WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE

The Canadian toad is a medium sized toad. Its body can be as long as 80 mm. Their colour is brown with lots of darker and lighter patches on the back. They have lots of little bumps called warts on their backs. Underneath they are light gray with many small dots of gray or brown.

Look-alikes: A Canadian toad looks a lot like an American and a great plains toad. The Canadian toad has a large flat bump on the top of its head between its eyes. It also has 1 to 3 large warts in the dark spots on its back. The American toad has no bump between its eyes and 3 or more small warts in the spots on its back. The great plains toad has larger patches on its back than the other two kinds.


NAME

People once thought that this toad and the American toad were the same kind of toad. Now we know they are different kinds of toads. This one is called the Canadian toad because it is one of the most common toads in western Canada.


WHERE IT LIVES

Canadian toads live in forests and in grasslands near lakes or wetlands. They live in the northwestern part of North America, east of the Rocky Mountains. In Manitoba they can be found west of Lake Winnipeg as far north as the north end of Lake Winnipeg.

Where it lives in Manitoba.


HABITS

These toads are most active at night and rest during the day. They hide under leaves, rocks or logs or in patches of tall grass. They come out at night to hunt for food. They are active from May to October. In late autumn they dig deep into soft ground and spend the winter sleeping there. They dig with their back feet and must go down deep enough so the ground will not freeze.


FOOD WEB

Canadian toads eat insects and other small animals without backbones. Their main food is insects that crawl on the ground like beetles and ants.

Adult toads taste bad to most birds and mammals so they usually don't eat them. Snakes are their main enemies. Large water bugs and wading birds will eat the tadpoles.


LIFE CYCLE

Canadian toads usually mate and lay their eggs in May. They use ponds filled by melting snow or small year-round ponds.

Mating call of the Canadian toad:

Their eggs are laid in a long string instead of in a ball like frog eggs. A large female toad can lay more than 1000 eggs. The eggs hatch in 3 to 4 days. The tadpoles change into toadlets by July after 40 to 50 days as tadpoles. The new toadlets are only about 10 mm long.


NUMBERS

Canadian toads are very common in southern Manitoba. There can be more than 50 toads in one hectare of forest.


SPECIAL THINGS

Canadian toads have bad tasting liquid in their skin. This squeezes out if they are attacked. It can make some animals sick so this helps to protect the toads.

Toads have hard bumps on their back feet , like little shovels, to help them dig into the ground.


USE BY PEOPLE

Toads aren't used much by people. Some people think you can get warts from touching toads, but that is not true. Many people like to have toads in their yards or gardens to eat insects.