Colorado River Toad - Bufo alvarius
Damp areas of deserts, mountain canyons, grasslands, and forests
Sonoran desert, Southwestern United States and Northwestern Mexico
Nocturnal to escape the desert heat
Olive, dark brown, or dark gray, with relatively smooth skin, cranial crests, and long, large parotoid glands behind the eyes (their poison glands). There is a large white wart near the corner of the mouth, and large warts on the hind legs. Young have light warts set in dark spots.
4 to 7.5 inches
Insects, smaller frogs, and small rodents
Just as rains hit the desert, these toads gather at temporary breeding pools and streams. Breeds late spring through early fall, May to September. Eggs are laid in still or slow-moving water, in long jelly-coated strings. She can lay up to 8,000 eggs at once. Tadpoles are gray to golden brown. Metamorphosis takes place quickly, usually in less than a month. After breeding, toads will return to their burrow where they spend the winter.
Listed as endangered in California, Threatened in New Mexico, Common throughout the rest of their range. Listed as "least concern" with the IUCN Red List.
- This is the largest native toad species in the United States.
- Possibly extinct in California, Haven’t been seen since 1955. Use of pesticides and loss of habitat is to blame.
- These toads have poison that is secreted from the parotid glands under its jaw that can be hazardous if ingested by dogs of other small animals.
- The poison on their skin is a known hallucinogen for humans and some states have passed laws banning the licking or smoking of the toad’s skin.
- Adult (13 and over)$9.50
- Child (2 - 12)$6.50
- Child (1 and Under)FREE
- Senior (65+)$8.50
- Active Military$8.50
We begin transferring animals to evening (off exhibit) holding at 4:30 each night.
Open Daily 10:00-5:00
Last admission at 4:30