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Thread: Colorado River Toad (Bufo Alvarius) Story

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    Default Colorado River Toad (Bufo Alvarius) Story

    Hello everyone! I'm glad to have found this forum. I have an interesting story for how I acquired a Bufo Alvarius, in Utah, and thought everyone might enjoy it.

    Last week my wife came home from work with a container under her arm. She held it up and I saw it was a toad. She said she was walking back to work from lunch when she saw him sitting on the sidewalk. It was pretty cold and it looked like it was dead. She loves animals (especially reptiles, amphibians, and birds) so she picked him up. She said he was really cold, but she thought he might still be alive, so she put him between her arm and her side and took him into work. After awhile he started moving around a bit and then he opened his eyes. She was pretty thrilled that she was able to save him, so she put him in a container and brought him home. I glanced at him and thought he must be a Woodhouse or Bufo Boreas (I'm no expert). Boy was I wrong!

    We were pretty busy for a few days so I had to put off officially identifying him. During that time we managed to lose him in the house. After searching for a few hours, and giving up, I stumbled across him in the basement sitting on top of a box like he was just waiting for me to save him. We ran out and picked up everything we needed to keep him (we were just planning on housing him for the winter since he seemed to be having trouble). Once we got him setup in his new digs I started researching his type online. After a few minutes I figured out he was a Bufo Alvarius. Then I read up on what they are. Needless to say I was pretty shocked. I have no use for the things this toad is most famous for and decided I needed to figure out if it was even legal for me to have him. That's how I stumbled upon this website. From everything I've read I guess I can safely assume that it's legal for me to have him (probably a shades of gray kind of legal) since I didn't take him from another state and I have zero idea of his origin. That also has lead us to decide that we're probably keeping Sprocket (we named him) indefinitely since he probably wouldn't survive in Northern Utah on his own. I just can't figure out how he got here. There is a small meadow area behind where my wife works, so I suspect someone must have got tired of keeping him and released him there. He must have not liked the way the temperatures were turning and decided to look for a warmer climate in the city.

    Anyway, thanks for reading. I plan to ask a few questions and update a bit when I have more time.

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    100+ Post Member COOCOpUcHoo's Avatar
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    Default Colorado River Toad (Bufo Alvarius) Story

    You got any pictures? this seems really interesting.

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    Default Re: Colorado River Toad (Bufo Alvarius) Story

    I really think they are from the mid west to the west coast.

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    100+ Post Member COOCOpUcHoo's Avatar
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    Default Colorado River Toad (Bufo Alvarius) Story

    So how is the toad currently doing?

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    Default Re: Colorado River Toad (Bufo Alvarius) Story

    Hello and welcome to FF ! Looking forward to pics of your toad!
    Remember to take care of the enclosure and it will take care of your frog !​

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    Default Re: Colorado River Toad (Bufo Alvarius) Story

    Quote Originally Posted by Negative View Post
    Hello everyone! I'm glad to have found this forum. I have an interesting story for how I acquired a Bufo Alvarius, in Utah, and thought everyone might enjoy it.
    Welcome to Frog Forum Enjoyed your story of the Colorado River toad! Like most amphibians, the scientific name for this species has changed to Incilius alvarius.

    Quote Originally Posted by Negative View Post
    We were pretty busy for a few days so I had to put off officially identifying him. During that time we managed to lose him in the house. After searching for a few hours, and giving up, I stumbled across him in the basement sitting on top of a box like he was just waiting for me to save him. We ran out and picked up everything we needed to keep him (we were just planning on housing him for the winter since he seemed to be having trouble). Once we got him setup in his new digs I started researching his type online. After a few minutes I figured out he was a Bufo Alvarius. Then I read up on what they are. Needless to say I was pretty shocked. I have no use for the things this toad is most famous for and decided I needed to figure out if it was even legal for me to have him.
    I am not aware of any law in Utah that prohibits the keeping of this frog as a pet. In fact they are not native to Utah at all. Their range only covers southern California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Mexico. It is likely the toad you found was someone's pet. Always wash your hands thoroughly after handling the toad. Otherwise, you have a great pet!

    Quote Originally Posted by Negative View Post
    Anyway, thanks for reading. I plan to ask a few questions and update a bit when I have more time.
    Would love to see photos of Sprocket
    Terry Gampper
    Nebraska Herpetological Society




    “If we can discover the meaning in the trilling of a frog, perhaps we may understand why it is for us not merely noise but a song of poetry and emotion.”
    ---
    Adrian Forsyth

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    Default Re: Colorado River Toad (Bufo Alvarius) Story

    Quote Originally Posted by COOCOpUcHoo View Post
    So how is the toad currently doing?
    He's still doing well. Seems pretty happy AND HUNGRY! This guy eats like nothing else. I'm already able to hand feed him, which is pretty cool.

