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True Toads and Spadefoots

Dry skin with scattered to many warts or tubercles; obvious digging spurs on the hind feet.  Click on each frog/toad for more detailed information.

American Toad
  • Eye pupils horizontal
  • Usually just 1 or 2 warts in each dark spot on the back
  • Several to many enlarged warts on the tibia
  • Cranial crests are high and separated from the parotoid glands (or connected by a short spur)
  • 2 digging spurs on each hind foot (adult size 2-5 inches)
  • Breeding choruses can be heard day and night from mid-March through May

Fowler's Toad

Fowler's Toad 

  • Eye pupils horizontal
  • Usually 3 or more warts in some of the dark spots on the back
  • all warts on the tibia are small
  • cranial crests are low and touch the parotoid glands
  • 2 digging spurs on each hind foot (adult size 2-4 inches)
  • Breeding choruses can be heard mostly at night from April through mid-July

Eastern Spadefoot

Eastern Spadefoot 

  • Eye pupils vertical (like those of a cat)
  • Skin fairly smooth with scattered tubercles (no warts)
  • Cranial crests absent
  • One large digging spur on each hind foot
  • Very toad-like in size and appearance but the eyes are distinctive (adult size 2-3 inches
  • Breeding choruses can be heard mostly from April through August both day and night after heavy rains, but strong choruses have been heard from early January to late October in Kentucky.  Most breeding choruses last less than 24 hours.