Woodhouse Toad

Bufo woodhousii, or Anaxyrus woodhousii

Order: Anura

Family: Bufonidae

Natural History Information

Range and Habitat

  • Isolated colonies can be found throughout the Great Plains and Rocky Mountain regions of North America. Prefers lowland sandy areas but will inhabit a variety of areas including marshes, river bottoms, mountain canyons, desert streams, irrigated areas and urban and suburban yards.
  • Vary from gray or greenish-gray to brown with irregular and elongated brown or dark gray-green spots. Woodhouse’s Toads have a light colored mid-dorsal stripe and a light colored belly with no spots. Range in length from 2 1/2″ to 4″, females are generally larger than breeding males. Fingers and toes are moderately webbed. Rounded snout, enlarged kidney-shaped glands on back behind each eye and easily visible tympanum. The skin is fairly dry with a warty appearance.
  • Primarily nocturnal though young adults are more likely to be active during the day. Dew and condensation provide enough moisture, allowing these toads to live a largely terrestrial life, only returning to water to breed.


  • Captive individuals have lived more than 13 years.

Ecosystem Role

Husbandry Information

Housing Requirements

  • Life Cycle Natural History Relevant Information
  • Temperature, Humidity, Light Cycles
  • Substrate:
  • Social Housing/Colony Management
  • Other General Housing Requirements or Management information

Diet Requirements

  • Life Cycle Relevant Information
  • Diet under human care

Veterinary Concerns


  • Behavioral Relevant Information
  • Environmental Enrichment
  • Behavioral Enrichment
  • Schedule
  • Other Enrichment Resources


  • Behaviors Trained
  • Reinforcers used & schedule of reinforcement

Programmatic Information

Messaging Themes

  • Threats and Conservation Status
  • Interesting Natural History Information
    • These toads can consume up to 2/3 of their body weight in insects daily. This makes them a useful predator for farmers who can support toad habitat by maintaining playas on their land throughout the Great Plains.
    • General amphibian messaging.
  • Did you know…

Handling & Presentation Tips

Use Guidelines

  • Handle with wet hands.
  • Grasp firmly with shoulders encircled with thumb and index finger, belly flat on your palm.
  • Woodhouse’s toads are powerful jumpers so care needs to be taken to ensure the toad does not have enough purchase with its back feet to escape.

Public Contact and Interaction Guidelines

Transportation Tips

Crating Techniques

Temperature Guidelines

Acquisition Information

  • Generally only available as wild caught specimens.



Contributors and Citations

  • Lee Richardson Zoo

Comments from the Rating System

  • Lee Richardson Zoo: We allow small audiences to touch this animal with wet fingers, and have never seen any negative effects.