As a tadpole, the Eastern American toad is able to emit a toxic chemical. A small fish that eats a few of these tadpoles may be poisoned and die. Similarly, if a small dog eats an adult toad, the dog may become sick and die because of the same toxicity.
This little toad is a beneficial garden habitant with a big appetite for almost any kind of insect. Toads are easy to catch. They are not slimy, and touching one will not cause warts.
Good toad habitat may include a flower garden, a small pond and a pile of sand with a board on top. Toads will hibernate during the cold months by burrowing backward into the ground.
Through the Woods is a weekly nature photo column by Aaron Horrell. Find this column at semissourian.com to order a reprint of the photo. Find more work by him at the O'Tenem Gallery.