Anaxyrus punctatus (Baird and Girard, 1852)

Class: Amphibia > Order: Anura > Family: Bufonidae > Genus: Anaxyrus > Species: Anaxyrus punctatus

Bufo punctatus Baird and Girard, 1852, Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia, 6: 173. Syntypes: USNM; USNM 2618 (3 specimens) according to Kellogg, 1932, Bull. U.S. Natl. Mus., 160: 62, and Cochran, 1961, Bull. U.S. Natl. Mus., 220: 37. Type locality: "Rio San Pedro [Devil's River] of the Rio Grande Del Norte", Val Verde County, Texas, USA.

Bufo beldingi Yarrow, 1882, Proc. U.S. Natl. Mus., 5: 441. Syntypes: USNM 12660 (total of 6 specimens); note that USNM 1267 (4 specimens), also noted in the original publication, were not labelled in the original publication as 'type' although Yarrow, 1882, Bull. U.S. Natl. Mus., 24: 163, did so list them. One syntype exchanged to BMNH (BMNH 12660) according to Korky, 1999, Cat. Am. Amph. Rept., 689: 1. Type locality: "La Paz, [Baja] Cal[ifornia]. [del Sur]", Mexico. Synonymy by Boulenger, 1883, Zool. Rec., 19: 23; Boulenger, 1883, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., Ser. 5, 11: 19.

Anaxyrus punctatusFrost, Grant, Faivovich, Bain, Haas, Haddad, de Sá, Channing, Wilkinson, Donnellan, Raxworthy, Campbell, Blotto, Moler, Drewes, Nussbaum, Lynch, Green, and Wheeler, 2006, Bull. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist., 297: 363.

Bufo (Anaxyrus) punctatus — Fouquette and Dubois, 2014, Checklist N.A. Amph. Rept.: 306. See comment under Bufonidae regarding how this arrangement is part of a a system that requires widespread paraphyly. 

English Names

Belding's Toad (Bufo beldingi [no longer recognized]: Yarrow, 1882, Bull. U.S. Natl. Mus., 24: 23).

Spotted Toad (Bufo punctatus: Yarrow, 1882, Bull. U.S. Natl. Mus., 24: 22; Strecker, 1915, Baylor Univ. Bull., 18: 50; Storer, 1925, Univ. California Publ. Zool., 27: 43; Smith, 1934, Am. Midl. Nat., 15: 446).

Desert Toad (Bufo punctatus: Stebbins, 1951, Amph. W. North Am.: 280).

Red-spotted Toad (Bufo punctatus: Slevin, 1928, Occas. Pap. California Acad. Sci., 16: 100; Schmidt, 1953, Check List N. Am. Amph. Rept., Ed. 6: 64; Conant, Cagle, Goin, Lowe, Neill, Netting, Schmidt, Shaw, Stebbins, and Bogert, 1956, Copeia, 1956: 176; Stebbins, 1966, Field Guide W. North Am. Rept. Amph.: 62; Conant, 1975, Field Guide Rept. Amph. E. Cent. N. Am., Ed. 2: 314; Collins, Huheey, Knight, and Smith, 1978, Herpetol. Circ., 7: 10; Liner, 1994, Herpetol. Circ., 23: 17; Collins, 1997, Herpetol. Circ., 25: 11; Crother, Boundy, Campbell, de Queiroz, Frost, Highton, Iverson, Meylan, Reeder, Seidel, Sites, Taggart, Tilley, and Wake, 2001 "2000", Herpetol. Circ., 29: 8; Stebbins, 2003, Field Guide W. Rept. Amph., Ed. 3: 214; Frost, McDiarmid, and Mendelson, 2008, in Crother (ed.), Herpetol. Circ., 37: 4; Liner and Casas-Andreu, 2008, Herpetol. Circ., 38: 8; Collins and Taggart, 2009, Standard Common Curr. Sci. Names N. Am. Amph. Turtles Rept. Crocodil., ed. 6: 6; Frost, McDiarmid, Mendelson, and Green, 2012, in Crother (ed.), Herpetol. Circ., 39: 13; Frost, Lemmon, McDiarmid, and Mendelson, 2017, in Crother (ed.), Herpetol. Circ., 43: 9).

Baird's Spotted Toad (Bufo punctatus: Frank and Ramus, 1995, Compl. Guide Scient. Common Names Amph. Rept. World: 43).

Canyon Toad (Bufo punctatus: Wright and Wright, 1933, Handb. Frogs Toads U.S. Canada: x).


Southeastern California through southern Nevada and southern Utah to southwestern and southeastern Colorado (excluding high elevations) and southwestern Kansas (USA), thence south to southern Baja California, through Sonora and southwestern and eastern Chihuahua to Sinaloa, Durango, Aguascalientes, Zacatecas, Jalisco, Guanajuato, San Luis Potosí, Queretaro, Hidalgo, and Tamaulipas (Mexico).

