What frog is this and is it poisonous

Asked March 9, 2019, 7:04 PM EST

Is this frog I found poisonous

Volusia County Florida toads toads of florida southern toad anaxyrus terrestris formerly bufo terrestris

2 Responses

Thank you for your question. I have been attempting to determine the identity of your toad, but I cannot find any species description that matches your photo. I forwarded your photograph to the Herpetology Department of the University of Florida Natural History Museum to see if they can identify it for you.

As to your question regarding whether or not it's poisonous, most toads and some frogs can secrete toxins through glands in their skin and through two glands, called parotoid glands, located on top of the head of some frogs and toads in the family Bufonidae. These various toxins serve as a deterrent to predators and keeps them from preying on the toad or frog. They may also prevent parasites from attaching to the frog or toad's skin. If these toxins are introduced into the body through contact with the eyes, nose, mouth, and sometimes through cuts in the skin, the results can vary from extreme discomfort to death, depending on the level of exposure.

Toxins from the marine toad, also called the cane toad, scientific name Rhinella marina, is an invasive species in Florida. There normal range includes parts of South American, Central America, Mexico and the extreme southern portion of Texas. The toxins from this toad can be fatal to animals that try to eat this species.

As soon as I hear from the Natural History Museum, I will be back in touch.

Jim

Hello again. I just received a reply from Dr. Sheehy at the University of Florida's Natural History Museum. He said the toad in your photograph is the Southern toad, scientific name Anaxyrus terrestris. He did say that your specimen is not the typical color for this species. Adults range in size from 1.5 to 3.5 inches.

This species is found from the coastal plains of the Carolinas, through central and southern Georgia, through portions of Alabama and Mississippi and throughout Florida.

They feed on snails and a variety of insects, including ants, beetles, earwigs, lightning bugs, honey bees, crickets and roaches. Basically, they feed on just about anything they can catch and swallow. Their tadpoles feed primarily on algae that they scrape off of leaves and aquatic plants.

Here's a link to the Natural History Museum's webpage on frogs and toads of Florida:

https://www.floridamuseum.ufl.edu/herpetology/florida-amphibians-reptiles/frogs-toads/

and here's a link to the University of Florida's Wildlife Extension where you can find out more about this species:

http://www.wec.ufl.edu/extension/wildlife_info/frogstoads/anaxyrus_terrestris.php

I hope this answers your question, and thank you again for contacting Ask an Expert.

Jim