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Colorado River Toad (Bufo alvarius)
Colorado River Toads are olive-green to beige colored toads. They can read up to 4-5 inches in length. Females tend to be slightly larger than males, and males have nuptial pads (a small swelling on the forearm, absent in females). These toads can live about 15 years if taken care of properly. Because they can have toxic secretions, this toad is not recommended for beginner amphibian owners.
Habitat and Tank Requirements:
This species is native to the Southwestern United States. They do well with plenty of live plants and wood or rocks to hide under. They like to burrow, so a substrate is a must. Use soil, a soil/sand mix, or finely ground coconut husk for a substrate and some use a large aquarium gravel. Keep the substrate moist at all times.
Approximately 1/3 of their tank should be water. You can either use an under-gravel filtration system or clean the water every 2-3 days. You can use a small bowl just deep enough for the toads to submerge themselves. If you decide to go with a filter, use common sense: a pump that is too small will leave the water dirty, while a too-powerful pump with filter out the microorganisms needed to maintain a healthy pH.
Be sure there are no openings in the tank through which the toad can escape. A hole large enough for a toad to stick its head out of is large enough for it to escape.
A Colorado River Toad should be kept in a 20 gallon tank. If keeping more than one Colorado River Toad in a tank, make sure they are about the same size, as they are known to cannibalize other toads. As with all frogs and toads, do not keep different species of frogs and toads in the same tank. There is a risk of disease and parasites being spread between species, even if the carrier frog or toad does not show any symptoms.
The comfortable temperature range for these toads is 75-80º F during the day, with slightly lower temperatures as night. LEDs or other low-wattage light bulbs work best for maintaining these temperatures.
Colorado River Toads are insectivorous and will feed on small crickets, fruit flies, mealworms, wax worms, and any other insect small enough for them to ingest. They will also occasionally eat pinkie mice. It is recommended that food be dusted with calcium to prevent bone softening.
Allow your toad time to become accustomed to its new home before handling them extensively. Handling them little by little over a period of time lets the animal get used to you and reduces stress. Because of toxins, these toads should not be handled very often.