California Gardens - The Year Round Gardening Site

California Toad, Western Toad * Anaxyrus boreas halophilus, Bufo boreas

The California Toad is a subspecies of Anaxyrus boreas. The larger species being called the Western Toad. Anaxyrus boreas halophilus is native to Central California and the Southern Sierras into Baja. The California Toad has paler skin which make the markings even more striking. The California Toad will grow to 3-5". The California Toad is winter dormant, often hibernating in a gopher hole. The California Toad lays its eggs at margins of water sources. In our pond they lay thousands of eggs attached to fallen oak branches. California Toads can live more than 10 years. California Toads reach breeding age after 2-5 years, males reaching breeding age sooner. California Toads eat bugs, bees, and spiders. California Toads usually walk rathern than hop, but poke them a few times and there is some hop in there. California Toads are susceptable to a fungus that is taking out amphibians worldwide and their population has been plummeting. They are made more susceptable to skin problems by coming in contact with fertilizer. I have found this to be the case with oak roots and other plants. The natural fungicide of their natural coating gets stripped away by the fertilizer, leaving them vulnerable to whatever might come along. The near white stripe down the spine is one of the most obvious identifying characteristics of this species. In hotter periods they are diurnal, when it is cool and moist the California Toads can be out at any time.

California Toad, Anaxyrus boreas

California Toad from the front. High resolution photos are part of our garden image collection.

California Toad, Anaxyrus boreas

California Toad ground level and in profile. High resolution photos are part of our garden image collection.