gunpowder falls state park, sweathouse branch wildlands area

© 2012 S. D. Stewart, Gunpowder Falls State Park, Sweathouse Branch Wildlands Area

I puzzled over this toad a bit, and I’m still not sure about it. The choices are American Toad or Fowler’s Toad. The main difference in appearance is that the American Toad has 1-2 bumps in each black spot on its back, while the Fowler’s has 3-5. The photo didn’t come out well enough to see these spots very clearly, and there are at least two areas on the back with 3 bumps, but in looking closer I can’t tell if these are located on the black spots. When considering habitat, this toad is more likely an American Toad given that Fowler’s Toads prefer sandier areas and this one was found on the forest floor. But without the diagnostic photo, I can’t be sure of the ID. As a side note, one time in spring my sister and I hiked this area and the toads must have just metamorphosized because there were hundreds, possibly thousands, of tiny toads scattered on the trails. We had to be careful not to step on them.

© 2012 S. D. Stewart, American Toad/Fowler's Toad, Gunpowder Falls State Park, Harford County, MD

American Toad (Anaxyrus americanus) or Fowler’s Toad (Bufo fowleri), Juvenile, Harford County, MD. Photo does not show number of bumps in each spot well enough to clinch the ID, although American Toad seems likelier based on habitat.

The fearsome toad-hunter, who first spotted this particular toad:

© 2012 S. D. Stewart

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3 Comments

  1. In my childhood I had an experience like you describe with the thousands of little frogs. I like the little fellow you’ve captured here. And Farley! And the trees! And what a name for a park. Sounds like a gorgeous walk.

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