Fowler’s Toad (Bufo fowleri)
Fowler’s Toad looks similar to the American toad, though it is slightly smaller and has several subtle distinguishing features. It has 3 or more warts within each dark spot on its back. There are no greatly enlarged warts on the tibia and the parotoid gland touches the cranial crests behind the eyes. This toad is unspotted on the chest and belly, unlike the American toad that it crossbreeds with. The color is usually gray or greenish gray without reddish or rusty colors. This species makes a series of quick, short hops to get off the road, while the American toad only makes a few larger hops.
Fowler’s toads are usually found in association with flood plains and river bottoms, as well as woodland borders. They dig burrows into the sand in which they hide during the day. They come out at night to forage on insects.
This species does not begin to call until several weeks after the American toad. The call is a long, loud, nasal “W-A-A-A-H-H-H” lasting from 1 to 4 seconds, whereas the American toad ’s song is a high-pitched musical trill lasting from 6 to 30 seconds. They can be mistaken for a herd of sheep calling in the night. Females deposit as many as 8,000 eggs in long, double-row strings. Fowler’s toads breed in the spring and deposit eggs in open, shallow waters such as ponds and marshes. The eggs will hatch in two to seven days and tadpoles will complete metamorphosis 30 to 40 days later.
Fowler’s Toad is known to hybridize with Woodhouse’s Toad and even the American Toad (Bufo americanus), in which case it would show characteristics of both species.