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Eastern Spadefoot   

Scaphiopus holbrookii

State Listing: Endangered

Commonly Confused Native Species:


  • Often Not Confused with other Species



Size:                  A medium sized burrowing frog measuring 2 to 3 inches

                           in length.


Color:                The dorsum is light brown to black with a yellowish lyre

                           shaped marking. The venter is translucent white.

                           Spadefoots have a distinct black “spade” on each hind

                           foot to aid in the burrowing process. 


Behavior:         Fossorial spending the majority of their time

                           underground.  Active at night mostly during rain events.

                           When handled they may vocalize to express alarm and

                           distress.  When ingestion by predators is imminent they

                           puff up and excrete a distasteful toxin from their parotoid

                           glands located just behind their eyes, often causing the

                           would-be predator to release them. 


Habitat:            Spadefoots are uncommon only occurring at a few

                          eastern Connecticut sites that are characterized by sandy

                          and often scarified soils mixed with herbaceous, shrub

                          and forested habitats.  Temporary rain filled pools are

                          used for egg deposition and rapid larval development.

                          Few breeding locations are known in Connecticut.        



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