Frog of the Week

Couch’s Spadefoot Toad (Scaphiopus couchii)

Couch's Spadefoot Toad
Photo by Clinton & Charles Robertson

Common Name: Couch’s Spadefoot Toad
Scientific Name: Scaphiopus couchii
Family: Scaphiopodidae – Spadefoot Toad family
Location: Mexico and the United States of America.
US Location: Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas
Size: 3 inches or 8 centimeters

Like all Spadefoot Toads, the Couch’s Spadefoot Toad has a keratonized sheath on it’s back feet. They use this “spade” to help them dig. The Coach’s Spadefoot Toad has a more sickle-shaped spade which can help distinguish it from other Spadefoot toads. The toad is named after Darius N. Couch, who collected the first specimen observed by white people. It is not a couch potato.

For most of the year, the Couch’s Spadefoot Toad is found burrowed down underneath the ground during the day, only coming up at night to hunt. Their spade helps with their digging When the rain starts in spring and summer, the frogs come out and breed in temporary ponds.

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