1930, No. 2                 COPEIA                             45 
June 30 
Notes on the Food of the American Toad 
W HILE considerable has been written upon the food of Bufo ameri- 
canus, most writers have dealt with mature toads only. The present 
note pertains only to immature forms, ranging in length from 8 to 12 mm.

During June, July and early August of 1928 and June of 1929, I have 
taken and examined 400 of these small toads. However, no criteria of the

food predilection as exercised by any animal can be accurately judged 
from a large number taken in the same place at the same time. If several

hundred small toads are taken from the shelter of a manure pile, one 
would expect to find 90 per cent or more of the food consisting of a single

item, i.e., manure fly larvae, Ceratopogon and Leptocera. Accordingly, not

more than fifty individuals were taken on the same date, and these were 
taken as widely scattered as possible. 
The toads examined seldom had more than six species of animals in 
their stomachs, and more often than not, a few mites, thrips or insect 
larvae made up the total. Rarely a stomach would contain over a dozen 
different arthropods. The food is recorded in percentage by bulk, and fol-

lows in the order of abundance. 
Diptera made up 22 per cent. of all the food taken. The larvae were 
far more abundant than the adults. Small forms are favored. Mites 
appeared next in abundance, comprising 15.5 per cent. Several genera were

recognized, and more than 80 per cent. of the stomachs contained these 
arthropods. Several toads had more than 40 mites in their stomachs and one

had eaten 77. Ants were taken avidly and comprised 12.8 per cent. Beetles

and their larvae, the latter the more abundant, constituted 11.8 per cent.
most abundant of the Coleoptera appeared to be staphylinids. Thrips 
formed 10.1 per cent. of the food, but were found in all but a few stom-

achs. These small insects appear to be a staple article of diet for young

Collembola comprised 6.2 per cent. of the diet. The springtails some- 
times occurred in large numbers in the stomachs examined, and together 
with thrips, appeared to be an important food of all small anurans. Insects

and their larvae of the orders Lepidoptera and Hymenoptera (excepting 
ants), and aphids, sowbugs, spiders, worms and small snails, all in about

equal numbers, comprised 12.1 per cent. Undetermined insect remains made

up 4.4 per cent., while the remaining 4.6 per cent. consisted of such extra-

neous matter as dirt, grasses, small pebbles and little pieces of wood.