My watch list  

Colorado River Toad

Colorado River Toad

Conservation status

Least Concern
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Amphibia
Order: Anura
Family: Bufonidae
Genus: Bufo
Species: B. alvarius
Binomial name
Bufo alvarius
Girard in Baird, 1859

The Colorado River Toad or Bufo alvarius, also known as the Sonoran Desert Toad, is a psychoactive toad found in the Southwestern United States and northern Mexico. The skin and venom of Bufo alvarius contain 5-MeO-DMT and bufotenin.



The Colorado River Toad is carnivorous, eating small rodents, insects, and small reptiles and other toad species; like many toads, they have a long, sticky tongue which aids them in catching prey. It lives in both desert and semi-arid areas throughout the range of its habitat. They are semi-aquatic and are often found in streams, near springs, and in canals and drainage ditches. They often make their home in rodent burrows and are nocturnal.

The toad generally breeds in small rain pools after the summer showers start; they spend approximately one month as yellowish-brown tadpoles before moving onto the land. They grow to be up to 4-7 inches long.


The toad's primary defense system is glands that produce a poison that is potent enough to kill a full grown dog. [1]These parotoid glands also produce the 5-MeO-DMT [2] and bufotenin for which the toad is known; both of these chemicals belong to the family of hallucinogenic tryptamines. The presence of these substances in the skin and poison of the toad produces psychoactive effects when smoked.

As a result of extensive habitat loss and pesticide use Bufo alvarius and other amphibian species are dwindling both in population size and density.[citation needed]

There is no current federal law or legislation which prohibits the selling or distribution of Bufo alvarius.


  1. ^ Steven J. Phillips, Patricia Wentworth Comus (eds.) (2000). A Natural History of the Sonoran Desert. University of California Press, 537. ISBN 0-520-21980-5. 
  2. ^ Toxins of Bufo alvarius
  • Hammerson & Santos-Barrera (2004). Bufo alvarius. 2006 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN 2006. Retrieved on 12 May 2006. Database entry includes a range map and justification for why this particular species is of least concern
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Colorado_River_Toad". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
Your browser is not current. Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 does not support some functions on Chemie.DE