    I'll try to get some pictures up soon. I just haven't had much free time lately.

    I have a couple questions:

    1. He's living in a room that tends to have a high of 80 F during the day and a low of 70 F at night. The average temp is probably around 76-77. Does he need any supplemental heating? I've read that Bufo Alvarius prefer temps higher than 80.

    2. He eats really fast. I know the rule of thumb is however many crickets they'll eat in 15 minutes but this guy eats really fast. I once put in 12 large crickets and he ate all of them in around 10 minutes. Does he really need that many crickets a day? I was thinking about just giving him 5 a day for now. He's about 5" long (nose to vent) right now.

    Thanks in advance for any replies!

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    Default Re: Colorado River Toad (Bufo Alvarius) Story

    Quote Originally Posted by tgampper View Post
    Welcome to Frog Forum Enjoyed your story of the Colorado River toad! Like most amphibians, the scientific name for this species has changed to Incilius alvarius.
    I read that somewhere but it seemed like everyone was still using Bufo Alvarius so that's what I decided to use. :/

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    Default Re: Colorado River Toad (Bufo Alvarius) Story

    Quote Originally Posted by Negative View Post
    He's still doing well. Seems pretty happy AND HUNGRY! This guy eats like nothing else. I'm already able to hand feed him, which is pretty cool.

    I have a couple questions:

    1. He's living in a room that tends to have a high of 80 F during the day and a low of 70 F at night. The average temp is probably around 76-77. Does he need any supplemental heating? I've read that Bufo Alvarius prefer temps higher than 80.
    It is best to keep your toad between 75(F) and 80(F). Excessive temperatures can harm the toad. Nighttime temperatures can be a bit lower. Don't feed your toad at night since the cooler temperatures will cause the toad to regurgitate (very messy and smelly situation). A small basking area with low-wattage heat lamp will be welcomed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Negative View Post
    2. He eats really fast. I know the rule of thumb is however many crickets they'll eat in 15 minutes but this guy eats really fast. I once put in 12 large crickets and he ate all of them in around 10 minutes. Does he really need that many crickets a day? I was thinking about just giving him 5 a day for now. He's about 5" long (nose to vent) right now.
    These toads are known to eat anything that will fit into their mouth. A variety of food is necessary to keep the toad healthy. An occasional pinky mouse is a good supplement to the crickets.

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    Default Re: Colorado River Toad (Bufo Alvarius) Story

    Here is a picture of Sprocket hanging out in his home.


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    Default Re: Colorado River Toad (Bufo Alvarius) Story

    Wow, Sprocket is one handsome guy.

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    Default Re: Colorado River Toad (Bufo Alvarius) Story

    So, Sprocket has been behaving a little differently the last week or so. For about a week he had taken to staying in his burrow all the time and he occasionally seals off the entrance (usually it's just for the night and then he opens it up during the day). I thought he might be hibernating but he seemed to be awake and alert most of the time. Also, he wouldn't come out to hunt for food but if any crickets happened to stray into his burrow he'd eat them.

    Anyway, as of a couple days ago he came out of his burrow and has stayed out. He has been digging up the substrate like crazy and making a mess of things. His current behavior is quite different from his behavior before his burrow vacation. Before he seemed pretty content and had a good appetite. Now he's quite active, but doesn't seem content since it seems like he's searching for something, and he still doesn't seem to have much of an appetite. He will eat if a cricket stands right in front of him but he doesn't chase or hunt anymore.

    Does anyone know what's going on with him? Is he okay?

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    Default Re: Colorado River Toad (Bufo Alvarius) Story

    I have a bufo I got about two years ago, and when I first got him he hid all the time. He eventually warmed up and felt more comfortable coming out and being seen. Even to this day, he will move his hut around and burrow all over the place. I think it's just how they act. He probably just hid because he was acclimating to his new home. Toads can be active with these things...but also, when they're comfortable, they can go into "Pac-Man Frog" mode where they just wait for food to come to them. I wouldn't worry too much--he sounds like he is doing very well!

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    Default Re: Colorado River Toad (Bufo Alvarius) Story

    Thank you Lindsay! That helps me feel a bit better.

