Amphibians in the Sonoran Desert

Amphibians require water for one or more life stages and as such have a restricted distribution in the Sonoran Desert. Insects and prey are often abundant near the rare oasis or riparian stream and so amphibians are also abundant in these restricted habitats.

Red Spotted Toad
Bufo punctatus
 © by Michael Plagens

Small to medium-sized toads with skin glands, and red spots. Hunts in margins of riparian streams. More info

Sonoran Desert Toad
Bufo alvarius
 © by Mike Plagens

Very large toad emerging at night during summer monsoon season. Prominent paratoid glands. More info

Couch's Spadefoot
Scaphiopus couchii
 © by Mike Plagens

Plump toad emerges from dried mud when flooded by summer rains. Mottled pattern. Hard callouses on hind feet. More info

Canyon Tree Frog
Hyla arenicolor
 © by Mike Plagens

Small frog capable of climbing rock faces and hiding well with cryptic coloration. Bright yellow on inner thigh. Riparian canyons. More info

Lowland Leopard Frog
Rana yavapaiensis
 © by Mike Plagens

Sleek frog found in pools and on muddy banks along riparian streams. Spots on dorsum and bands on thighs. More info

American Bull Frog
Lithobates catesbeianus
 © by Mike Plagens

Huge frog which is not native to Arizona. Deep rumbling call of male. More info

Sonoran Desert Field Guide
Sonoran Desert Places
Sonoran Desert Naturalist Home Page


Copyright Michael J. Plagens, page created 7 June 2010,
updated 18 June 2016.