Skip Navigation

Species Search:
FieldGuidesthreatened and/or endangered search resultsthreatened and/or endangered

Western Toad Bufo boreas


enlarge +

Western Toad
credit: Walter Siegmund

All Images


Get Our Newsletters


Advanced Search

Family: Bufonidae, Toads view all from this family

Description White or cream dorsal stripe, and is dusky gray or greenish dorsally with skin glands concentrated within the dark blotches. Parotoid glands are oval, widely separated, and larger than the upper eyelids. Mottled venter and horizontal pupils but lacks cranial crests.

Dimensions 6.4-12.8cm. (2 1/2-5")

Warning Toads have enlarged glands (called the paratoid glands) on the side of the neck, one behind each eye. These glands secrete a viscous white poison that gets smeared in the mouth of any would-be predator, inflaming the mouth and throat and causing nausea, irregular heart beat, and, in extreme cases, death. Toads pose a danger to pets, which may pounce on and bite them. Humans should take care to wash their hands after handling a toad, and to avoid touching the mouth or eyes until having done so.

Subspecies Boreal - Underside has dark blotches. Alaska through Colorado Rocky Mountains & California.
California - wide head, no blotches on belly. Baja California.
Armagosa - few warts. Nevada - Nye, lincoln counties.

Voice No vocal sac...similar sound to peeping chicks.

Breeding January-September. Weather dependant. Eggs attached underwater to vegetations.

Habitat Woodland/meadows near springs.

Range Alaska through Baja California along pacific coastline. also Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Colorado & Nevada.

Discussion Active during the day at higher elevations, otherwise twilight. Burrows underground. Diet is mainly insects.