Golden Toad Facts

Golden Toad facts that the males of the species exhibited bright orange colored body.

A member of the true toad, the golden toad is species of toad, now extinct, that was once found abundantly in the region high in altitude in the area north of the Monteverde city in Costa Rica. The populations of these golden roads were found mostly in the cl0ud forest area called the Monteverde Cloud Forest Preserve. The frog is known by many names - Monte Verde toad, Alajuela toad, and orange toad. The Monteverde Cloud Forest inhabited frog is the face of the amphibian decline phenomenon that has been going on for some time now. Golden toad facts say that the last sighting of one was on 15 May 1989 and it was of a single male golden toad. Since then, there have not been any sightings of this species and hence been declared extinct by the IUCN. This glamourous amphibian species is the picture portrait of nature, but human activities have led to the endangered status of this species, which is now believed to be extinct. This frog once had abundant populations in the Monteverde Cloud Forest situated north of the city of Monteverde, Costa Rica. The decline of the species of toads started in the 1980s and totally vanished in 1989.

The Golden toads had shiny skin unlike other toads and were a sight to behold. The males and females had a distinctive difference in coloration but both of the sexes were beautiful. Only during the breeding season, were the frogs seen in the forests. The month of April was the time to catch sight of a big population of these toads. The breed of frogs' reason for extinction is unknown, but it is a huge loss for nature. The golden toad's extinction can be blamed on climate change, as it has been found that the natural habitat of the toads was changed by a dry period of time caused by El Nino in 1986. This event made breeding pools dry out and the temperature soar high. The population numbers crashed instantly after this climate change and the species started declining. Global warming has also affected the area around Monteverde in Costa Rica.

The family of toads is big and has a lot of species that can be differentiated on the basis of size and color. The Surinam toad and Natterjack toad are two of these species that you may also like to read about.

Golden Toad

Fact File

What do they prey on?

Smaller invertebrates, plants

What do they eat?


Average litter size?


How much do they weigh?

0.006-0.03 lb (3-15 g)

How long are they?

1.5-2.2 in (39-56 mm)

How tall are they?


What do they look like?

Bright orange in males, dark chocolate colored with yellow lines females

Skin Type

Soft, moist, smooth skin

What are their main threats?

Habitat loss, human phenomenon

What is their conservation status?


Where you'll find them

Wet, montane area of the forest, lower elevation


Costa Rica





Scientific Name

Incilius periglenes





Golden Toad Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Golden Toad?

Golden toads are part of the species of true toads.

What class of animal does a Golden Toad belong to?

Golden toads fall under the class of Amphibia of animals.

How many Golden Toads are there in the world?

These amphibian species have now gone through extinction and a sighting of this breed has not been made since 1989. The various natural and man-made phenomenon led to the golden toad extinction. The lack of conservation of the protected rainforest in the world is another reason for the extinction of the species.

Where does a Golden Toad live?

The golden toad lived in the northern  Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve. It is in the national city of Monteverde in Costa Rica. The golden toads once occupied a small area of four square kilometers of the Cloud Forest Reserve in northern Costa Rica. It was found abundant in this protected habitat of tropical rainforests once upon a time but started vanishing in a couple of years in the 1980s. Due to climate change, the conservation techniques failed and the endangered species of toads went to a road of extinction.

What is a Golden Toad's habitat?

The golden toad used to live in the wet, montane area of the rainforest. It had to be lower elevation areas. Ponds, pools, rivers, and marshes were other places the golden toad was found earlier.  

Who do Golden Toads live with?

The golden toads usually lived underground and only emerged during the breeding season. They were found in groups. Males of this species of amphibian outnumbered the females in huge numbers.

How long does a Golden Toad live?

The lifespan of the golden toads is unknown but the other species of this amphibian live 10-12 years on average. The range of all the amphibian species should range the same.

How do they reproduce?

