Woodhouse’s Toad

Family: 
Bufonidae (true toads) in the order Anura (frogs)
Description: 

Color ranges from green, greenish gray, gray, tannish gray to brown. Often has a white or tan stripe down the back. There are irregular (not paired) dark brown or black spots on the back with 1–6 “warts” inside each spot. The belly is plain white, but sometimes with a single “breast” spot. Call is a short, nasal “w-a-a-ah,” lasting from 1 to 2 1/2 seconds, similar to the call of the Fowler’s toad, but with a slightly lower pitch.

Size: 
Length (head-body): 2 1/2 to 4 inches.
Habitat and conservation: 
Mainly found in sandy river bottoms and lowlands, and open, dry areas adjacent to marshes. Like other toads, they hide in burrows by day and become active at night.
Foods: 
Nocturnal hunter of insects and other small prey.
Distribution in Missouri: 
Found mainly along the Missouri River floodplain and along streams in the western part of the state.
Status: 
Common. Apparently, it hybridizes with the Fowler's toad, in a zone from north-central to central and southwestern Missouri.
Life cycle: 
Can become active in late March, but breeding begins in late April or early May, peaking in mid-May. Like other species of toads, this species lays several thousand eggs in flooded fields, ditches, ponds, pools and streams. These hatch in about a week. The black tadpoles begin to change into toadlets by late June or mid-July.
Human connections: 
As an insectivore that lives along sandy river bottoms, this species is a friend to canoeists, fishers and others who like to be near water but not get “eaten up” by various insects. The distinctive calls add to the symphony of an outdoor evening on the river.
Ecosystem connections: 
This species provides food for several species of aquatic snakes, as well as other predators. As a hunter itself, Woodhouse’s toad checks the populations of many insect species.