Subdesert Toad

(Bufo xeros)




Facts about this animal

A medium-sized toad with a length of 5 cm up to 8,5 cm and with a blunt rounded snout. The cream to pale gray or chocolate-brown back bears six pairs of symmetrical patches, the fourth pair being the largest. These spots are all bordered in black. Additional asymmetrical dark patches may be present. Starting at the posterior end of the parotid glands, an indistinct clear strip runs half-way across the flanks. The belly is cream colored. northwest Africa, B. xeros is active from September to March, mainly during night-time. In the breeding season, which lasts from September to October however, it is diurnal, too. The diet includes arachnids and insects, mainly coleopterans.

Name (Scientific) Bufo xeros
Name (English) Subdesert Toad
Name (French) Crapaud de savane
Name (Spanish) Sapo de sabana
CITES Status Not listed
CMS Status Not listed



Photo Copyright by
Rafael Marquez



Range Algeria; Cameroon; Chad; Djibouti; Eritrea; Ethiopia; Gambia; Guinea; Kenya; Libyan Arab Jamahiriya; Mali; Mauritania; Niger; Senegal; Somalia; Sudan; Tanzania; Uganda; Western Sahara. Possibly present: Angola; Benin; Burkina Faso; Central African Republic; Congo, The Democratic Republic of the; Guinea-Bissau; Nigeria.
Habitat It is generally a species of very arid environments, and seasonally dry savannahs, woodlands and shrublands. The range of this species even includes the massifs of the central Sahara. Thus it occurs from near sea level up to 1,800m asl. It is often found in dry riverbeds, and around oases. It breeds in temporary pools, oases, and ponds near riverbeds. It is sometimes found close to permanent water, and in other places it appears to depend on temporary floods for breeding purposes.
Wild population Generally common in suitable areas. Some populations might be adversely impacted by drought, as well as by human expansion and settlement, with the consequent increase in populations of domestic livestock. However, overall this is not a threatened species.
Zoo population None reported to ISIS (2007)

In the Zoo

Subdesert Toad


How this animal should be transported

For air transport, Container Note 45 of the IATA Live Animals Regulations should be followed.


Find this animal on ZooLex


Photo Copyright by
Rafael Marquez

Why do zoos keep this animal

As an amphibian - i.e. an animal whose existence depends on the presence of water - that lives also in the desert, exhibiting this species is certainly of educational value.