Colorado River Toad

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Colorado River Toad


Southeastern California and Arizona south to Sinaloa, Mexico; Colorado river drainage in California.


Permanently damp areas of deserts, but also found in mesquite-creosote bush lowlands, and mountain canyons. Can be found from sea level to 5300 feet.


Olive green with a white wart near the angle of the jaw. A large toad with cranial crests, elongated parotid glands, raised warts on hind legs, no obvious mid-dorsal stripe.


Toads spend most of the time underground, having dug themselves in or usurped abandoned rodent burrows. Spring rains trigger emergence and signal the beginning of breeding season. After breeding and storing an adequate supply of fat, the toad again burrows into the ground where they overwinter.


These toads breed from May to July when rain water collects in pools providing a moist environment for the young. Each night, for a few days, the male toad cries out identifying their strengths as potential mates. 1 female can generate 8,000 eggs per mating. Tadpoles hatch in 2-12 days.

Did YOU Know?    
This is the largest native toad in the United States.
Colorado River Toad
Class: amphibians
Genus: Bufo
Species: alvarius
Length: 4 to 7 1/2 inches
Wild Diet: Insects and small rodents
Predators: Hawks, owls, and snakes
USFWS Status: Not Listed
CITES Status: Not Listed
Where at the Zoo? Small Animal Building: Temperate Zone

Learn more about amphibians or animals from North America!
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