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    Default Re: Colorado River Toad (Bufo Alvarius) Story

    Quote Originally Posted by Negative View Post
    So, Sprocket has been behaving a little differently the last week or so. For about a week he had taken to staying in his burrow all the time and he occasionally seals off the entrance (usually it's just for the night and then he opens it up during the day). I thought he might be hibernating but he seemed to be awake and alert most of the time. Also, he wouldn't come out to hunt for food but if any crickets happened to stray into his burrow he'd eat them.

    Anyway, as of a couple days ago he came out of his burrow and has stayed out. He has been digging up the substrate like crazy and making a mess of things. His current behavior is quite different from his behavior before his burrow vacation. Before he seemed pretty content and had a good appetite. Now he's quite active, but doesn't seem content since it seems like he's searching for something, and he still doesn't seem to have much of an appetite. He will eat if a cricket stands right in front of him but he doesn't chase or hunt anymore.

    Does anyone know what's going on with him? Is he okay?
    He should be fine ! When I first got my Toad he ate like crazy! I guess after he realized food was in abundance, he slowed down eating. I bought my toad at a reptile show so I'm just guessing the vendor fed him; just not nearly as much as I do. However, you received your toad from the cold wild. Its kinda like when I was a kid and caught a tree frog. At first the tree frog ate like a starved child, but after a few weeks he realized food was in abundance and slowed down.
    He doesn't eat nearly as much, but hasn't lost much weight. His favorite thing to do is bask under his lamp in his water dish.

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    Default Re: Colorado River Toad (Bufo Alvarius) Story

    Quote Originally Posted by cranwelllover View Post
    He should be fine ! When I first got my Toad he ate like crazy! I guess after he realized food was in abundance, he slowed down eating. I bought my toad at a reptile show so I'm just guessing the vendor fed him; just not nearly as much as I do. However, you received your toad from the cold wild. Its kinda like when I was a kid and caught a tree frog. At first the tree frog ate like a starved child, but after a few weeks he realized food was in abundance and slowed down.
    He doesn't eat nearly as much, but hasn't lost much weight. His favorite thing to do is bask under his lamp in his water dish.
    Thanks for replying! It's good to know that his current behavior is normal. I just got a heat lamp for him so hopefully that will help him become a little more active.

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    Default Re: Colorado River Toad (Bufo Alvarius) Story

    Wow! I didn't realize that it's been almost 3 years since I rescued Sprocket. I debated starting a new thread for my issue, but thought it would be handy to have the back story available.

    Anyway, I came home today and Sprocket is sitting in his burrow with his mouth hanging open, and he seems kind of mucousy. His skin looks wet, but I don't believe he's been in his water bowel in the last few hours, and he usually drys out pretty quickly. Overall, he seems kind of sick. I've seen him like this in the past, but I don't remember it being this bad. Is he shedding, or is this something else?

    Other info: He recently came out of his semi-hibernation he does each winter. He has eaten and spent a lot of time in his water bowl over the last few days.

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    Default Re: Colorado River Toad (Bufo Alvarius) Story

    Have you been supplying either UVB or dusting his prey items? Sounds like a calcium deficiency to me. Is his tongue hanging out? That'd be a definite sign, as would twitching, and spazzing

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    Default Re: Colorado River Toad (Bufo Alvarius) Story

    Quote Originally Posted by Cliygh and Mia 2 View Post
    Have you been supplying either UVB or dusting his prey items? Sounds like a calcium deficiency to me. Is his tongue hanging out? That'd be a definite sign, as would twitching, and spazzing
    He has a UVB lamp, and gets dusted crickets. He has only recently started eating regularly again, so he has only have one round of dusted crickets (~15), but he was getting plenty of dusted crickets before he settled in for the winter.

    As of right now he looks fine, and is in his water dish. Every other time he has done this he's been in that condition for a part of the day, and then he goes back to normal. It seems to happen a few times a year (that I notice).

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    Default Re: Colorado River Toad (Bufo Alvarius) Story

    Hello everyone! I've decided to just continue with this old thread to ask my question. That way you'll have all of the back story.

    Well, I've now had Sprocket for over 5 years, and he seemed to be doing well until about 3-4 months ago. Usually he's hibernating during this time of year, but this year he doesn't seem interested, and I noticed that he spends a lot of time just sitting around with his mouth hanging open - not wide open, but just slightly open. He has never really done this before, so I'm staring to get concerned. He seems to have low energy, and while he will sometimes eat a cricket if it comes right up to him, he doesn't seem interested in hunting for them. I've found him half asleep with his mouth hanging open a few times now, and I'll think he's dead until I get close or open his cage, and he wakes up. Does anyone have any idea what's wrong with him, or if I need to worry? I realize he's getting pretty old, but I'd like to know if there is something I can do for him. Thanks in advance.

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