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Houston Toad

Interesting Facts: The chemicals that are secreted by Houston Toads have been useful in medicines for treating heart and nervous disorders in humans.

Main Characteristics: Houston Toads are mainly coloured brown but their colouration can range from black to purplish grey and sometimes they have green markings. They have a pale coloured underside that often has small dark markings and males have a dark coloured throat.

They grow to lengths between 5 and 9 cms (2 - 3.5 inches) and they have a life expectancy of 2 - 3 years.

They are nocturnal creatures and during the winter months they dig themselves down into loose, sandy soil and hibernate.

To protect themselves from predators their skin secretes chemicals which are distasteful and sometimes poisonous.

Habitat Houston Toads are found in pine, hardwood and oak forests in Texas, USA. During the day they spend their time in burrows, buried in loose sandy soil or under leaf litter.

Diet; The diet of a Houston Toad consists of insects and small invertebrates.

Breeding; Houston Toads mainly breed during February and March. Males call to attract females from in or near shallow water. Several thousand eggs are laid in long, single egg strands in still or slow flowing bodies of water such as, pools, ponds, ditches, or flooded ground.

They hatch into tadpoles in 7 days and then between 15 and 100 days they metamorphose into toadlets.

By the time they reach 1 year old males are ready to breed but females reach 2 years old before they begin to breed.

Predators: Predators of Houston Toads include spiders, snakes, turtles, raccoons, owls and larger frogs and larger toads.

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