AmphibiaWeb - Anaxyrus terrestris


(Translations may not be accurate.)

Anaxyrus terrestris (Bonnaterre, 1789)
Southern Toad
family: Bufonidae
genus: Anaxyrus
Anaxyrus terrestris
© 2006 Michael Benard (1 of 42)
Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN Red List Status Account Least Concern (LC)
NatureServe Use NatureServe Explorer to see status.
National Status None
Regional Status None
conservation needs Access Conservation Needs Assessment Report .


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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.

Distribution and Habitat

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: United States

U.S. state distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia

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View distribution map in BerkeleyMapper.
amphibiandisease logo View Bd and Bsal data (25 records).
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.


A video of the Southern Toad feeding can be found here.

This species was featured as News of the Week on 19 August 2019:

Wetland contamination threatens many amphibian species that rely on the aquatic habitats for survival and larval development. Heavy metal contamination can be lethal to wildlife and can result from waste run-off. However, Flynn et al. (2019) recently found some cause for hope that Southern toads (Anaxyrus terrestris) may be able to combat copper contamination to some degree. Tadpoles from wetlands that have elevated copper levels were more likely to survive copper exposure in the lab than tadpoles from wetlands with lower copper levels. Given the elevated copper in these wetlands likely resulted from human influences over the past 20 years, it appears these toad populations have responded to a stressor relatively quickly. They provide some evidence and hope for amphibian resilience in the face of heavy metal contamination. However, further studies are needed to understand long-term effects of heavy metals on survival and fitness beyond the tadpole stage (Written by Molly Womack).


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

Originally submitted by: April Robinson (first posted 2001-01-31)
Edited by: Kellie Whittaker, Michelle Koo, Ann T. Chang (2019-08-19)

Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2019 Anaxyrus terrestris: Southern Toad <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Jun 13, 2024.

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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2024. <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 13 Jun 2024.

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