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Sonoran Desert Toad

Sonoran Desert Toad
Incilius alvarius


Bufonidae, the true toad family

Conservation Status:

Least concern, IUCN


The Sonoran Desert, but declining or absent in the western desert.


Found most commonly in areas of the desert with regular monsoon rainfall.


When a Sonoran Desert toad is threatened, it will secrete a milky-white hallucinogenic toxin from the parotoid glands under its jaw. The toxin gets in the mouth of predators and can cause nausea and even death.

This toad 3”-7” long and is the largest native toad in the United States. It is olive green to dark brown in color. It has smooth, shiny skin covered in warts. Its belly is cream-colored and it has one to two warts on the corners of its mouth and large raised warts on its rear legs. Its call is a low-pitched hoot. Lifespan in the wild is about 4-5 years. Sonoran Desert toads are carnivorous and known to eat snails, beetles, spiders, grasshoppers, lizards, mice, and other smaller toad species.

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