Anaxyrus terrestris, 28 February 2015

Anaxyrus terrestris, the Southern toad;
Lake county, Florida (28 February 2015).

If you’re in peninsular Florida and you see a toad hopping about a yard, odds are it’s a Southern toad, Anaxyrus terrestris. Of course, if the toad is ridiculously huge, it might be a non-native toad… and if the toad is absurdly small, it might be an oak toad… but the domain of StandardToadSizeâ„¢ (2-4 inches in length or so) belongs to the Southern toad. Notable on this species are the paratoid glands situated on the head (the big bumps a bit behind each eye) and a set of crest-like ridges. Despite popular folklore, Southern toads aren’t toxic to humans. Though they can secrete a mild irritant from their paratoid glands as a defensive measure, this secretion is not really toxic to humans. As for dogs, the non-native Cane toads pose more of a danger than our native Southern toads — but Cane toads are still somewhat limited in their range across the peninsula.

Learn more about Southern toads.

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