American Toad (Bufo americanus)


  Domain: Eukarya
    Kingdom: Animalia
      Phylum: Chordata
        Class: Amphibia
          Order: Anura
            Family: Bufonidae
              Genus: Bufo
                Species: Bufo americanus

To read why the American Toad is classified the way it is, read below!

 Domain Eukarya: The American toad has eukaryotic cells containing a true nucleus and membrane-bound organelles that perform specific functions.

 Kingdom Animalia: These toads are multicellular organisms and heterotrophic, they depend on plants or other organisms as a source of nutrition.

 Phylum Chordata: Species have a backbone, gills and postanal “tail” present at one point in their lives. American toads have a spine as an adult and as tadpoles, they possess both gills and a tail.

 Class Amphibian: Their temperature fluctuates with changes in the environment rather than being maintained at a constant internal temperature.  All species in this class possess 2 pairs of legs, a bony jaw and glandular skin that lacks hair, feathers and scales.  As adults, they have lungs for respiration and for staying afloat while swimming.  These species develop via metamorphosis and respire via pores in the skin, called cutaneous respiration.

 Order Anura: Means “without tail”.  Although young American toads have a tail, the adult stage does not have a tail.  A squatting position is seen in adults because the spinal vertebra is fused in the sacral (lower spine) region.  A rigid head position is also seen because the skull is fused to the first vertebra. The species within this order have long hindlimbs, but short stocky forelimbs, accounting for their poor ability to jump.

 Family Bufonidae: The American toad lacks teeth and only males have a Biddler’s organ.  This organ is a rudimentary ovary which restricts male toads from transitioning into a viable female.  All species in this family have poison glands, but they vary in size, location, number, and toxicity.

 Genus Bufo: These species possess a wartlike structure behind the eyes called a paratoid gland which secretes a fatty white toxic to ward off predators.  The American toad also engages in seasonal breeding and lacks parental care of young.

 Species americanus: The skin color of American toads can vary from brown to brick red with gray and olive patches.  The warts on the toad’s skin are encircled by a dark colored spot.  The belly and chest can be white to yellow with pigmentation and splotching.  The American toad has a unique light stripe down the middle of the back. They can vary from 2 to 4.5 inches long when they reach sexual maturity. They also have unique oval shaped eyes with golden irises.