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Wyoming Toad Bufo baxteri (Bufo hemiophrys baxteri)


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Wyoming Toad
© Gary M. Stolz/U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service

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Family: Bufonidae, Toads view all from this family

Description Bony hum between eyes. Brown-gray/green. Dark warts, spotted underside. Oval parotid glands.

Dimensions 5.1-8.3cm. (2-3 1/4")

Endangered Status The Wyoming Toad is on the U.S. Endangered Species List. It is classified as endangered in Wyoming, where it lives in a fairly small region in the Laramie Basin. It is not known exactly what caused the precipitous decline in this species, but pesticides, agricultural activity, disease, and predatory animals like gulls and raccoons probably all contributed.

Warning Toads have enlarged glands (called the paratoid glands) on the side of the neck, one behind each eye. These glands secrete a viscous white poison that gets smeared in the mouth of any would-be predator, inflaming the mouth and throat and causing nausea, irregular heart beat, and, in extreme cases, death. Toads pose a danger to pets, which may pounce on and bite them. Humans should take care to wash their hands after handling a toad, and to avoid touching the mouth or eyes until having done so.

Voice Low-pitched trill.

Breeding March-September. Shallow water on lake/pond edges.

Habitat Floodplains and the short grass edges of ponds, creeks, and lakes, frequently use abandoned pocket gopher and ground squirrel burrows.

Range Mortensen Lake National Wildlife Refuge, Wyoming

Discussion Nocturnal. Originally thought to be a subspecies of the Canadian Toad despite geographical differences. Believed to be extinct by 1980, it was rediscovered in 1987. Now under protection. Reproduction in the wild hasn't been documented since 1991.