The American toad is abundant all over the state and is the most commonly heard frog or toad species in the Rouge River Watershed. The size of the American Toad is from 2 to 4.37 inches long. Toads are easily distinguished from frogs by their dry warty skin and their short back legs. If threatened, they can produce a noxious secretion from glands on their back. Dogs who experience this seldom repeat the offence.
Toads prefer ponds without thick vegetation to bump in to, as they are clumsy hoppers. They will use agricultural ponds, roadside ditches, and golf course ponds as long as fertilizers and pesticides are absent. Toads can be found in suburban areas, often far from ponds during the non-breeding season. The existence of small wetlands in these areas is crucial to maintaining these populations.
American toads begin calling around April 15. The call is a long trill, varying in pitch.