Frog of the Week

Red Spotted Toad (Anaxyrus punctatus)

photo by the USGS
least concern

Common Name: Red-Spotted Toad
Scientific Name: Anaxyrus punctatus
Family: Bufonidae – True Toads
Locations:  Mexico and the United States
US Locations: Arizona, California, Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Nevada, Oklahoma, Texas, and Utah
Size: 3.7 to 7.5 cm (1.5 to 3.0 in)

The Red-Spotted Toad is found in the southwestern United States down to almost Mexico City, Mexico. They are sorta your typical toad. They spent their days hidden in rock crevices or under rocks but they come out at night to hunt. The toads can survive losing 40% of the bodies water.

Breeding takes place from March to September, depending on location and habitat. Red-Spotted Toads that live near streams breed from March to June and typically breed 2 to 4 weeks. Populations that live in the desert breed from June to September, depending on when the summer rains come. These toads breed in pools form by the rain and only breed for a few days. The tadpoles take one to two months to complete their metamorphism.

photo by William Flaxington

Males will arrive at the breeding sites first and will start to call. The male toads will wrestle each other over better breeding territory. Once a female selects a mate, the male will grasp the female from behind. The female will then lay her eggs and the male will fertilize them. The females lay on average around 1500 eggs. After mating, the toads part ways and provide no care for the offspring.

The Red-Spotted Toad hybridizes with a few different toads including the Western Toad, Great Plains Toad, Woodhouse’s Toad, and Sonoran Green Toad.

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