Colorado River Toad | amphibian, Characteristics, Life Cycle, & Facts

What is a Colorado River toad?

The Colorado toad is the largest native toad in the United States. It is also toxic and should not be handled, especially by children.

Highlights of Colorado River Toad:

Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Amphibia
Order Anura
Family Bufonidae
Genus Bufo
Species B. alvarius

What do Colorado River Toad look like?

These toads can reach impressive sizes of just over 7 inches long. They usually have olive green (but can also be brownish) skin with a white belly. Their skin is smooth and rough with a few nodules or warts. They will usually have one or two white warts at the corners of their mouths.

Where do Colorado River Toad live?

They are found in the southwestern United States and northern Mexico. In the United States, they live in the Sonoran Desert in California as well as southern Arizona and New Mexico.

Colorado toads prefer dry desert-like habitats. During the hot summer months, they live in underground burrows and come out at night or when it rains.

What do Colorado River toads eat?

Adult Colorado river toads are carnivores, meaning they eat other animals. They eat almost anything small enough to fit in their mouth, including spiders, insects, small toads and frogs, beetles, small lizards, and even small rodents like mice.

How Poisonous are Colorado River Toad?

This toad’s main defense is the poison it secretes from its skin glands. While this poison usually doesn’t kill an adult, it can make you very sick if you hold the frog and put the poison in your mouth. Dogs can get sick or die if they take a frog by its mouth and play with it.

What is the difference between a Toad and a Frog?

he toad is actually a type of frog, so technically there is no difference between the two. However, when people talk about toads, they usually mean frogs that belong to the scientific family Bufonidae. This family has a stocky body and short hind legs. They often walk instead of dancing. They also prefer drier climates and have rough dry skin.

Are they in danger of extinction?

The species’ conservation status is “least concern”. However, in California, the toad is classified as “endangered” and in New Mexico it is considered “threatened”.

Interesting Facts about the Colorado River Toad

Another name for this toad is Sonoran Desert Toad.

They are active from May to September, living in underground burrows in winter.

They can live 10 to 20 years in the wild.

Like most frogs, they have a long, sticky tongue that helps them catch prey.

Young Colorado river toads are born tadpoles, but quickly turn into toads after about a month.

Possession of toad poison, called bufotenin, is illegal in the state of California.