Useful in gardens as they eat many insects and small invertebrates

This genus represents a group of toads native primarily to North America. Known for their rugged appearance and adaptability, Anaxyrus toads play vital roles in their ecosystems as both predators and prey. These toads are characterized by their dry, warty skin and stocky build. They typically have parotoid glands behind their eyes that secrete a milky fluid when the toad is threatened. This secretion is toxic to many predators, providing an effective defense against a range of threats. The toads in this genus range from small to fairly large sizes, with variations in color and pattern depending on the species and environmental factors. They are found in a wide range of habitats, from deserts and forests to grasslands and suburban areas. They are generally terrestrial and prefer moist environments near water sources for breeding. The distribution of different Anaxyrus species covers much of North America, with each species adapted to specific regional conditions.

Anaxyrus toads are predominantly nocturnal and feed on a variety of invertebrates, including insects, worms, and other small creatures. Their feeding habits help control pest populations, making them beneficial to natural and human-modified ecosystems. During the day, these toads usually hide under rocks, in burrows, or beneath other cover to maintain their moisture and avoid predators.

Breeding usually occurs in spring or early summer when temperatures rise and rains come. Females lay thousands of eggs in long strings in water, which hatch into tadpoles and then metamorphose into juvenile toads. The survival rate from tadpole to adult is low, but those that do reach adulthood can live for several years, depending on the species.