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Last updated on April 24, 2014 at 21:24 EDT

Colorado River Toad

The Colorado River Toad (Bufo alvarius), also known as the Sonoran Desert Toad, is a psychoactive toad found in the Southwestern United States and northern Mexico. In California, Arizona, and New Mexico it is illegal for individuals to remove this species from the state for any purposes. It is threatened in New Mexico. It lives in both desert and semi-arid areas throughout the range of its habitat. They are semi-aquatic and are often found in streams, near springs, and in canals and drainage ditches. They often make their home in rodent burrows and are nocturnal.

The Colorado River Toad is carnivorous, eating small rodents, insects, and small reptiles and other toad species; like many toads, they have a long, sticky tongue which aids them in catching prey. The toad generally breeds in small rain pools after the summer showers start. They spend approximately one month as yellowish-brown tadpoles before moving onto the land. They grow to be up to 4-7 inches long.

The toad’s primary defense system is glands that produce a poison that is potent enough to kill a full grown dog. These parotoid glands also produce the 5-MeO-DMT and bufotenin for which the toad is known. Both of these chemicals belong to the family of hallucinogenic tryptamines.

Colorado River Toad