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Female and young may have many blotches on a pale background, paratoids are usually tan-colored, and the dorsal stripe is usually narrow or absent. The males are yellow-green or dark olive above, with dark blotches virtually absent or reduced to small scattered flecks. Males and females have pale throats (Stebbins 1985).
The Yosemite toad can be distinguished from its closest relative, the Western toad (Anaxyrus boreas), by its smaller size and lack of a vertebral stripe. It also has wider parotoid glands than the Western toad, with a smaller gap between the glands (Stebbins 1985).
The extent of sexual dichromatism in Anaxyrus canorus is rare among frogs (including other toads). However, the color differences between males and females do not seem to help the male toad distinguish between sexes, as many observations have been made of these toads attempting to mate with other species, even dead toads (Karlstrom 1962).
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