Plains Spadefoot Toad

Plains Spadefoot Toad

Other Names: Spadefoot Toad

Scientific Name: Spea bombifrons (Formerly: Scaphiopus bombifrons)

Family: Scaphiopodidae

Description & Size

  • Slimly, smooth skin
  • Long hind legs
  • Small external eardrum (tympanum)
  • Raised area (boss) of the skin between the eyes
  • Vertically elliptical pupils
  • Dark, spade on each hind feet
  • Total length:  3.2-6.4 cm (1.3-2.5 in)
  • Back color: tan to dark brown
  • 2 to 4 cream colored stripes running form the neck to the rump
  • Belly color:  white


  • Prairies and grasslands
  • Sagebrush habitat
  • Farmland
  • Loose soils


  • Either herbivorous or carnivorous (larvae)
  • Invertebrates

Life History

  • Nocturnal (emerge after rains) (Bragg, 1967)
  • Active season:  April – July
  • Breeding season:  Right after it rains enough to make temporary ponds (explosive)
  • Lays eggs
  • 100-500 eggs per female


Plains Spadefoot Toad Range