• Lower Cliff Dwelling

    Tonto

    National Monument Arizona

Colorado River Toad

colorado river toad

Colorado River Toad

NPS Photo

Colorado River Toad
Bufo alvarius

Body length: 4 - 7 1/2"
Diet: Insects, especially Pinacate beetles, centipedes, amphibians, etc.

Colorado River toads are sometimes mistaken for bullfrogs because of their large size and relatively smooth skin. The prominent bumps below the eyes are called parotoid glands, which are characteristic of true toads. These glands and the skin contain organic substances which are toxic, and have been known to paralyze or kill dogs.

Sometimes called the Sonoran Desert toad, this is our largest western toad, reaching a length of over 7 inches (not including legs)! It ranges throughout the Monument and is well-adapted to desert life. Like most desert toads, Colorado River toads are active almost exclusively at night, particularly during or after summer rains.

Did You Know?

crested saguaro

Tonto National Monument is home to a crested saguaro. Botanists disagree as to why some saguaros grow in this unusual form. Some speculate that it is a genetic mutation. Others say it is the result of lightning or freeze damage. About one in 150,000 saguaros develop this unusual growth.