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Species Description

Eastern Narrowmouth Toad

Gastrophryne carolinensis


Species Image

Classification

Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Amphibia
Order: Anura
Family: Microhylidae

Description

Brown to gray to reddish, with a creamy belly that has a large amount of dark mottling. 5 - 10 cm (2 - 3.8 in) long.

Life Cycle

These toads call from late March to September, with a sound like weakly bleating sheep. Breeding occurs from April to September and coincides with heavy rains. Eggs are laid in shallow, often temporary water, from ditches to swamps. Females lay up to 850 eggs in several clumps. Transformation to adults occurs in three to nine weeks. This toad is insectivorous and active at night. Ants are its preferred food. The skin fold on the neck protects the eyes from ant bites and stings. When chased, this toad is as likely to run as it is to hop. It is the only toad that does this. It is preyed upon by snakes and ../../../birds/Ciconiiformes/bibis.html">Cattle Egrets, among others. The Eastern Narrowmouth Toad is found in many types of forest, but only where the soil is loose and sandy enough to permit burrowing. During the day, it hides in burrows or under debris. One specimen lived six years in captivity.

Range

Eastern Narrowmouth Toad Region Map This plump-bodied toad lives throughout the state, except in the mountains of northern Georgia

Conservation Status

This toad is common in the Coastal Plain and lower Piedmont. It is less common farther north, possibly because of the soil types in northern Georgia. It is not in any danger at the moment.

Similar Species

No other toads in Georgia have a distinctive skin fold behind the head.