Body length: 1 1/2 - 2 1/2"
Red-spotted toads are named for the small red spots which cover the backs of adults. This small species of toad is most often seen hopping on roads in the Monument during spring and summer nights; like other desert toads, they are mainly nocturnal, but are occasionally seen during the day.
The call of the red-spotted toad is a high-pitched, prolonged musical trill, given by males to attract females to temporary ponds and stream pools where they breed. What follows is the typical frog and toad life cycle: Amplexus occurs when the male grasps the female at mid-body and externally fertilizes the eggs as she deposits them one-by-one onto the bottom of the pool. Tadpoles soon hatch from the eggs, and within a few weeks, these metamorphose, or change in form, into tiny toads. After the small toads leave the pool, they live the rest of their lives on land, returning to water only to breed.
Did You Know?
Tonto National Monument is home to a crested saguaro. Biologists 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.