Toad in the Garden


Southern Toad (Bufo terrestris)

This wonderful visitor showed up in our garden. It is a Southern Toad, a common amphibian in this area. When I first found it, I thought it was a Fowler's Toad, as we did not have these in Tennessee, where I grew up, but there were some features that did not match up. A quick Google search lead me to the Southern Toad. They look similar to American Toads and Fowler's Toads, but can be identified by the large ridges and knobs on their heads. Those head decorations were the first thing that made me unsure about my initial identification.


Southern Toad (Bufo terrestris)

Many people fear that toads will give them warts, but the bumps on a toad are not skin problems. Instead, they are glands in the skin that are used for protection. They can secrete toxins that can make a predator sick. The two largest glands, the paratoid glands, are just behind the eyes, and they are the main source of the protective toxins.


Southern Toad (Bufo terrestris)

Toads eat a wide variety of insects, as well as other small creatures. Their song is a high trill, that is close enough to the song of an American Toad to bring back lots of childhood memories. All in all, this toad is a very welcome visitor.