Did you know, there are 3 main subspecies of American Toads? The Eastern American Toad, the Dwarf American Toad, and the rare Hudson Bay Toad.
Dwarf American Toad Anaxyrus americanus charlesmithi
Featured in the photo above is what we believe to be the Dwarf American Toad, latin name Anaxyrus americanus charlesmithi. As we search for mushrooms on our journeys we typically stumble upon toads, usually camouflaged perfectly into their surroundings. This instance was a bit different as this Dwarf American Toad was an orangey-brick red color and stood out from the green lush background. This cutie was spotted at Fort Hamby Park in Wilkesboro, NC just as we began our journey west this past September.
Although the Dwarf American Toad is said to reside in mid-west to western areas of the United states, I do believe this was a Dwarf American Toad we encountered based on my research and comparing of the two similar subspecies.
For example, according to iNaturalist,
"Some [Dwarf American Toad] specimens have a white dorsal line in the middle of their backs," which is clearly shown in the above specimen, where " [The Eastern American Toad] has no or very little markings on it."
Additionally, this specimen was very small, and its colors showed rich hues of red. The Virginia Herpetology Society's article about American Toads touches on the Dwarf Toad, though they proclaim these have not been found to reside in Virginia. In their description they state that the Dwarf American Toad are redder than those of the Eastern American Toad.
If this specimen is truly a Dwarf American Toad this seems to be pretty remarkable that it was found in the western region of the North Carolina mountains. Of course animals are known to migrate and do not have any regard for state lines no matter how much easier labeling their habitat would be for us humans!
Any experts on American Toads out there? Let us know what you think!