Amphibians in Zion National Park

Frogs, toads and even a salamander are to be found in Zion National Park, thanks to the Virgin River, streams in slot canyons and even monsoon rains.
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Frogs, toads and even a salamander are to be found in Zion National Park, thanks to the Virgin River, streams in slot canyons and even monsoon rains.

You'll hear the canyon tree frogs (Hyla arenicolor) and red-spotted toads at night or dusk, serenading the evening by rocky pools. They're just two of the six species of frogs and toads found in the park.

While all amphibians hibernate away the winter, two toad species dig into the dirt to survive the hottest periods of summer, emerging when monsoons bring heavy rains and new life to canyon/desert country.

The Great Basin spadefoot toad (Spea intermontauen) and the Woodhouse toad (Bufo woodhousii) are great diggers, thanks to hard knobby parts of their feet.

Thanks to glands that secret mucus and nasty-tasting toxins, the red-spotted toad (Bufo punctactus) is ignored by all but the youngest and least-experienced predators. No one really comes back for seconds, which is good for the toad.

The tiger salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum) -- the world's largest land-dwelling salamander -- lives up to its name as a ferocious predator in the little world of frogs, small mice, insects and earthworms. They live under debris near water, or burrows in stream banks.

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