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Summer rains bring Colorado River Toads, what to know about the desert dweller

Colorado River Toad
Posted at 9:09 AM, Jul 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-02 12:50:18-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — As monsoon weather (hopefully) continues to show its face in Tucson, you may see an increase in a particular desert dweller - the Colorado River Toad.

Here are a few facts about the species as provided by the Arizona Sonoran Desert Museum:

When and where can I see one?

The toad is most active in the Sonoran Desert from late May to September, according to the Arizona Sonoran Desert Museum. They are also nocturnal.

What do they look like?

The topside of a full-size Colorado River Toad is green to greenish-gray color and the underside is a creamy white shade. It also has warts that are found at the angle of its jaw.

How big can they get?

The toad can grow to be 7 inches in size, making the amphibian one of the largest native toads in North America.

What do they eat?

These animals primarily eat insects. The museum says the toad is known for munching on the large palo verde wood borer beetle.

Are they poisonous?

The Colorado River Toad has "extremely potent, defensive toxins" that it can release from its glands. The desert museum says dog owners should be extra careful as the toad's toxins can cause several reactions, including excessive salivation, irregular heartbeat and gait, and pawing at the mouth.

For more information on the Colorado River Toad, and other amphibians, check out the Arizona Sonoran Museum's website.

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