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Species Description

Oak Toad

Bufo quercicus


Species Image

Classification

Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Amphibia
Order: Anura
Family: Bufonidae

Description

Its skin can be blackish to silvery-gray but more typically is brownish. There is a cream-colored to orange stripe down its spine as well as four or five pairs of brown or black blotches on its back. It may have flecks of red or orange on its back; its belly is a cream color. This is the smallest member of the Genus Bufo in Georgia, 2 - 4 cm (.75 - 1.5 in) long.

Life Cycle

The Oak Toad breeds from late spring through August, stimulated by heavy rains that fill ditches and temporary pools. Up to 700 eggs can be laid at once, depending on female size. Hatching and transformation to adult form takes two months. The Oak Toad is more active during the day than other toads, and is insectivorous. It prefers open woodlands with little underbrush and an abundance of grass.

Range

Oak Toad Region Map The Oak Toad is found throughout the Coastal Plain in the sandy pine woods. It also occurs on some barrier islands and in maritime forests.

Conservation Status

This toad is fairly common in the Coastal Plain, although its abundance is declining in some areas. Virginia has listed it as a species Of Special Concern. The Oak Toad's northern limit is southern Virginia, which may explain why its population is so small in that state. Georgia's populations could be threatened in the future if large areas of pine forest are cleared, or if wetlands are drained. This toad needs sandy areas where it can burrow and wetlands for breeding.

Similar Species

The small size of the Oak Toad and the very visible stripe down its back make it easily distinguishable from other toads in the area.