Colorado River toad
|Colorado River toad|
Girard in Baird, 1859
The Colorado River toad, Bufo alvarius, also known as the Sonoran Desert toad, is a psychoactive toad found in northern Mexico and the southwestern United States. Its skin and venom contain 5-MeO-DMT and bufotenin.
The Colorado River toad can grow to about 7.5 inches (190 mm) long and is the largest toad in the United States apart from the non-native cane toad (Bufo marinus). It has a smooth, leathery skin and is olive green or mottled brown in color. Just behind the large golden eye with horizontal pupil is a bulging kidney-shaped parotoid gland. Below this is a large circular pale green area which is the tympanum or ear drum. By the corner of the mouth there is a white wart and there are white glands on the legs. All these glands produce toxic secretions. Dogs that have attacked toads have been paralyzed or even killed. Raccoons have learned to pull a toad away from a pond by the back leg, turn it on its back and start feeding on its belly, a strategy that keeps the raccoon well away from the poison glands.
Distribution and habitat 
The Colorado River toad is found in the lower Colorado River and the Gila River catchment areas, in southeastern California, New Mexico, Mexico and much of Southern Arizona. It lives in both desert and semi-arid areas throughout its range. It is semi-aquatic and is often found in streams, near springs, in canals and drainage ditches and under water troughs. It often makes its home in rodent burrows and is nocturnal. It has a loud, piercing call.
The toads generally breed in small rain pools after the summer showers start; it spends approximately one month as a yellowish-brown tadpole before moving onto the land.
- Pauly, G. B., D. M. Hillis, and D. C. Cannatella. (2004) The history of a Nearctic colonization: Molecular phylogenetics and biogeography of the Nearctic toads (Bufo). Evolution 58: 2517–2535.
- Hammerson & Santos-Barrera (2004). Bufo alvarius. 2006. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN 2006. www.iucnredlist.org. Retrieved on 12 May 2006. Database entry includes a range map and justification for why this particular species is of least concern
- Frost, Darrel R., et al.; Grant, Taran; Faivovich, JuliÁN; Bain, Raoul H.; Haas, Alexander; Haddad, CÉLIO F.B.; De SÁ, Rafael O.; Channing, Alan et al. (2006). "The Amphibian Tree of Life". Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 297: 1–370. doi:10.1206/0003-0090(2006)297[0001:TATOL]2.0.CO;2.
|Wikispecies has information related to: Incilius alvarius|
- AmphibiaWeb: Biology and Conservation Information
- NatureServe: Conservation Data
- CaliforniaHerps.com: Documenting California's indigenous reptiles and amphibians
- Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum
- Sonoran Desert Toad - Natural History site
- Toad-smoking gains on toad-licking among drug users- Wall Street Journal
- Secretions From Colorado Toad Contain Powerful Psychedelic Compound- NSDN
- Erowid Psychoactive Toad Vault
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