Oak toads are small and have multi-colored bodies that help them blend in with their surroundings. This oak toad is crawling on lichen. By Alessandro Catenazzi
Oak toads are the smallest toads living in North America. An adult oak toad grows to be somewhere between ¾ inches and 1¼ inches long. That is probably a shorter length than the length of your index finger!
Oak toads live in the southeastern United States, in areas where pine trees grow. Oak toads prefer parts of the forest where there is not much underbrush, which means there are not many plants growing at the ground level. Oak toads live in shallow burrows that they dig into the ground. They sometimes hide under dead logs or other dead plants that have fallen to the forest floor. Oak toads like to eat small insects such as spiders, flies, or ants that the toads find crawling around on the forest floor.
Oak toads have a big balloon-like part of their throat that they can fill with air and use to call out or communicate with other oak toads. When the balloon is filled with air it makes the oak toad look twice as big as its actual size. The sound an oak toad makes with its balloon-like throat reminds some people of the call of a newly-hatched chicken. Watch the video below of an oak toad calling and decide for yourself!
An oak toad viewed from above. Courtesy of the US Geological Survey via Wikimedia Commons
This forest floor has open areas where you might find an oak toad hiding underneath a dead log. By Travis Witt
For references please see the above links plus:
Burns, Diane L. Frogs, Toads, and Turtles. Milwaukee, WI: Garreth Stevens Publishing, 2000. P. 21.