Plains Spadefoot (Spea bombifrons)

Description: Lacks the distinct parotid glands of other toads of the genus Bufo. Has vertical pupils (horizontal in other frogs and toads), fleshy boss between the eyes, and between two to four cream stripes on the back. Short, rounded wedge-shaped spade on inner edges of hind feet.

Call: Short rasping snore; individual trills are rapid and may not be distinguishable.

Habitat: Open grasslands, usually avoiding river sandbars and wooded areas, sandy rather than muddy area.

Diet: Insects, worms, insect larva.

Size: 3.75-5 cm (1.5-2 in).

Natural History: This species breeds in temporary ponds after summer rains. Eggs hatch within 48 hours, and develop rapidly. Unlike tadpoles of other species, Plains spadefoot tadpoles are carnivorous (oftentimes cannibalistic). Tadpoles develop hindlegs within 10 days and undergo metamorphosis within 30 days. This strategy allows this species to exist in areas of intermittent and unpredictable rainfall. Commonly remain underground for mouth during the dry conditions