Red Spotted Toad
Family: Bufonidae (true toads)
Spanish name: sapo
This small, up to 3 inch (76 mm) long toad has round parotoid glands, a characteristic which distinguishes it from other toad species in the region. It tends to be whitish when found in association with limestone, light tan to red around volcanic rocks, to brown above, with scattered reddish tubercles (raised bumps); the underside is creamy white. Males have dark throats and single vocal sacs. The body and head are dorso- ventrally compressed, giving this toad a flattened appearance.
This toad is found from southern Nevada to southwestern Kansas, south to Hidalgo, Mexico, and throughout Baja California. It occurs from below sea level up to 7000 feet (1980 m).
A riparian inhabitant, this species is commonly encountered in and around rocky streams and arroyos. Its flattened body allows it to wedge into narrow rock crevices.
The red spotted toad is insectivorous. It breeds mainly after summer rains in quiet pools. The call of the male is a high-pitched musical trill, which may be confused with the sound of a cricket. This is the only toad species native to our region that lays its eggs singly. Tadpoles metamorphose in 6 to 8 weeks. This species is nocturnal through the hot summer months, but may be active in the morning or late afternoon when temperatures are cool enough.