Anaxyrus exsul
Black Toad
family: Bufonidae

© 2006 William Flaxington (1 of 38)

  hear call (72.4K RM file)

[call details here]

Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN (Red List) Status Vulnerable (VU)
NatureServe Status Use NatureServe Explorer to see status.
Other International Status None
National Status None
Regional Status California: Listed as Threatened since 6-27-71


View distribution map using BerkeleyMapper.


This toad has a small body with stout limbs. Fingers are free from webbing, while toes are half webbed. Parotoid glands are ovular to triangular, and the warts are low, rounded and white. The dorsal surface is almost entirely black, with the exception of a white stripe running from between the eyes to the vent. The hind legs are almost completely black, while the rest of the underside is heavily to lightly mottled starting from the vent towards the throat.

Distribution and Habitat

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: United States

U.S. state distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: California


View distribution map using BerkeleyMapper.
Only known to exist in Deep Springs, Ca. Deep Springs is located in northeastern Inyo County, California.

Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
Lives in and around warm sulfurous springs in the Deep Springs valley. It is believed to breed in March. This toad lives near water and uses streams/pools for safety. It avoids uncovered areas, such as rocky streambeds or open ground.

Trends and Threats
Introduced predators such as bullfrogs could destroy this species. Damage to habitat caused by livestock is also a great threat. Burning the marshes surrounding the springs or changing the flow of the water channels would destroy the toad’s only habitat.

Relation to Humans
Exists only near Deep Springs College. Care should be taken by conservationists and the local residents to maintain the only habitat of this species.


See another account at


Bury, R.B., Dodd, C.K., Jr. and Fellers, G.M. (1980). Conservation of the Amphibia of the United States. USDI Fish and Wildlife Service Resource Publication, 134 Washington DC.

Wright, A. H. and Wright, A. A. (1949). Handbook of Frogs and Toads of the United States and Canada. Comstock Publishing Company, Inc., Ithaca, New York.

Written by Franziska Sandmeier (franturtle AT, UC Berkeley
First submitted 2001-04-25
Edited by Joyce Gross, Vance Vredenburg, Kellie Whittaker (2012-08-15)

Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2012 Anaxyrus exsul: Black Toad <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Dec 17, 2018.

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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2018. <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 17 Dec 2018.

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