Which toad is doing what to whom?

MarcPerrFebruary 27, 2014

I know female toads will puff up to discourage sex, but I thought only male toads puffed up their vocal sacs, or even had vocal sacs. Could someone tell me what's going on here? Is the puffed-up toad on the bottom the female? Or are they roll playing? Do I need to call Westboro Baptist Church to picket the toad pond? Any toad experts?

This post was edited by MarcPerr on Thu, Feb 27, 14 at 21:02

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That is a male toad trying to amplex and attempt to mate with another calling male. Male toads get very overzealous and will attempt to mate with anything moving near their breeding pond. I have had them attempt to mate with my foot, my hand, other toads of other species, etc. It if moves, they try to mate with it. In fact, male amphibians have a special release call which basically says "let go, I'm a male you idiot!".

I took this photo one night in Mexico. I couldn't figure out what was going on until I looked carefully at the photo. The problem is a male Southern Gulf Coast Toad has amplexed with a young male of a different and much larger species (Cane Toad). You can tell that the Cane Toad objects!

This post was edited by FHFchrish on Thu, Feb 27, 14 at 23:14

    Bookmark   February 27, 2014 at 11:12PM
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That's a good catch. The toad on the bottom of your picture seems to be playing dead.

How about these toads? These two look like they might be male and female. What do you think? Mainly, I want to know if female toads or frogs puff up their voice sacs like males do, or if they even have such sacs.

This post was edited by MarcPerr on Fri, Feb 28, 14 at 8:08

    Bookmark   February 27, 2014 at 11:30PM
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Only males have the throat sacs and call. Another characteristic that helps during the breeding season is the males have darker pigment (blackish) on their throat sacs as you can see in your photo.

In my photo the bigger toad was actively trying to force the smaller male off his back.

This post was edited by FHFchrish on Fri, Feb 28, 14 at 19:38

    Bookmark   February 28, 2014 at 7:37PM
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Also, in most toads of the US, the males will be smaller; females can be double the male's size in some species. Females do not have vocal sacs, and males have a dark chin due to the vocal sac being there. In breeding season, the male will have "black fingers", sticky stuff on his hands which help him grip wet amphibian skin. Ordinary white or gray fingers means a girl toad.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2014 at 4:00PM
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