Common Name: Desert Spadefoot Toad
Scientific Name: Notaden nichollsi
Family: Myobatrachidae – Australian Ground Frog family
Size: 2.5 inches (6.5 cm)
The Desert Spadefoot Toad lives in northern arid regions of Australia. They spend most of their time burrowed underground to prevent water loss. Some have been found 3 feet (1 meter) deep. They only come to the surface following the summer heavy rains to mate and eat.
Mating season lasts from December to March. Males migrate to temporary ponds that were filled with rain water. From there, they call out for the females. Once the females arrive, the males grasps them from behind in amplexus. Then, the female lays her eggs and the male fertilizes them. The female lays around a thousand eggs. Once the eggs hatch, the tadpoles take 2 – 4 weeks to complete their metamorphosis.
The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List assesses the Desert Spadefoot Toad as Least Concern for Extinction. They have a large range and a presumed large population.