Canadian Toad

Anaxyrus hemiophrys

Species at Risk: May Be At Risk


Canadian Toads range in size from about 1.5-3” (3-7.5 cm). They come in a variety of colors, from brownish to greenish to grey, with reddish tubercles/warts located in dark spots. The “Hemiophrys” in the scientific name means “eyebrow”, referring to the pronounced cranial crest. They have tubercles on their back feet for burrowing. They are usually diurnal (awake during the day) and burrow overnight in sandy or loamy soil. However, they will also hunt at night if it is warm enough. Canadian Toads feed on a variety of invertebrates, including beetles, worms and ants.


Canadian Toads are widely distributed throughout Alberta. They are usually found along riverbeds, ponds, or sandy lake shores. Like all amphibians, they require water for breeding. Males begin calling in May, even at very low temperatures (5 degrees C). Females will lay 4000-7000 eggs. Once breeding is completed, they are known to stray quite far from water in grasslands, aspen parkland and boreal forests. They over-winter in communal burrows below the frostline.


The Canadian Toad is listed as “May be at Risk”. This is because there is insufficient data to determine its true status. The main threat to Canadian Toads is habitat loss due to droughts, drainage of wetlands, and human activity.


Peterson Field Guides: Western Reptiles and Amphibians (3rd ed) by Robert C Stebbins.
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Photo by Kyle Welsh

Canadian Toad call