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Woodhouse's Toad

Woodhouse’s Toad
Bufo woodhousii (=Anaxyrus woodhousii)
(Order Anura; Family Bufonidae)

Bufo woodhousii (Photo by Heather Stewart, 2011).


Diagnosis:  Woodhouse’s Toads are typically 2.5 to 4 inches (60-100 mm) long.  The dry, bumpy skin is a greenish, gray, or brown with irregular brown or dark green spots.  There is a light stripe down the center of the back.  The belly has no spots or a single spot in mid-breast.  Males have throats that are darker than the rest of the belly and females are larger than males.  Their parotid glands are narrow and generally separated by more than the length of one.  They have a bony ridge behind eyes that does not contact the tympanum, but it is in contact with parotids.


Natural History:  Woodhouse’s Toad breeds from March to August. Females lay up to 25,000 eggs in strings that are attached to vegetation in shallow water.  Eggs hatch in about one week, and the tadpoles develop into adults in 2-3 weeks.  Young Woodhouse’s Toads are mature by 3 years of age. 

A tadpole of Bufo woodhousii (Image © Altig et al. (2006).

United States Distribution:  This species is found in the central and western United States. (From Checklist of Amphibian Species and Identification Guide - Woodhouse's Toad, 2006).


Kansas Distribution:  It is common throughout the state of Kansas, but least common in the southeast.  From Kansas Herpetofaunal Atlas (2011).


Habitat:  Woodhouse's Toads frequent a great variety of habitats, but they seem to prefer sandy areas.  Woodhouse’s Toads are commonly found along sandy stream bottoms, marshes, river bottoms, mountain canyons, desert streams, and suburban backyards.

Diet:  Feeds primarily on invertebrates from beetles to earthworms but will consume anything it can fit into its mouth.  Woodhouse’s toads in captivity are sometimes fed baby mice.

Conservation Status:  Stable

YouTube: Woodhouse's Toad Calling:

YouTube: Woodhouse's Toad (Bufo woodhousei) Feeding Video:

Checklist of Amphibian Species and Identification Guide - Woodhouse's Toad. (2006, August 03). (U.S. Geological Survey) Retrieved July 21, 2011, from Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center:

Clarke, R. F. (1984). Frogs and Toads in Kansas. Kansas School Naturalist , 30 (3), 8.

Woodhouse's Toad. (n.d.). Retrieved July 21, 2011, from Lee Richardson Zoo:

Woodhouse's Toad. (2011). Retrieved July 21, 2011, from Kansas Herpetofaunal Atlas:

Image Credits:
Bufo woodhousii.  Photo by Heather Stewart, 2011.

Tadpole of Bufo woodhousii from: Woodhouse’s Toad, 2011.

United States Distribution Map from: Checklist of Amphibian Species and Identification Guide - Woodhouse's Toad, 2006.

Kansas Distribution Map from: Woodhouse’s Toad, 2011.


Submitted by: Heather Stewart, July, 2011

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