DEEP: Eastern Spadefoot

Eastern Spadefoot

(Scaphiopus holbrookii)

{Eastern Spadefoot}

IDENTIFICATION: A stocky, squat smooth-skinned toad with a vertical pupil and a raised black ridge (= spade) on its rear foot. The dorsum has a golden-yellow lyre shaped marking on a brown-black background, and the venter is translucent white-pink. Medium size, adults 50-70 mm body length.

All current and historical localities for this secretive, burrowing toad are either in the Central Connecticut Lowland or the Quinebaug and Pawcatuck river valleys of eastern Connecticut. The large populations described by Ball (1936) in the New Haven area have been destroyed by urbanization. The spadefoot is at its northeastern range limit, which includes central and eastern Connecticut, and central and coastal Massachusetts, and Rhode Island. The low-lying sandy areas of the state have been subjected to the greatest amount of urban growth and development, probably destroying unreported spadefoot colonies. The spadefoot survives at a handful of sites in eastern Connecticut. It is considered an "Endangered Species" within the state, strictly protected on state lands, and collection is prohibited under Section 26-66-13-A of the Connecticut Code. Spadefoots occur in all three states bordering Connecticut, where they are considered to be localized, declining, and of conservation concern.

Frogs | Amphibians and Reptiles in Connecticut