Incilius alvarius — Sonoran Desert Toad
Some other names for this species:
Colorado Desert Toad
The genus Incilius was split from Bufo by Frost et al in 2006. This split is particularly controversial among herpetologists, and many references still use the long-established Bufo. Also, Ollotis was used by some references between 2006 and 2009.
These huge toads are common at night in southern Arizona during the monsoon season, when the humidity is high and thunderstorms occur almost daily. Or at least, that's what the weather is supposed to do. When I visited for about a week at the height of the traditional monsoon season, there were only two days with any precipitation at all, and this was not one of them. Apparently some of the toads were getting desperate and hopping around anyway. The dry dirt on this one's back shows that the recent weather had not been toad-friendly.
Four years later, in the same area, I visited when there was a little more precipitation, and a lot more toads.
Some day I will get photos of Sonoran Desert Toads that aren't sitting in the middle of the road at night, but today was not that day.
- Behler, J. L., King, F. W. 1979. The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Reptiles & Amphibians
- Brennan, T. C. and Holycross, A. T. 2006. A Field Guide to Amphibians and Reptiles in Arizona
- Crother, B. I. (ed.) 2017. Scientific and Standard English Names of Amphibians and Reptiles of North America North of Mexico, with Comments Regarding Confidence in Our Understanding, Eighth Edition
- Elliott, L., Gerhardt, C. and Davidson, C. 2009. The Frogs and Toads of North America
- Stebbins, R. C. 2003. Peterson Field Guide to Western Reptiles and Amphibians, Third Edition