horned frog

Encyclopedia Article


Native to deserts and semi-arid habitats of North and Central America, the horned frog, more commonly referred to as a horned, or horny, toad, is in fact a lizard, identifiable by its round shape, short snout, and spike-covered (horned) head and back. In various indigenous cultures in the Americas, the horned toad is revered as a grandfather figure, one who can bestow blessings and luck.

The horned toad is usually brown, gray, or yellow in color, and feeds on ants, as well as other insects such as grasshoppers and spiders. When attacked, some species can squirt blood out of their eyes to a distance of up to three feet. The blood contains a noxious chemical that deters dogs and coyotes.

Photo Credit: 

"Photo of the Regal Horned Lizard Phrynosoma solare taken in Apache Junction, Arizona, March 25, 2007" by Room237 is licensed under CC BY-SA.

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