Illinois Natural History Survey - University of Illinois

Anura      Gastrophryne carolinensis --
Eastern Narrow-mouthed Toad

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Purple shade indicates vouchered specimens. Light blue (cyan) shade indicates photographic records. Yellow shade indicates verified sighting. Slanted hatch indicates pre-1980 records only

NOTE: Not all specimens upon which these maps are based have been verified.

Key Characters: Squat body; narrow, pointed head; fold of skin across top of head behind eyes; no visible tympanum.

Similar Species: None.

Description: Small (up to 3.3 cm SVL) olive, dark gray, reddish brown, or nearly black frog with darkly mottled belly. Skin smooth, without warts or ridges. Legs stubby and toes without webbing or toe pads. Male has a dark throat.

Habitat: Open, moist areas with abundant ground cover. Breeds in temporary or permanent waters such as ponds, lakes, swamp edges, marshy fields, and roadside ditches.

Natural History: One of the few amphibians that feeds regularly on ants. Fold of skin on head is used to push ants away from eyes. Outside of breeding season it is found in rotten stumps and beneath rocks, logs, bark, and other objects on ground. Weak jumper, moves by short, rapid hops. Breeds in summer. Male usually calls from edge of water, concealed under plant debris. Call is a high-pitched buzz or "baaa" reminiscent of distressed lamb. When male amplexes female, sticky substance secreted from glands on his belly glues him temporarily to her back. Female lays over 800 tiny eggs in one layer at water surface. Embryos hatch in a few days and tadpoles transform in 20-70 days.

Status: Known from only six southern counties, where it may be locally common.


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