Toad Tuesday

Black Toad (Anaxyrus exsul)

photo by Scott Trageser

Common Name: Black Toad, Inyo Toad, and Deep Springs Toad
Scientific Name: Anaxyrus exsul
Family: Bufonidae – True Toad family
Locations: United States – California
Size: 1.75 – 3 inches (44.45 – 76.2 mm)

The Black Toad lives in the Deep Springs Valley in Inyo County in California, which explains some of its other names. They are found near springs, marshes, ponds, and bogs as they are more aquatic than most toad species. Breeding takes place in these water bodies from March into May. The male toads do not make a mating call to attract females.  The mating pairs go through the usual toad mating with amplexus, ending with laying eggs in the shallow water. The eggs hatch in under 5 days. The larval phase of the toad doesn’t last long, between 3 and 5 weeks long.

The Black Toad is listed as Vulnerable by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List due to their small range. Their whole range is on the property of the Deep Springs Valley College. The college grazes their livestock in the area during the winter, when the toads are hibernating, to not disturb the toads. They also take care of the vegetation in the area and protect the streams.

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