Bufo woodhousii, or Anaxyrus woodhousii
Natural History Information
Range and Habitat
- Isolated colonies can be found throughout the Great Plains and Rocky Mountain regions of North America. Prefers lowland sandy areas but will inhabit a variety of areas including marshes, river bottoms, mountain canyons, desert streams, irrigated areas and urban and suburban yards.
- Vary from gray or greenish-gray to brown with irregular and elongated brown or dark gray-green spots. Woodhouse’s Toads have a light colored mid-dorsal stripe and a light colored belly with no spots. Range in length from 2 1/2″ to 4″, females are generally larger than breeding males. Fingers and toes are moderately webbed. Rounded snout, enlarged kidney-shaped glands on back behind each eye and easily visible tympanum. The skin is fairly dry with a warty appearance.
- Primarily nocturnal though young adults are more likely to be active during the day. Dew and condensation provide enough moisture, allowing these toads to live a largely terrestrial life, only returning to water to breed.
- Captive individuals have lived more than 13 years.
- Life Cycle Natural History Relevant Information
- Temperature, Humidity, Light Cycles
- Social Housing/Colony Management
- Other General Housing Requirements or Management information
- Life Cycle Relevant Information
- Diet under human care
- Behavioral Relevant Information
- Environmental Enrichment
- Behavioral Enrichment
- Other Enrichment Resources
- Behaviors Trained
- Reinforcers used & schedule of reinforcement
- Threats and Conservation Status
- Interesting Natural History Information
- These toads can consume up to 2/3 of their body weight in insects daily. This makes them a useful predator for farmers who can support toad habitat by maintaining playas on their land throughout the Great Plains.
- General amphibian messaging.
- Did you know…
Handling & Presentation Tips
- Handle with wet hands.
- Grasp firmly with shoulders encircled with thumb and index finger, belly flat on your palm.
- Woodhouse’s toads are powerful jumpers so care needs to be taken to ensure the toad does not have enough purchase with its back feet to escape.
Public Contact and Interaction Guidelines
- Generally only available as wild caught specimens.
- Check out sample animal policies, handling sheets, and fact sheets on our Example Policies & Guidelines page
- View past issues of Program Animal SAG Newsletters
Contributors and Citations
- Lee Richardson Zoo
Comments from the Rating System
- Lee Richardson Zoo: We allow small audiences to touch this animal with wet fingers, and have never seen any negative effects.