Length (snout to vent): Males 6-11 cm, Females 12.5 cm. Toads have soft, somewhat dry, bumpy skin. Adult Western Toads tend to be stout with thick forelimbs. Colour ranges from tan to light brown, grey, or greenish on top. Markings are a few dark spots to extensive mottling, warts may be reddish. A thin, cream coloured dorsal stripe runs down the centre of the back (most prominent in mature females; may be absent or inconspicuous in juveniles), which may have reddish warts. The oval-shaped parotoid glands behind the eyes are discernable, even in recently metamorphosed toads (“toadlets”). The glands excrete a mildly toxic substance used to ward off would-be-predators. The hind feet have horny tubercles used for burrowing and are yellowish or orange in juveniles. Males are smaller with narrower head, longer forearms and dark nuptial pads on thumbs. The nuptial pads are used while grasping females during breeding in a position known as “amplexus”. Males lack vocal sacs but may produce repeated chirping sounds if grasped by hand (females usually are silent or emit few chirps). Tadpoles are black or dark brown and relatively small (1.2-3 cm, 2.5-3 cm total length prior to metamorphosis). The snout is square and the eyes are set about midway between the dorsal midline and edge of the head. The tailfin is narrow compared to tadpoles of species like Northern Red-legged Frog and may be heavily speckled with gray or black.
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First Edition prepared by: Pamela Zevit, RPBio with Elke Wind, RPBio for the South Coast Conservation Program (SCCP) in partnership with: International Forest Products (Interfor) and Capacity Forestry (CapFor). Original funding for this project was made possible through the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI): http://www.sfiprogram.org/
2nd Edition 2014 by Isabelle Houde, RPBio in consultation with the SCCP. Content updated by the Pamela Zevit April 2017
Every effort has been made to ensure content accuracy. Comments or corrections should be directed to the South Coast Conservation Program: firstname.lastname@example.org. Only images from “creative commons” sources (e.g. Wikipedia, Flickr, U.S. Government) can be used without permission and for non-commercial purposes only. All other images have been contributed for use by the SCCP and its partners/funders only.
Part of the National Conservation Plan, this project was undertaken with the financial support of the Government of Canada. Dans le cadre du Plan de Conservation National, ce projet a été réalisé avec l'appui financier du Gouvernement du Canada.