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Appearance: Oak Toads range in size from 3/4 - 1 5/16 in. (1.9 - 3.3 cm). Ground color varies from light gray to almost black. These tiny toads may be very dark when they are cold, but become rather brightly colored and well patterned with paired, light-edged dark dorsal spots when warm. The distinguishing character for Oak Toads (no matter what color they are) is a light middorsal stripe that may be white, cream, yellow, or orange. There are also generally 4 or 5 pairs of black or brown spots on the back of the toad. Cranial crests are present, but not well defined. Paratoid glands are prominent and elongate.
Habitat: Oak Toads are associated with sandy pine scrublands and well-drained uplands such as longleaf pine-turkey oak and xeric hammocks. Oak Toads use shallow, semi-permanent ponds, temporary flatwoods ponds, and roadside drainage ditches for breeding. Oak Toads are more active during the day than other toads. They feed on small insects and spiders.
Vocalization: The "cheep-cheep-cheep" call of the oak toad has been compared to the peeping sounds of newly hatched chicks. The high-pitched call is rapidly repeated and can be overpowering when combined in a large chorus. Male Oak Toads can be heard calling on rainy, humid summer nights.
Reproduction/Eggs: Breeding occurs in shallow pools, ditches, cypress and flatwoods ponds from April to October--often depending on warm, heavy rains. From 100-250 eggs are laid singly or in very short strings (2 - 7 mm in length) that may float or adhere to vegetation. One female may deposit as many as 70 or more strands.
Abundance: Oak Toads are common to abundant in many areas of Florida. This species does not seem to thrive in urban and suburban areas, but may remain common in agricultural areas.
Range: Oak Toads range from the Coastal Plain from southeast Virginia to eastern Louisiana. There is a northward extension into Alabama. The range extends south through Florida and on some of the Keys.
SE ARMI Index Sites: Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, Everglades National Park.