This pictured toad has been living for the last few months in one of our greenhouses. When we walk by it on the wooden walkways we have between rows of vats, it simply hunkers down and waits for us to leave. This is a young toad, about 2.5 inches long; large adults are twice the size.
We have eight species of toad at the farm, but this species, the Gulf Coast Toad (Bufo valliceps), is by far the most common. There are several living in our yard where periodic watering maintains the moisture they like. While the toad living in the greenhouse is active early morning and late evening, this species is usually nocturnal. At this time of the year they live primarily on June beetles and crickets. I suspect the toad in the greenhouse dines heavily on cockroaches that are common in the greenhouses. It might also eat some of the at least six species of spiders now resident in the greenhouses. How it manages to elude the many water snakes (Nerodia spp.) also resident in the greenhouses I’m not sure. Maybe toads are not palatable to the snakes.
We are in the process of converting our walkways to cinder blocks placed solid side up. The wooden walkways create constant maintenance problems due to rot. We’ve tried marine paint to prevent the rot to no avail. Cinder blocks will not rot and, in congruence with my philosophy of building no permanent structures, are completely reusable for other projects should they no longer be needed for walkways. I suspect the toad will adapt to the cinder blocks since they happily live on our concrete front porch.