Toad identification and questions

Asked June 18, 2015, 10:05 AM EDT

Two photos show little toads which pop out of moist piles of topsoil or chips, etc. They measure roughly 2 inches in overall body length, and I think they may be the Dwarf American Toad (Anaxyrus americanus charlesmithi), but the colors vary somewhat; 5 10 2015 - 5 Toad has a reddish shade of skin, while 5 16 2015 - 4 Toad is taupe in color. Perhaps they could be "teenagers" of the Anaxyrus amercanus americanus type, the Eastern American Toad, but they won't say, and I can't determine which. I follow a catch-and-release policy, putting them into my veg. garden, assuming they're benevolent and useful in snaring less-desirable insects. Can you identify these little visitors and tell me whether they're gardeners' friends? Thanks very much.

Montgomery County Maryland wildlife

1 Response

It looks like a Fowler's toad or an American toad The Fowler toad parotoid touches the postorbital ridge and the American toad parotoid does not touch. It is not clear in your photos whether it does or not. The important thing is that they are toads and all toads are VERY beneficial. Fowlers toads are not as common as the American toad. Skin color and size are variable and hence are not reliable identification characteristics. size. http://dnr2.maryland.gov/wildlife/Pages/plants_wildlife/herps/fieldguide_OrderAnura.aspx http://www.discoverlife.org/mp/20q?guide=Anura vw