|Red-spotted Toad, Anaxyrus punctatus|
|Red-spotted Toad, calling|
Male toads eager to mate tend to grab anything vaguely reminiscent of a female. When other males of the congregation happen to be approached by mistake they utter a different, shorter squeak, demanding to be released. I think that's what's going on in my video. I'm pretty sure that last night, there were no females around at all, and in the morning there were no strings of eggs to be rescued from the concrete patio floor. The monsoon rains have not started yet and I don't expect the females to show up before that happens. Maybe they need the drumming of heavy raindrops to wake them in their underground resting chambers.
Red-spotted Toads occur all over Arizona, but they are highly adapted to procreate in arid areas where puddles may last only for a very short time. They and the desert Spade Foot-species have some of the shortest tadpole phases among anurans so their offspring is ready to leave the water and stand (or crawl) on its own tiny legs within a few days.
|Great Plains Toad, Anaxyrus cognatus, who can make a much bigger resonance bubble|
|Sonoran Desert Toads, Incilius alvarius, mating in Sabino Creek (Photo Ned Harris)|
Let's wish them better luck in the future.