toad problem

CatMom1994

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Jul 23, 2017
Recently. I had to help a dying toad get off my sliding glass door. My mom left it partially open when she went outside to turn off the Christmas tree lights on the patio and that created a space barely big enough for a toad its size to squeeze in. I can't blame her for missing a dark brown body at night while looking the other way but then she still did not see three amphibian legs and closed the door completely. Ironically the dark camoflauge, which frogs and toads have to protect themselves, caused a loss of blood supply to the intestine, resulting in the whole area where that organ is (on lower the left side) becoming black because the poor thing was stuck there overnight. I saw it, but did not consider taking a close look until the next morning. That was when I saw the unmistakable legs, toes, and left hand. It was not dead leaves.

Luckily my mom saw me opening the door to release the toad. It was a two-woman job because we had to slide both doors. I could get the toad out of there, but then it played dead between the glass and screen. I tried to close the glass door and accidentally squeeze the toad's body, causing it to expel the toxic white fluid from the parotid glands in its head. That proved it was alive and able to feel pain. After we got the toad between the glass panes with that door partially open, I touched a leg or foot for one second. At that point the toad was green. It hopped! Then I knew it was alive. I do feel terrible for the toad's injuries and how long it was in pain but also worry we both mishandled the situation. I am sure it still felt a lot of pain while dying naturally in a totally unnatural position behind my backyard.

No Google searches have helped me figure out which species it was, but I do know all native frogs and toads are very small and this was a big one. It was invasive for where I live. So if I can identify the species, I plan to report the sighting to an organization that tackles this stuff. Naturally I did not take any pictures of it.
 

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CatMom1994

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Jul 23, 2017
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I live in north-central Florida, were native frogs are less than an inch long.
 

LittleGoldSnail

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Dec 7, 2019
If you do a quick google search “frogs and toads of Florida” it will pop up a very long list of frogs and toads that are found in Florida, both native and invasive species. Just scroll till you find the one.

I was not there and do not know what the toad looked like, so I can not help you further then that.
 

CatMom1994

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Jul 23, 2017
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It looked like a hybrid. Toads don't have eight fingers and webbed toes. Frogs don't have dry "warty" skin or hop only two inches forward. But the animal I nearly killed had all of those traits.
 

LittleGoldSnail

Crazy fish lady
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Dec 7, 2019
It looked like a hybrid. Toads don't have eight fingers and webbed toes. Frogs don't have dry "warty" skin or hop only two inches forward. But the animal I nearly killed had all of those traits.
Well, some frogs actually can have warty skin (depending on species), and hopping only two inches could be due to the injury. I don’t think there is such thing as a frog/toad hybrid.

Was his front feet, back feet or both webbed? How many toes on each foot did he have? How big was he exactly?
 

CatMom1994

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Jul 23, 2017
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I have no idea if it was male or female. The front hands/feet (not sure what biologists call them) have four fingers each. Not webbed. The back feet had three toes, the middle much longer than the other two, with clear webbing between them.

I read toads hop and frogs leap, so the jump distance actually does make a difference. It did not favor either foot
 

CatMom1994

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Jul 23, 2017
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OK, I must have been imagining things. It turns out the southern toad does have four toes on its front feet and is native in all of Florida. But that is still not a perfect match in appearance. It also is hard to tell if southern toads are brown or gray and white on the bottom.
 

LittleGoldSnail

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Dec 7, 2019
OK, I must have been imagining things. It turns out the southern toad does have four toes on its front feet and is native in all of Florida. But that is still not a perfect match in appearance. It also is hard to tell if southern toads are brown or gray and white on the bottom.
Looks like sort of a whitish creamy light underbelly. The feet definitely fit your description. 4 toes on each front foot, 3 on each back, middle being the longest with clear webbing between. They are also very good at camouflage.

Also, frogs and toads can vary in color a slight bit depending on region. So, say there is a certain particular mineral in the dirt around your area, your toads might look just a tad different then a toad 5 miles away with slightly different minerals in the dirt (even the same species). I noticed that with reptiles and amphibians in Oregon.
 

CatMom1994

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Jul 23, 2017
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This one perfectly matched the colors of native frogs. Whether it was brown or green, the hue was identical. Its underside was the same white too so I would have thought it was another frog if its skin was flat and there were no crests (scientifically called parotid glands) behind its eyes.
 
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CatMom1994

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Jul 23, 2017
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BTW the Florida peninsula is land that was pushed up from the bottom of the ocean. Sometimes I walk on sand instead of soil. That is why few or no houses have basements. The dominant amphibian is inch-long frogs and we get thousands of tiny lizards.
 

CatMom1994

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Some pictures of southern toads look very similar to the one I found. Others look very different. Sometimes I think it must have been a southern. I look at more pictures and think no way, it had to be something else. So now I am wondering if male and female amphibians look different like they do in birds.
 

LittleGoldSnail

Crazy fish lady
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Dec 7, 2019
Some pictures of southern toads look very similar to the one I found. Others look very different. Sometimes I think it must have been a southern. I look at more pictures and think no way, it had to be something else. So now I am wondering if male and female amphibians look different like they do in birds.
Sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t, it depends on species.

A southern toad found in one area could easily look vastly different then a southern toad found in a different area.

I didn’t see the toad myself, but your description seems to fit a southern toad.

Again though, I didn’t see the toad myself, so there is no way I can say for sure.
 

CatMom1994

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Jul 23, 2017
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My confusion is pictures show totally different parotid glands. One shows kidney-shaped glands like this one had. Others show narrow lines right above or beside the eyes. Many pictures do not show an exposed eardrum. You would not expect them be that different among individuals of one species.
 

LittleGoldSnail

Crazy fish lady
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Dec 7, 2019
My confusion is pictures show totally different parotid glands. One shows kidney-shaped glands like this one had. Others show narrow lines right above or beside the eyes. Many pictures do not show an exposed eardrum. You would not expect them be that different among individuals of one species.
That is a little weird...
 

CatMom1994

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Jul 23, 2017
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Yes it is. You would think all toads with the same scientific name had identical "ears" and parotid glands.
 

CatMom1994

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Jul 23, 2017
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I finally found a southern toad diagram that labels clear webbing between the back toes and specific description of kidney-shaped parotid glands so now I know he was not a hybrid. I also found a picture and description of male southern toads, which matches him. But there is still one thing I can't figure out: Why in the world wasn't he hibernating? Every webpage about southern toads says they do the amphibian version of hibernation.
 

LittleGoldSnail

Crazy fish lady
Joined
Dec 7, 2019
I finally found a southern toad diagram that labels clear webbing between the back toes and specific description of kidney-shaped parotid glands so now I know he was not a hybrid. I also found a picture and description of male southern toads, which matches him. But there is still one thing I can't figure out: Why in the world wasn't he hibernating? Every webpage about southern toads says they do the amphibian version of hibernation.
How cold was it when you found him? Most frogs and toads don’t need to hibernate until it drops below the mid 60s. As long as there is enough food out and it’s not to cold, there is no reason to.
 

CatMom1994

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Jul 23, 2017
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Frogs seem to have perfect body clocks. They are never fooled by higher than normal temperatures. It can drop to 60 in the summer and they will be on my patio door anyway. They know where there is light, there is heat, and see when my kitchen lights are on.

It is not exactly hibernation like what mammals do since amphibians are unable to control their body temperature, but a similar phenomenon.
 


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