During mid-summer in Connecticut, watch your step while hiking the trails of our forests. Eastern American toads have recently completed their transformation from tadpole to toad, and they now hop along the trail as they disperse throughout the forest.
The new toads are extremely small, only about the size of a small cricket. They are easy to miss while walking a trail, and easily stepped on.
toads about the size of a small cricket
The best way to find a miniature toad is to periodically glance at the ground as you hike. The toads will scatter as your feet approach. If you see what appears to be a small insect scurring away, take a closer look; it may actually be the smallest toad you’ll ever see.
Eastern American toads are the most common toad species in Connecticut. They breed during April and May and their tadpoles develop underwater for a few weeks. When development is complete, tiny toads leave behind the water to begin their terrestrial adult life.
Keep your eyes open in July and August for these tiny “toadlings”. Take a look at the video below to see just how tiny these young amphibians are.
WILL MICHAEL is the director of CT Naturalist TV. Michael is creating an online database of the animals found in and around Danbury, Connecticut, one of the most ecologically diverse habitats in the country. All too often residents take our local environment for granted–CT Naturalist TV hopes to change that!
New webisodes will be uploaded here each month to keep you informed of what animals are active in Danbury’s parks and open space.
To contact Will and to view the wildlife database, visit CTNaturalist.com.