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talk to the frog / Care Sheets / American Toad (Bufo americanus)
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Devin Edmonds
613 posts
613 posts

# Posted: 3 Aug 2003 17:11 · Edited by: Admin

Introduction: American toads are one of the most common amphibians in the northern United States and Canada. They can be a number of colors, ranging from light tan to brown-red to dark olive green. The back and body of these toads are covered in brown and black "warts". Their underside is almost always a light tan color.

There are two seperate subspecies of american toads. They are both completely identical except for their adult size. The dwarf subspecies rarely grows over 2 inches while normal adult american toads will meassure between 2 and 4 inches. Both subspecies are very easy to keep and are not hard to find for sale or in the wild if you live in their range.

Cage: A 15 gallon glass aquarium (L24" W12" H12" is large enough for 2 adult toads. A tight fitting cover is essential because these little toads can hop pretty high.

American toads like to burrow and hide during the day so a substrate in which they can burrow works out well. Coconut husk fiber (bed-a-beast, eco earth, forest bed, etc.) is a great substrate to use because it allows the toads to burrow, is not very messy and is safe if swollowed. Peat moss, leaf litter or cypress mulch will work too. Steril substrates like moist paper towels or foam rubber can also be used for temporary housing. Avoid using gravel or sand because these substrate can create blockage inside of the toad if they are swollowed.

Live potted plants can be submerged into the substrate to make the cage look nicer and add hiding spots for the toads. Pieces of large flat cork bark, driftwood and rocks can be placed in the cage for hiding spots as well.

Temperature: The preffered temperature of american toads will depend on what area they were collected from. Most seem to do fine when kept in the high 60's to mid 70's although toads from the southern end of their range may do better when kept warmer.

Water: Provide a water dish that is easily accessible and not any deeper than the height of your toad. American toads are poor swimmers. I lost the first american toad that I kept because it drown in a deep water dish. If you use tap water make sure to treat it with tap water conditioner to remove chlorine, chloramines and hard minerals.

Food: American toads are not picky eaters and will eat most invertabrates that will fit into their mouth. Crickets, wax worms, meal worms, earth worms and other insects of that size work well. Feed your toad 3 to 6 food items every other day. Small toads that are under an inch in length should be fed smaller food items like flightless fruit flies and 3 day old crickets every day.

Original care sheet can be found at


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talk to the frog / Care Sheets / American Toad (Bufo americanus)
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