Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Red-Spotted Toad

The red-spotted toad is found in eastern Southern California, east to mid-Texas, including southern Nevada, southern Utah, portions of southern Colorado and points south well into Mexico. The toad below, was found near the Whitewater River in Whitewater Canyon. I really struggled with identification: whether it was a red-spotted toad or an arroyo toad. The location charts looked more consistent with an arroyo toad, but I found that the red-spotted toad is found in Whitewater Canyon, as well as the arroyo toad. The arroyo toad is supposed to have a "v" shaped white stripe on the front of the head, light eyelids and parotoid glands lighter toward the front than the back. However, photos of the arroyo toad I found posted on the internet did not seem to have those features, at least no more than the toad pictured below. Ultimately, the more rounded parotoid gland of the red-spotted toad and the more pointed snout and the grayish color seemed to wade in favor of the red-spotted toad.
The rounded parotoid gland, below, is about the same size as the eye and it has horizontal pupils.

It also has some red spots on the back, but not an abundance.

The picture of the next toad was taken near Navajo Falls on the Havasupai Indian Reservation in northern Arizona.

It is a smaller, juvenile, toad, and has more red spots. It is nocturnal, but this particular toad was found during the day.

The next red-spotted toads were found on a dirt road near Supai, above the Havasupai waterfalls. They are in amplexus, where the male grasps the female from behind and positions his vent near hers to assure fertilization.

The toad is olive, brownish or light gray with reddish or orange warts.

A closer view of the red warts.

The final picture of a red-spotted toad was taken at night in Supai.

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