Eastern Spadefoot Toad
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Eastern Spadefoot Toad

Online Guide to the Amphibians and Reptiles of Connecticut

Eastern Spadefoot Toad - Scaphiopus holbrooki


An unusual frog with vertical pupils. Spadefoots reach an adult size of 2 to 2.5 inches (5 to 6.3 cm) and are brownish gray, or blackish with yellow, gold or whitish stripes or mottling. The hind foot has a keratinized “spade” used for digging into the sand.



Breeds in vernal pools in sandy areas mid-April to July. Egg masses are laid in bands along submerged grass and vegetation. They hatch in 2 days and metamorphose rapidly, within 60 days (see Klemens 1993).






Sandy and well-drained soils.



Various invertebrates.



Very few populations are known in Connecticut. Klemens (1993) lists 7 current populations and 6 historic populations now presumed extinct. Current populations are scattered in eastern Connecticut.



Declining throughout its range from habitat loss. In Connecticut it is listed as an endangered species with most of the historical populations now extinct.



Conant, R. and J.T. Collins. 1991. A Field Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians: Eastern/Central North America. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. 450 pp.

Klemens, M.W. 1993. Amphibians and Reptiles of Connecticut and Adjacent Regions. Hartford, CT: State Geological and Natural History Survey of Connecticut Bulletin 112. 318 pp.



Text by Gregory J. Watkins-Colwell.
Photographs © Twan Leenders. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
Animal featured in photographs on this page is from Maryland.

Audio files from The Calls of Frogs and Toads [book and CD-ROM]
Published March 2004 by Stackpole Books; 1.800.732.3669.
© 1994 Lang Elliott/NatureSound Studio
All rights reserved. Used by permission.