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Sonoran Desert Toad (Bufo alvarius)
Sonoran Desert Toad (Bufo alvarius)

DESCRIPTION: up to 7", one of the largest native toads in North America. Upper body is uniform olive color. Has large parotoid glands behind eyes and a white tubercle (bump) behind the mouth on each side. Male's call is surprisingly weak and sounds like a low-pitched ferry whistle.
NATURAL HISTORY: Previous name was Colorado River Toad. Occurs in a variety of habitats, from desertscrub to oak-pine woodland and may be seen some distance from water (also commonly found in swimming pools). A potent toxin is released from the parotoid glands and other glands that can kill dogs (
look for pawing at the mouth and excessive salivation; wash out mouth with water by squirting hose water from one side of mouth and out the other side to minimize ingesting of more toxins). As with all amphibians, always wash your hand after handling.
Click on thumbnails below for more images:

sonoran desert toad held in hand and puffed itself out