The golden toad mainly starts breeding in the month of April and mates for the first few weeks in rainwater pools amongst tree roots. They need the rainy season and the toads gather in enormous numbers around pools located within the forest. As the males outnumber the females by eight to one ratio, there is fierce competition during mating. The males try to mate with any moving object and even disturb other pairs. These animals also make toad balls in this period. From March to April, the male toads gather in large numbers and wait for females. As soon as they found a female, the male would engage in amplexus with the female until they lay spawn.

Successful mating was followed by the females laying their eggs, around 200-400 in number each week for the next mating period. The 3 mm diameter eggs were black and tan spheres that were deposited in pools, one inch deep. The young hatched from the eggs in a couple of days but needed approximately four to five weeks for metamorphosis. After the mating period was over, the golden toad retreated to their burrows.

What is their conservation status?

After 1989, the amphibian has not been spotted, but due to their burrowing nature, the status of the frogs was kept as endangered. In 2004 when there was not any golden toad to be seen, The International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species changed the status of the amphibian to extinct. It was a huge point to report in the news as this species of toads are one of the first animals to go extinct in such a short span of time.  

Golden Toad Fun Facts

What does Golden Toad look like?

The males of the golden toads were bright orange in color and slightly mottled on the belly. The females had a different variation of colors, like black, yellow, red, and green but were mostly black and chocolate color with scarlet spots and yellow edges. The bright colors in the males were to attract the females. Females were usually larger than males. Females also had bigger cranial crests above the eye socket. The males had the crests a lot lower. The colors and the sizes were the easiest way to recognize a golden toad. The juveniles or the tadpoles were not easily recognized due to their plain colors in the body.

The golden toad had smooth and soft skin unlike others from the same family.

How cute are they?

They looked beautiful, especially the male species of the amphibian.

How do they communicate?

They communicated with the use of voice and mating rituals. Usually, they lived underground and have been researched less.

How big is a Golden Toad?

The males of the species were smaller than the females with a size ranging from 39-48 mm. The females were bigger in size with the length ranging from 42-56 mm.

How fast can a Golden Toad move?

They usually lived underground and stayed there most of the time, except during the mating season. They didn't travel much, although the animals were quick hoppers.

How much does a Golden Toad weigh?

The weight of an average golden toad ranged from 0.006-0.03 lb (3-15 g). They were quite lightweight.

What are their male and female names of the species?

The male and female sexes of the frogs were not given different names. The frogs were collectively known as golden toads and also known by their scientific name, Incilius periglenes.

What would you call a baby Golden Toad?

The baby Golden Toads are called tadpoles.

What do they eat?

Although there is no research stating the feeding habits of these frogs, with respect to their size, they were said to diet on small invertebrates and plants. Small invertebrates like ants, flies, and bugs were the food for the golden toads. They were also presumed to nibble on leaves.

Are they poisonous?

There is no research on the golden toads' poisonous nature. But people might mistake them for the golden poisonous frog which is the deadliest and most poisonous frog in the world.

Would they make a good pet?

These animals are not around any more, and cannot be included as pets. They were thriving in their habitat and went extinct due to some foreseeable reasons.

Did you know...

The golden toad was seen mostly in the 1980s and went extinct in 1989. It was declared extinct by the IUCN in 2004.

Golden toad males had a bright orange color with smooth skin.

Why did the Golden Toad go extinct?

Golden toads are said to be extinct due to a number of reasons. Pathogenic chytrid fungus is said to be one of the main reasons for their extinction. The spread of the chytrid fungus that creates chytridiomycosis, a disease that spreads among amphibians declined the population of the golden toads. Due to their close-spaced habitat, it spread quickly and led to the deaths of many.

Climate change and global warming are said to be another factor in the extinction of the species. The pools had dried up and the forests were getting destroyed very quickly leading to loss of habitat for the species. Human activities like irrigation and industrialization have also added to this.

What is unique about the Golden Toad?

The males of the species are orange in color and the females have a chocolate brown body with yellow stripes. They were seen less because of their nature to stay in burrows except in the breeding season.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other amphibians including spring peeper and spadefoot toad.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our frog and toad coloring pages.



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