufo/Marine Toad



Fowler's Toad

Frogs and Toads

Southern Toad



Walking with the Alligators

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Educating Visitors About Florida's Wildlife Since August 7, 2008

Last edited January 21, 2023

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