While I was wandering around photographing wildflowers, W wandered across the road. After a few minutes he called, ‘You might want to see this.’ I went over to where he was staring into the plants looking for something. ‘It’s either a mouse or a frog.’ We both started searching. It was a frog, or rather, a toad. It had taken cover in the shadows under the plants so we started herding it out into the open. Now, herding frogs/toads is like herding cats. They don’t cooperate but we were lucky.
Anaxyrus fowleri (Fowler’s Toad). It moved out into the open although it still blended into the leafy background.
A closer view.
It didn’t really care for all the attention and hopped off. We corralled it a few feet away. It thought it was escaping by backing down into an opening. Unfortunately for it, the opening was a shallow hole.
Here it’s sitting in the hole.
*****W picked it up and we were able to take some close ups. It was very patient with us although it does appear to have a slightly disinterested, if not disgruntled, look. After W held it for me to photograph, I held it for him and then we released it back into the weeds. (Since toads may release bufotoxin from the parotid glands, we did make sure to wash our hands after handling it.)
W identified it as a Fowler’s Toad – as opposed to the American Toad (Anaxyrus americanus) or the Southern Toad (Anaxyrus terrestris) - based on the location of the parotid glands against the postorbital ridge and the fact that there were three or more warts in the larger dark-pigmented spots. A forth toad, the Oak Toad (Anaxyrus quercicus) occurs in Georgia but is much smaller.
According to the Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS), the North American toads have been moved from the genus Bufo to the genus Anaxyrus.
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- WW Knapp, Frogs and Toads of Georgia: Fowler’s Toad (Bufo fowleri)
- Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS): Fowler's Toad (Anaxyrus fowleri)
- Piedmont National Wildlife Refuge: Atamasco Lily (Zephyranthes atamasco)
- Jasper County, Georgia: Red-banded Hairstreak (Calycopis cecrops)
- Jasper County, Georgia: New Life – Bracken Fern (Pteridium aquilinum) & Green-and-gold (Chrysogonum virginianum)
- Piedmont NWR: Flowering Dogwoods (Cornus florida)
- Piedmont NWR: Bulbous Bittercress (Cardamine bulbosa)
- Piedmont NWR: A Wildflower Miscellany