Frog of the Week

Eastern Spadefoot Toad (Scaphiopus holbrookii)

American_Eastern_Spadefoot_Toad.JPG
Eastern Spadefoot by Riechvaugen

leastconcern

Common Name: Eastern Spadefoot Toad
Scientific Name: Scaphiopus holbrookii
Family: Scaphiopodidae – Spadefoot Toad family
Location: United States – Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia
Size: 1.5-2.5 inches (2.3 -3.9mm)

The Eastern Spadefoot Toad are a fossorial species, living underground in burrows for most of their life. They are great at burrowing thanks to the keratanized shealths  “spades” on their rear legs. Sandy or loose soil areas are the preferred since its easier to dig in them. The toads usually only come to the surface to breed following warm rains. In the north, they breed from March to August while they can breed anytime in the south. Spadefoots breed primarily in temporary bodies of water, to protect the eggs from predators such as fish. However, they do sometimes breed in permanent bodies. While the IUCN ranks the toad as least concern, in many states, it is protected.

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