Geographic Occurrence

Natural Resident: Mexico, United States of America, United States of America - Arizona, United States of America - California, United States of America - Colorado, United States of America - Kansas, United States of America - Nevada, United States of America - New Mexico, United States of America - Oklahoma, United States of America - Texas, United States of America - Utah


In the Bufo punctatus group of Martin, 1972, in Blair (ed.), Evol. Genus Bufo: 53. In the more inclusive Bufo debilis group of Ferguson and Lowe, 1969, Am. Midl. Nat., 81: 435–466, who discussed relationships with Anayxrus kelloggi, Anayxrus debilis, and Anayxrus retiformis (as Bufo). Sullivan, 1984, J. Herpetol., 18: 406–411, reported on advertisement call variation. See account by Korky, 1999, Cat. Am. Amph. Rept., 689: 1–5. Grismer, 2002, Amph. Rept. Baja California: 69–72, provided an account for the Baja California population. Stebbins, 2003, Field Guide W. Rept. Amph., Ed. 3: 214–215, provided a brief account, figure, and map. Sullivan, 2005, in Lannoo (ed.), Amph. Declines: 430–432, provided an detailed account that summarized the literature. Bryson, Jaeger, Lemos-Espinal, and Lazcano, 2012, Mol. Phylogenet. Evol., 64: 393–400. provided a molecular tree of population histories suggesting that the Baja California population is the sister taxon of the Sonora desert + Chihuahan Desert (+ Colorado Plateau) populations. Lemos-Espinal, 2007, Anf. Rept. Chihuahua Mexico: 40–41, provided an account (as Bufo punctatus) for Chihuahua, Mexico. Lemos-Espinal and Smith, 2007, Anf. Rept. Coahuila México: 41–42, provided an account (as Bufo punctatus) for Coahuila, Mexico. Oliver-López, Woolrich-Piña, and Lemos-Espinal, 2009, Fam. Bufonidae Mex.: 42–45, provided an account, although the potential range as mapped is substantially incorrect as the areas have been well-sampled (DRF). Lemos-Espinal and Dixon, 2013, Amphibians and Reptiles of San Luis Potosí: 36–37, provided an account for San Luis Potosí, Mexico. Valdes-Lares, Martín-Muñoz de Cote, and Muñiz-Martínez, 2013, Herpetol. Rev., 44: 647, provided new records for Durango, Mexico. Dodd, 2013, Frogs U.S. and Canada, 1: 136–144, provided an account that summarized relevant literature. Elliot, Gerhardt, and Davidson, 2009, Frogs and Toads of N. Am.: 160–163, provided an account, photos, and advertisement call. Altig and McDiarmid, 2015, Handb. Larval Amph. US and Canada: 182, provided an account of larval morphology and biology. Lemos-Espinal and Smith, 2015, Check List, 11(1642): 1–11, noted the occurrence of the species in Hidalgo, Mexico. Rorabaugh and Lemos-Espinal, 2016, Field Guide Amph. Rept. Sonora: 127–128, provided a detailed account of natural history, morphology, and conservation status in Sonora, Mexico. Lemos-Espinal, Smith, and Valdes-Lares, 2019, Amph. Rept. Durango: 50–51, provided a brief account for Durango, Mexico. Lemos-Espinal and Dixon, 2016, Amph. Rept. Hidalgo: 353–354, provided a brief account and map for Hidalgo, Mexico. Hernandez, Herr, Stevens, Cork, Medina-Nava, Vialpando, Warfel, Fields, Brodie, and Graham, 2019, Check List, 15: 81, provided a record for Ojinaga municipality, north-eastern Chihuahua, Mexico. Painter, Stuart, Giermakowski, and Pierce, 2017, Western Wildlife, 4: 35, commented on the status and county range in New Mexico, USA.  Ahumada-Carrillo, Grünwald, López Cuellar, and Jones, 2020, Herpetol. Rev., 51: 277–278, reported a record from northern Jalisco, Mexico, in the municipality of Huejuquilla El Alto. Tepos-Ramírez, Garduño-Fonseca, Peralta-Robles, García-Rubio, and Cervantes Jiménez, 2023, Check List, 19: 269–292, discussed the distribution, morphology, identification, conservation status, and systematics of the species in Queretaro, Mexico. Bassett, 2023, Reptiles & Amphibians, 30(e18486): 1–18, provided an updated county distribution map for Texas, USA.          

External links:

Please note: these links will take you to external websites not affiliated with the American Museum of Natural History. We are not responsible for their content.