Mr. Toad, the Western Toad

David Rosen/Wildside Photography

Mr. Toad was dropped off at an area pet shop after having been in captivity for many years. When wild animals are kept in captivity for so long, they often lose their ability to survive in the wild, so Mr. Toad found a permanent home at Splash. Mr. Toad is at least 6 years old and Western Toads in captivity have been known to live as long as 36 years!

His favorite foods are earthworms and crickets. Sometimes makes a squeaky sound when catching his food. Typical of toads, he moves primarily by walking, instead of hopping. Since Western Toads are nocturnal, Mr. Toad likes to stay in his little house and sleep all day.

Like all frogs and toads, wild Western Toads breed in the water. The females produce as many as 16,500 eggs in a single clutch! The eggs look like small black pearls laid single file in long strings in the water. The eggs quickly develop into tadpoles that hatch and swarm in groups of hundreds or thousands through the warmest, shallowest water available. More than 99% of these tadpoles won’t survive to adulthood.

The “warts” on the Western Toad are not warts at all, but glands that produce a bitter, sticky, white fluid when the toad feels threatened. The fluid can cause an animal’s eyes or mouth to tingle or feel numb. This makes Western Toads unpleasant to eat, but it won’t give you warts!