Reptile and Amphibian Awareness DAY

Today is Reptile and Amphibian Awareness Day!

Reptiles and amphibians play an important role in ecosystems around the world, even in Arizona! To celebrate these scaly and slimy wonders of the world, we’re highlighting the Sonoran Desert toad.

In the wild, they are found from the Mogollon Rim to Mexico in lower elevation deserts. Sonoran Desert toads spend most of their time hibernating (November-April and June-late July/early August) underground in the soil where it’s moist to avoid the dry heat and cold. They come out of the ground during monsoon season to eat and breed. During this time, you may catch a glimpse of what looks like a small watermelon hopping down the road. Yes, that’s correct, they can grow to the size of a small watermelon!

Sonoran Desert toads are solitary amphibians only coming together to breed and spend most of their time above ground looking for food. They eat anything that moves — crickets, grasshoppers, other toads, lizards, and small spiders!

Next time you’re at the Phoenix Zoo, check out these unique toads on the Arizona Trail!