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South Central ARMI

Guide to Louisiana Amphibians

Eastern spadefoot (Scaphiopus holbrookii)

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  Image of Eastern spadefoot (Scaphiopus holbrookii)
  Photo: Hardin Waddle
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  Range Map for Eastern spadefoot (Scaphiopus holbrookii)
  Range map source: USGS National Amphibian Atlas, USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
A plump, medium-sized toad reaching a maximum length of 3.25 inches. Dorsum is olive to gray to brown with two yellow lines that run from the eye to the vent to form markings that resemble an hourglass. In bright light the pupil is vertically elliptical. Hind feet are webbed and each has one black, pointed tubercle resembling a spade. Cranial ridges are absent, but parotoid glands are prominent. Mating is associated with heavy rainfall that forms vernal pools, which are great for breeding. Call is very nasal and explosive and is heard over long distances. Females lay a string of 200 or more eggs and attach them to aquatic vegetation. Species occurs in the Florida Parishes in forested areas and savannas.

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