Sonoran Desert Toad
By Kundan Pandey [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
Sonoran desert toads are found in the Sonoran deserts. Also known as the Colorado river toad, they have distinctive features. Here is some information about the Sonoran desert toads. Read on...
Sonoran desert toad (Bufo alvarius) or more popularly known as Colorado river toad belongs to the order Salientia and consists of the family of true toads or Bufonidae. Among the various animal species found in this desert, Sonoran desert toads are one of the largest sized toads found in North America and it measures nearly 7 inches (18 cm).
In appearance, the Sonoran toads have uniform green to greenish gray complexion on the upper side of the body and have creamy white skin under the body. At the angle of jaws there lies the presence of tubercles or "warts". There are lumps on the hind legs of the Sonoran desert toads and large parotid glands present behind the eyes and tympanum (circular external ear).
Sonoran Desert Toad: Diet
Spiders, insects, toads, snails, beetles, grasshoppers, mice and small lizards are some of the most common animals that these toads feed on as their diets. Sonoran desert toads love feeding on a variety of insects. Primarily, adults love eating beetles, however, large frogs can eat even small vertebrates.
Sonoran Desert Toad: Habitat
As it's evident from the name, this toad is common in the Sonoran desert in California (USA). This toad thrives easily in areas of oak-pine woodlands, grasslands, desert scrub, thorn scrub and various parts of deciduous forests in Mexico. The Sonoran desert toad is found in semi-aquatic regions and near large streams. Springs, rain pools and ditches are some other areas where they are found. In summers, these toads stay inside burrows or rodent holes.
Sonoran Desert Toad: Adaptations
The most active periods of these toads is during the summer rainy season, that is from May to September. During very hot summers, they act as nocturnal animals and come out of their hidings at night only. The Sonoran desert toads have very lengthy life span stretching over a period of 10 to 20 years. The eggs are laid in pools and the larvae metamorphose after a week's time or 10 days.
Sonoran Desert Toad: Care
People and frog enthusiasts who love to keep frogs as pets must have heard about 'Sonoran desert toad for sale' captions in various places. However, there is a certain air of mystery coupled with controversies regarding Sonoran Desert toads to be kept as pets in the United States. So what is the truth?
Basically, Sonoran Desert toads have been illegally held in captivity for the development of drugs from the poisonous and milky white secretion that these toads contain in their body. The toxin is secreted from the body as a defense mechanism to some predator's attack. If these toads are picked up by any predators, the poison in the parotid glands is exuded to the enemy leading to fatal consequences.
Reports have been that some people have tried to take advantage of these toxins and have seen in it, the potential to develop some drugs and medications with very lighter doses. That's why possession of these toxins is illegal in many states of the US. Besides that, in some states, while keeping these toads as pets is allowed without seeking any license from zoos or fishery licenses, there are various states where you have to get proper licenses issued from the authorities to keep these toads as pets. Generally, you will find these toads bred in zoos.
It is to be understood that the toxin from the Sonoran desert toad is potentially toxic for pet animals like cats and dogs. So in any case, if you are brave enough to keep these toads as pets, ensure that your pet animals don't come near it, else they may have to face fatal results, often leading to death. For humans, although the toxic is not harmful on the skin and can be washed away by soap, the eyes and mouth must not be allowed to come in contact with it as it can be harmful. Sonoran desert is a popular tourist attraction for wildlife enthusiasts and you can have the opportunity to see this toad at this place, when you visit it.