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Western Toad

Scientific Name:

Anaxyrus boreas




Generally found in or near water sources within desert habitats, grasslands, and meadows; much less common in heavily wooded areas


Western North America


Near Threatened (IUCN Red List)

This species is


to the Truckee Meadows.


Western toads are fairly large toads, with adults growing up to 5 inches in body size (not including leg length). Adults also have a distinctive white or cream stripe down their back side (dorsal stripe). Overall, they can vary in color, from green to gray to brown, but each Western Toad has blotches across on their bumpy skin. At the center of these blotches is a red dot.

Fast Facts:

  • Western toads have a seasonal migration pattern. They hibernate over the winter, then emerge in spring, traveling to pools to find a mate, followed by spending their summers feeding in terrestrial areas, and finally returning to hibernation as the temperatures cool down.

  • These toads will shelter in hollow spaces within tree or shrub root systems as protection from extreme heat or cold. In high elevation sites, they are also known to take over underground lairs made by other animals.

  • As they do not have vocal sacs, males of this species do not make calls. However, they are capable of creating a chirping sound when startled.

  • Sadly, there has been a stark decline in the abundance of western toads, even in areas where these toads were once quite abundant.



Aramee Diethelm (research & content)

Alex Shahbazi (edits & page design)

Last Updated:

March 27, 2024 at 1:48:22 AM

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