The Black Toad lives in a very restricted space. Their range is in the disperse oasis in the Deep Springs Valley of Inyo County, California.
This toad lives in watercourses, irrigation ditches and marshes formed by water flow from springs enclosed by cold desert steppe. They tend to be more active during warmer months. Overwinter, they are underground near their native springs. These toads walk instead of hop and they’re never far away from water. Their diet is made of remains of beetles, ants and lepidopteran larvae. Their breeding happens during mid-March and late April or early May. It could also go into June. About 10 – 100 breeding pairs assemble in marsh waters. Their eggs most times hatch in about 4 – 5 days.
The Black Toad’s black skin is dry and warty but considerably smooth for a toad. This toad is almost solid dark above with white and tan speckles. It has a white midline down its spine from head to its rump. Its belly is usually light and greatly blotched with black. They grow to about 50 mm in total length. They have no cranial crest and their parotoid glands are oval. The male’s throat is pale and less spotted, unlike the females. Lastly, its young are olive coloured.
Learn more with Schechter Natural History's Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians