AmphibiaWeb - Anaxyrus cognatus


(Translations may not be accurate.)

Anaxyrus cognatus (Say, 1822)
Great Plains Toad
family: Bufonidae
genus: Anaxyrus

© 2022 William Flaxington (1 of 45)

  hear call (272.6K RM file)
  hear call (10337.1K WAV file)

[call details here]

Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN Red List Status Account Least Concern (LC)
NatureServe Use NatureServe Explorer to see status.
National Status None
Regional Status None
Access Conservation Needs Assessment Report .



View distribution map in BerkeleyMapper.
View Bd and Bsal data (26 records).

Adult snout-vent lengths range from 47 to 103 mm for males and from 49 to 115 mm for females. The body is large and broad, with prominent parotoid glands, and numerous, small dorsal tubercles. On the head, the two cranial crest form a "V" between the eyes. Dorsal coloration is usually greenish, but may be grey, brown, or brownish-yellow. Large dorsal patches are paired and may be bordered by a black and a cream or white band. Smaller spots are present on the sides of the body, and green spots are found on the legs. Males have a black vocal sac, covered by a light-colored throat sac. The call is described as metallic and loud.

Distribution and Habitat

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Canada, Mexico, United States

U.S. state distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Arizona, California, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Mexico, Nevada, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Wyoming

Canadian province distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Alberta, Manitoba, Saskatchewan


View distribution map in BerkeleyMapper.
View Bd and Bsal data (26 records).
The range extends westward from central Missouri, western Minnesota, and Iowa into central Montana, southeastern California, and Nevada. It extends southward from southern Manitoba to Alberta into Aquascalientes and San Luis Potosi in Mexico. Anaxyrus cognatus is usually found at elevations up to 1800 m, and as high as 2400 m in the San Luis Valley of Colorado. The habitat of A. cognatus includes both short and tall-grass prairie grasslands as well as mesquite grassland, desert scrub, an desert riparian associations in the western and southern portions of its range.

See another account at

Originally submitted by: Franziska Sandmeier (first posted 2001-02-05)
Edited by: Arie van der Meijden, Kellie Whittaker (2020-02-12)

Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2020 Anaxyrus cognatus: Great Plains Toad <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed May 21, 2024.

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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2024. <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 21 May 2024.

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