pond of water and vegetation along Zzyzx Road
Not a tree in sight but treefrogs have been spotted in wet areas of the preserve near Zzyzx.

NPS/M. Burchett

Mojave National Preserve has 2 known amphibians. Along with the Red-spotted toad (Anaxyrus punctatus), the Baja California treefrog (Pseudacris hypochondriaca) occurs here only at Soda Springs and in the Zzyzx area.

a red spotted toad in a person's hand
A Red-spotted toad.

NPS/N. Darby

Red-spotted toad

(Anaxyrus punctatus)

The Red-spotted toad is the only naturally occuring amphibian in Mojave National Preserve. They are abundant at Piute Creek and Cornfield Spring, and have been found at many other springs.

Primarily nocturnal, these toads will lay low during daylight and hide under objects. In arid regions like Mojave they tend to stay close to water, preferring to chill poolside.

Pretty low key pool hoppers, but when needed for defense this amphibian relies on parotoid glands and warts which can secrete a poison.

a treefrog in a person's hand
A Baja California treefrog, found in the preserve only at the Soda Springs area.

NPS/M. Burchett

Baja California treefrog

(Pseudacris hypochondriaca)

The Baja California treefrog is native to the Mojave River system. At Mojave National Preserve, it is found only in and around the large pond at the Desert Studies Center at Zzyzx and was probably introduced following the construction of the ponds.

"Treefrog" may be misleading as preserve treefrogs are usually found living in grassy, shrubby areas and typically near water...not a tree in sight! The treefrogs' large toe pads make them expert climbers, clinging to grasses, twigs, and branches. Also, they aren't actually treefrogs–they are chorus frogs. However, the vernacular prevails for the common name and "treefrog" is still the preferred English name for this set of species.

It is thought that the population at Soda Springs/Zzyzx is introduced but a timeline for the introduction has not been established. You can see the Zzyzx population is an outlier on the range maps–they are one of the dots out in the desert.

a chuckwalla sits on a ledge

Mojave National Preserve has 36 documented reptile species. Reptiles are cold-blooded. Jury's out on if they're warm hearted.

a close up of a desert tortoise
The Iconic Desert Tortoise

It's tort time! Keep an eye out, slow your roll and learn more about how you can help protect this threatened species.

Last updated: May 10, 2022

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