Re: Toads

-----Original Message-----
From: <>
To: <>
Date: Thursday, July 16, 1998 11:27 AM
Subject: Re: Toads

>>I too have toads living in plant pots. It's been going on for years. Every
summer there are a few pots of plants I can't find homes for, and they live
the back door where I can water them easily. About this time of year, I
a few plants are dead, for no apparent reason, so I tip the contents out,
find a very large toad in one pot, and a somewhat smaller toad in the next
door pot. Male and female, I presume, in separate bedrooms. Once the plants
die, I just leave the pots there, and keep watering them to benefit the
Too much water, and the toads pop out to express displeasure. Just right,
you'd never know they're there, though they surface every evening and have
supper under the lights by the door. In spite of the price I pay, I like
having them there because I know they eat bugs and slugs. By the end of the
summer, they usually get names and seem like pets. I remove all the pots in
the fall, and if the toads are still in residence, they get dumped out in
garden nearby. Since I get a pair back every year, I assume it's the same
who know enough to return to the same spot.

My questions the lost plants succumb to the
constant disturbance of roots, or is it poor potty training and high urea
content that kills them? They usually appear semi-rootless. Anybody know
what's going on down there in the dark? Do toads stake out territory? There
are never more than two in that particular spot, and that leaves lots of
uninhabited pots. Do the same ones really return to nest in the same place
every year? And finally, what's a typical toad lifespan? Inquiring minds, at
least this one, want to know.

Thanks in advance if there's a responsive toad expert out there willing to

Judy Springer, Great Falls, VA, Zone 6b<<

Dear Judy (and other Aroid-l friends!!!),
I have been "off the air" for the past couple of weeks ("corrupted files" or
some-such) but a friend seems to have sorted out the prob., so here I am,
trying to read over 60 new postings and respond as necessary--- the toads
are resting (not nesting, they do their breeding in water) and absorbing
water through their skins, then urinating a high concentrate, hence the
eventual death of the plants.  As Don mentioned on his post, I addressed
this prob. in my article on Urospathas in Aroideana Vol. 16.  Your toads are
prob. a smaller northern native, not the HUGE introduced marine toads we get
in Florida, so be thankful!!  Toads are reportadly very long-lived and also
teritorial, so you are prob. correct on your thoughts, and yes, they do eat
slugs, so maybe you could provide a "plantless" pot or two, filled with
whatever medium they prefer, in the best spot under the light so that they
will spare a pot with a doomed plant?
Good luck!

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