The Western toad or Boreal toad (Anaxyrus boreas) is a large toad species of western North America. It has a white or cream dorsal stripe, and is dusky gray or greenish dorsally with skin glands concentrated within the dark blotches. Its parotoid glands are oval, widely separated, and larger than the upper eyelids. It has a mottled venter and horizontal pupils but lacks cranial crests. Adult Western Toads have stocky bodies with short legs, and tend to walk rather than hop. Their thick skin appears dry and bumpy and can range in colour from pale green to grey, dark brown, and red.
Ten Facts about Western Toad
- Adults range from 5.5 to 14.5 centimetres in body length, excluding the hind legs.
- Breeding occurs between March and July in mountainous areas.
- The female lays up to 17,000 eggs.
- Eggs are usually laid in shallow water, not deeper than 12 inches (30 cm) but usually at least 6 inches (15 cm)
- The range of western toad extends from western British Columbia and southern Alaska south through Washington, Oregon, and Idaho to northern Baja California, Mexico; east to Montana, western and central Wyoming, Nevada.
- California toads are reported as sexually mature at 2 years of age.
- Can live maximum 11 years.
- Western toads occupy desert streams and springs, grasslands, and mountain meadows; they are less common in heavily wooded regions.
- Their diet consists largely of bees, beetles, ants, and arachnids.
- Tadpoles are preyed upon by fish, herpetiles, birds, and mammal.