Canadian toad

(Anaxyrus hemiophrys)

Conservation Status
Canadian toad
Photo by Jeff LeClere
  IUCN Red List

LC - Least Concern


NNR - Unranked

S4 - Apparently Secure


not listed


Canadian toad is a large true toad. It occurs in Canada from Manitoba west to eastern Alberta, and in the United States from western Minnesota west to eastern North Dakota and South Dakota. It is found in or near water, in areas with relatively soft soil, in prairies, grasslands, and aspen parklands.

Adult females are 2¼ to 3 (56 to 80 mm) in length. Males tend to be a little smaller, 2¼ to 2 (56 to 68 mm) in length. The body is stocky.

The skin is bumpy. The overall color appears brown or olive to gray. On the upper side there are two or three rows of elongated dark patches on cream-colored skin. There is often a cream-colored stripe down the middle of the back. The patches are paired, but one may be a different size and shape than its opposite. Each patch has one to a few small warts. There are similar but smaller spots on the sides of the body and on the legs.

The belly is white or cream-colored with black and gray marks.

Behind each eye there is a narrow swelling. These are the paratoid glands, which secrete a toxin to discourage predators. There are 2 cranial ridges between the eyes, but these fuse together to form a single bump (boss) between the eyes.




Female: 2¼ to 3 (56 to 80 mm)

Male: 2¼ to 2 (56 to 68 mm)




The call of the male is a high-pitched trill lasting 2 to 10 seconds.


Similar Species










7 to 12 years in the wild


Life Cycle


Each year between May and July the female lays single gelatinous strings of 2,000 to 7,000 eggs in the shallow water of lakes, ponds, slow streams, marshes, and roadside ditches. In one year, she may lay up to 20,000 eggs. The eggs hatch in 3 to 12 days.

In late August or September, congregations of more than 100 adults burrow into the earth, creating large mounds (mima mounds) with individual chambers in which they spend the fall and winter.


Adult Food


Worms, spiders, beetles, ants, and other insects.

Mostly insects, especially beetles and ants, but also spiders.


Distribution Map



4, 6, 7, 14, 24, 29, 30, 60, 73, 76, 78.





  Class Amphibia (amphibians)  
  Superorder Batrachia (amphibians)  
  Order Anura (frogs and toads)  
  Suborder Neobatrachia  
  Superfamily Hyloidea  


Bufonidae (true toads)  


Anaxyrus (North American toads)  

This species was formerly classified Bufo hemiophrys. In 2006 all North American true toads (family Bufonidae) were transferred out of the genus Bufo by Frost et al., and several new genera were created.


Subordinate Taxa






Bufo americanus hemiophrys

Bufo hemiophrys

Bufo woodhousei hemiophrys


Common Names


Canadian toad






Visitor Photos

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Molly and Robert Power

    Canadian toad   Canadian toad  
    Canadian toad      

Jeff LeClere

    Canadian toad      






Canadian Toad, Bufo hemiophrys (01)
Hugh McDonald

  Canadian Toad, Bufo hemiophrys (01)  

Alternate Latin Name: Anaxyrus hemiophrys.




Visitor Videos

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Other Videos
  Canadian Toad (Bufonidae: Bufo hemiophrys) Large Adult
Carl Barrentine

Jul 18, 2011

Photographed at Fisher, Minnesota (17 July 2011).

  The Canadian Toad (Bufonidae: Bufo hemiophrys)
Carl Barrentine

Dec 27, 2009

A brief but contemplative look at the Canadian Toad, which is a common wetland species in the upper midwest of the United States. Specimens shown here were photographed during the summer of 2009 in North Dakota.

  Canadian Toad (Bufonidae: Bufo hemiophrys) Close-up
Carl Barrentine

May 20, 2010

Photographed at Grand Forks, North Dakota (20 May 2010).




Visitor Sightings

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  Molly and Robert Power

Location: Avon MN

Canadian toad

  Jeff LeClere

Location: Stevens County

Canadian toad







Created: 2/21/2023

Last Updated:

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