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What is a Amargosa Toad (Anaxyrus nelsoni)

The Amargosa Toad, a unique and rare amphibian, is an intriguing resident of the Nevada desert. With its distinctive features and limited habitat, it plays a crucial role in the delicate desert ecosystem.

Amargosa Toad Overview

This toad is a special species, not just for its rarity but also for its adaptability to the harsh desert environment. Its existence is closely tied to the Amargosa River and nearby springs.

Taxonomy

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Amphibia
  • Order: Anura
  • Family: Bufonidae
  • Genus: Anaxyrus
  • Species: A. nelsoni

Size and Body Description

The Amargosa Toad is relatively small, typically around 2 to 3 inches in length. It has a greenish-gray to brownish body with dark spots and a creamy underside. A distinctive light stripe runs down the middle of its back.

Length/Height

2 to 3 inches (5 to 7.5 cm) in length.

Diet

Their diet mainly consists of insects, including ants, beetles, and flies. They are nocturnal feeders, hunting for prey at night.

Reproduction

Amargosa Toads breed in shallow water. Females lay eggs in long strings in the water, which are then fertilized externally by males. They do not engage in pollination.

Range

The Amargosa Toad inhabits spring-fed wetlands, marshes, and streamside habitats in the desert. Its range is extremely limited, found only in specific areas in Nevada.

Where Found

This toad is endemic to the Oasis Valley near Beatty, Nevada, particularly along the Amargosa River.

How Long do Amargosa Toads Live

In the wild, Amargosa Toads generally live for about 5 to 10 years.

Amargosa Toads Diet

Their diet mainly consists of insects, including ants, beetles, and flies. They are nocturnal feeders, hunting for prey at night.

Protection

The Amargosa Toad is considered vulnerable due to its limited range and habitat loss. Conservation efforts are focused on habitat preservation and reducing impacts from human activities.

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