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Arizona monsoon brings out palo verde beetles, toads and more

By Mark Brodie, Ron Dungan
Published: Monday, August 15, 2022 - 12:47pm
Updated: Tuesday, August 16, 2022 - 10:11am

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Sonoran Desert toad
Tim Agne/KJZZ
A Sonoran Desert toad on display at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, California.

The Phoenix area has gotten more monsoon rain this year than in previous years, and that’s meant residents have also seen some more bugs and other creatures that rely on that precipitation.

Shinji Otsuru is a keeper at the Phoenix Zoo who takes care of reptiles and amphibians.

The Show spoke with Otsuru about what kinds of creatures we tend to see in the Phoenix area around this time of year.

Palo verde beetle
Mike Ostrowski
A palo verde beetle

The storms are good for desert animals, including rattlesnakes, which give birth this time of year.

That can lead to calls to remove snakes from homes.

The babies are born without rattles, but they do have venom. Amy Burnett of the Arizona Game and Fish Department says they will stay with their mothers for a couple of weeks, and that it’s important to keep your eyes open in the desert this time of year.

“So, definitely watch your step when you go out hiking, but it’s not anything that you should stop hiking or running out in the desert for, because I mean it’s some of the greatest times to be out there, right?” Burnett said.

She says the rain and humidity give the young snakes a better chance of survival.

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