Family Friday

Scaphiopodidae – American Spadefoot Toad Family

Suborder: Mesobatrachia
Number of Genera: 2 – Spea (3) and Scaphiopus (4)
Number of Species: 7

Scaphiopodidae, the American Spadefoot toad family, is found in North America. Try not to confuse it with Pelobatidae, the European Spadefoot Toad family. They are known for the keratinized spade on their foot that is used for digging. They live mostly underground so they are hard to research. They are different from true toads of the family Bufonidae because they do not have a parotoid gland and posses smoother skin.

Spea – Western Spadefoot Toads have more of a wedge shaped spades.

Western Spadefoot Toad (Spea hammondii) – no boss
Plains Spadefoot Toad (Spea bombifrons) – bony boss
Great Basin Spadefoot Toad (Spea intermontana) – glandular boss
Mexican Spadefoot Toad (Spea multiplicata) – no boss

Scaphiopus – Eastern Spadefoot Toads have sickle shaped spades compared to the Western genus.

Eastern Spadefoot Toad (Scaphiopus holbrookii)
Couch’s Spadefoot Toad (Scaphiopus couchii)
Hurter’s Spadefoot Toad (Scaphiopus hurterii)

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