Photo by Aubrey M. Heupel

Eastern Narrowmouth Toad
Gastrophryne carolinensis

Listen to the Call

Description:  The eastern narrowmouth toad is a small, plump toad with a small triangular-shaped head and a tiny mouth. The limbs are short and the toes lack webbing. The narrowmouth toad has a fold of skin across the head just behind the eyes, and it lacks a visible tympanum (external eardrum). It is usually dark colored, ranging from gray to reddish brown, often with a broad, irregular light band running down each side.

Habitats and Habits:  Narrowmouth toads are found in the Coastal Plain and Piedmont. They are nocturnal, spending the daylight hours buried or hidden under leaves, logs and debris in moist places. Eggs are black and white and are laid on the surface of the water. Tadpoles change into little frogs three to 10 weeks after eggs are laid.

Call:  Breeding occurs between April and October and usually takes place during or after heavy rains on warm nights. Males call from clumps of vegetation along pond edges or ditches. Their call is a high-pitched “weeeeee, similar to the bleat of a lamb or calf.

Frog Fact: The skin secretions of narrowmouth toads can be irritating to human eyes and mucous membranes. These secretions protect the toads when feeding on ants — their primary food source.

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The shaded region represents the range of the eastern narrowmouth toad in North Carolina.

Photo by JD Willson

Photo by JD Willson

A narrowmouth toad calling.
Photo by Tom Luhring

Photo by John White The narrow head and fold of skin behind the eyes distinguish narrowmouth toads from other frogs and toads in North Carolina.
Photo by Mark Danaher

This website created by: Grant Connette and Evan Eskew.
For comments or questions contact M. Dorcas:
M. Dorcas homepage:
Davidson College, Davidson, North Carolina 28035-1719.

Text and maps from: Dorcas, M. E., S. J. Price, J. C Beane, and S. S. Cross. 2007. The Frogs and Toads of North Carolina. North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, Raleigh, NC. – Copyright by Michael E. Dorcas

Partial Funding for this website provided by a Associate Colleges of the South, National Science Foundation, and Duke Energy.