Anaxyrus houstonensis
Houston Toad
family: Bufonidae

© 2006 Paul Crump (1 of 3)
Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN (Red List) Status Endangered (EN)
NatureServe Status Use NatureServe Explorer to see status.
Other International Status None
National Status Endangered
Regional Status None



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Adult snout-vent lengths vary from 49-66 mm in males and 57-80 mm in females. The dorsal surface of the body is very warty, with many small warts between larger warts. Dorsal spots lack accentuated borders. There are dark spots along the medial external surface of the upper jaw. There is ventral spotting only in the pectoral region and occasionally on the throat. The parotoid gland is elongated, usually with a heavily pitted surface.

Distribution and Habitat

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: United States

U.S. state distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Texas


View distribution map using BerkeleyMapper.
There are nine relictual populations in central and southeastern Texas. These populations are found mostly in areas with sandy soil, often found in or near pine forests.

Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
Population size seems small at most localities. The preference for sandy soil is thought to be the limiting factor in the distribution of this species. This toad is a poor burrower in compact soils. Anaxyrus houstonensis appears to be a more discriminating feeder than other bufonid species.

Trends and Threats
Anaxyrus houstonensis is a critcally endangered species. Translocation efforts have failed for this species (Seigel and Dodd 2001).


Brown, L. E. (1963). ''Bufo houstonensis.'' Catalogue of American Amphibians and Reptiles. American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, 133.1-133.2.

Seigel, R. A. and Dodd, C.K., Jr. (2001). ''Translocations of amphibians: proven management method or experimental technique?'' Conservation Biology, 16(2), 552-554.

Written by April Robinson (holden AT, UC Berkeley
First submitted 2001-01-29
Edited by Arie van der Meijden, Vance Vredenburg, Kellie Whittaker (2012-08-15)

Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2012 Anaxyrus houstonensis: Houston Toad <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Dec 12, 2019.

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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2019. <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 12 Dec 2019.

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