Western Toad

October 23, 2015
Heidi Rockney and Karen Wu
Western Toad

Western Toad. 
Photo: Heidi Rockney

Name: Western Toad (Anaxyrus boreas)
Order: Frogs (Anura)
Family: True Toads (Bufonidae)

What they look like

  • 5-13cm
  • Wide variety of colors including: white, gray, reddish brown, yellow or green
  • Have black blotches with bumps that have small red centers
  • Have a light colored back stipe and large paratoid glands

Where they live

  • View a map of where they live
  • Have a wide range in Washington state, although not generally found in southeastern portion of the state
  • Are land dwellers and can be found in woodlands, meadows and mountainous wetlands
  • Dig shallow burrows in loose ground or shelter under rocks or logs


  • Breeding season is February-April
  • Prefer slow moving, quiet waters, especially wetlands for breeding
  • Eggs are laid in strings in rows and hatch within 10 days
  • Tadpoles take up to two months to complete metamorphosis

Cool Biology Facts

  • Males do not have vocal sacs!  But they can make a chirping sound when captured.
  • In higher elevations, will hibernate in underground chambers near streams or take over other animal’s underground lairs.
  • Males have been observed fighting for the right to mate with females.


Distribution map.

Map of Western Toad distribution in Washington state. Learn more on the NatureMapping Foundation website.

Explore more of the Amphibians & Reptiles of Washington or check out All About Amphibians.

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