Rhinophrynus

2

Mexican Burrowing Toad (Rhinophrynus dorsalis)

…is a unique species of burrowing toad found only in Mexico, parts of southern Texas and Central America. As its common name suggests the Mexican burrowing toad is fossorial and spends most of its time in underground burrows feeding on insects like ants and termites. Like the purple frog the burrowing toad often emerges from its den after long periods of rain and mates. Also like the unrelated purple frog when threatened or calling the Mexican burrowing toad can inflate its body.

Phylogeny

Animalia-Chordata-Amphibia-Anura-Mesobatrachia-Rhinophrynidae-Rhinophrynus-dorsalis

Image Source(s)

Mexican Burrowing Toad | ©Seth Patterson

Specimen of the most interesting and bizarre of South Texas amphibians, the Mexican Burrowing Toad, photographed in Rio Grande Valley, Texas, US.

The only species, within the only genus of the family Rhinophrynidae, and with over 190 million years of independent evolution, the Mexican burrowing toad (Rhinophrynus dorsalis) is the most evolutionarily distinct amphibian species on Earth today.

According to EDGE, a fruit bat, polar bear, killer whale, kangaroo and human are all more similar to one another than this species is to any other amphibian. Although relatively common, the Mexican burrowing toad is rarely seen as this species spends the majority of the year living solely underground, only emerging after the first heavy rains to congregate for breeding in temporary pools.

This species can be found from the southern Texas through Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador to Nicaragua and Costa Rica.