Red-Spotted Toad

Toad with red spots
Red spotted toads are most commonly found near streams and the Colorado River.

NPS Robb Hannawacker


Scientific Name

  • Red-Spotted Toad: Anaxyrus punctatus


  • Small amphibians, red-spotted toads grow up to 3 inches (7.6cm) long.
  • Small red dots cover their tan or grey bodies.They have pale undersides.
  • Large, round glands protrude from the back side of the head.There is one gland behind each eye, and each gland is approximately the size of an eye.
  • The most common call is a high pitched trill, made by males, and lasting 4-10 seconds.
  • Tadpoles are black or dark brown, with metallic bronze flecks.They grow up to 1.5 inches (3.8cm).


  • Red-spotted toads are found in almost all of Arizona, except for high mountains and the Yuma Desert.
  • In the Grand Canyon, red-spotted toads are found near permanent streams in side canyons, and along the Colorado River.
  • They prefer rocky areas, and use crevices in the rocks for shelter.


  • Adult red-spotted toads are carnivores that feed primarily on insects, including ants, bees, and beetles.They occasionally feed on smaller amphibians.
  • They often spend the day in rock crevices, and become active at dusk, for feeding and mating.
  • Breeding season is from March-June.During this time, males will engage in wrestling matches to establish territory.
  • Females lay individual eggs (rather than laying eggs in clumps like most amphibians in the Grand Canyon). After hatching, tadpoles metamorphose into adults in 6-8 weeks.
  • Red-spotted toads are very well adapted to life in an arid environment. They can survive a 40% loss of body water

Last updated: April 28, 2016

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

PO Box 129
Grand Canyon, AZ 86023



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