Skip Navigation

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


Colorado River Toad Bufo alvarius


enlarge +

Colorado River Toad
credit: Factumquintus

All Images


Get Our Newsletters


Advanced Search

Family: Bufonidae, Toads view all from this family

Description Dark brown-olive green. Shiny smooth skin. White warts on corners of mouth. Warty glands on hind legs. Whitish underbelly.

Dimensions 7.7-17.9cm. (3-7")

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.

Voice Low-pitched toot. 1 second long.

Breeding May-July. Breeds after seasonal rainfall.

Habitat Damp areas near springs in Deserts.

Range S. California into Mexico.

Discussion Psychoactive toad. Diet of small rodents, insects, and small reptiles and other toad species. Glands produce enough toxin to kill a cricket.