Anaxyrus punctatus
Red-spotted Toad

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Description: Up to 3 inches in length, this small toad has a flattened head and body and round glands (parotoid glands) at the back of each side of the head that are about the same size as the eyes. Red-spotted toads lack prominent crests on the head. It is pale gray to tan above with small red or yellowish-red warts. Larger tadpoles are black or dark brown with metallic, bronze flecking. They grow to about 1.5 inches.
Similar Species: The flattened body shape and the round paratoid glands will distinguish it from all others in New Mexico. Only Green Toads have the same body shape and they have large, triangular paratoid glands and are green.
Habitat: This is a toad of arroyos, desert streams, springs, tinajas, and cattle tanks, often in rocky areas, but can also be found on rivers and on the edges of agriculture. Occurs at or near permanent or temporary waters. Even in the driest desert mountain ranges, this toad can be found breeding in rain-filled tinajas.
Behavior: Red-spotted toads often spend the day in rock crevices or under rocks, and then emerge at dusk and walk to a nearby water source to forage or breed. They climb surprisingly well. Breeding males will engage in wrestling matches during territorial disputes. Red-spotted toads can tolerate a 40% loss in body water and still be active during dry periods.
Hibernation: Underground during the cool months.
Reproduction: Breeding occurs from March to September and is often stimulated by rainfall. Breeding of desert spring or stream populations typically occurs March-June, while populations breeding in temporary pools or tinajas breed June-September. The call is a high trill lasting 4-10 seconds made by males from the shallows of the breeding pond or nearby on land, in burrows, or under rocks. The eggs are deposited singly or sometimes in short strands on the bottom of a pool. Tadpoles metamorphose in1-2 months.
Diet: Red-spotted toads eat a variety of arthropods, including ants, beetles, bees, and bugs. Large red-spotted toads have been observed eating recently metamorphosed toads.

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