On Saturday morning, I spotted a small toad swimming in our pool. O.P. came out with a scoop to rescue it and turn it loose in the desert. I took some photos, but the sun was in my eyes and I couldn't really see the little fellow very well. He was also moving pretty fast and I was concentrating on getting him reasonably in focus. I assumed that the toad was a Spadefoot, one of our most frequent patio visitors. When I saw the images on the computer, however, I found it was a toad I'd never seen before. It was pretty easy to identify, thanks to some great photos on the Internet. It was a Red-Spotted Toad (Bufo punctatus).
Red-Spotted Toads are small toads, about 2.5 to 3 inches in length. They are the only toads with round parotid glands that are the same size as their eyes. They are also the only North American toads that lay their eggs singly; all the others lay their eggs in strings.