The Arroyo toad
, Anaxyrus californicus
In scientific nomenclature, a synonym is a scientific name that is or was used for a taxon of organisms that also goes by a different scientific name. For example, Linnaeus was the first to give a scientific name to the Norway spruce, which he called Pinus abies...
), is a stocky, blunt-nosed, warty-skinned species of toad
A toad is any of a number of species of amphibians in the order Anura characterized by dry, leathery skin , short legs, and snoat-like parotoid glands...
, between 5 and 7.5 cm long. It has horizontal pupils, and is greenish, grey or salmon on the dorsum with a light-colored stripe across the head and eyelids. It has light sacral and mid-dorsal patches, large, oval and widely-separated parotoid gland
The parotoid gland is an external skin gland on the back, neck, and shoulder of toads and some frogs and salamanders. It secretes a milky alkaloid substance to deter predators...
s, and weak or absent cranial crests.
The juvenile of this species are ashy-white, olive or salmon on the dorsal side, with or without black spotting. It has red-tipped tubercles on its back.
prefers sandy or cobbly washes with swift currents and associated upland and riparian habitats, in Southern California
Southern California is a megaregion, or megapolitan area, in the southern area of the U.S. state of California. Large urban areas include Greater Los Angeles and Greater San Diego. The urban area stretches along the coast from Ventura through the Southland and Inland Empire to San Diego...
and Baja California
Baja California officially Estado Libre y Soberano de Baja California is one of the 31 states which, with the Federal District, comprise the 32 Federal Entities of Mexico. It is both the northernmost and westernmost state of Mexico. Before becoming a state in 1953, the area was known as the North...
. It is active from March through September, but will be inactive even during that time in periods of cold or windy conditions.
The Arroyo toad is evaluated as Endangered on the IUCN Red List
The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species , founded in 1963, is the world's most comprehensive inventory of the global conservation status of biological species. The International Union for Conservation of Nature is the world's main authority on the conservation status of species...
of Threatened Species because of habitat destruction.