Order Anura
Frogs and Toads

 

Family Pelobatidae - Spadefoot Toads


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Scaphiopus holbrookii
Scaphiopus holbrookii (Harlan) - Eastern Spadefoot

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Description: The eastern spadefoot is toad-like in appearance. Average adult head-body length varies from 4.4 to 5.7 cm. Cranial crests are absent. Pupils of eyes are vertically elliptical. A dark, elongate, horny spade is present on heel of each foot. Dorsal ground color varies from yellowish brown to dark brown. Lyre-shaped light markings are usually present on dorsum.

Distribution and Habitat: Museum records for Tennessee and the range map for North Carolina provided by Martof et al. (1980), indicate that S. holbrookii occurs throughout Tennessee, with the exception of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Wasserman's (1968) map shows the species as absent from the Cumberland Plateau of Tennessee and Alabama, and Conant and Collins (1991) indicate its absence in central and extreme eastern Tennessee. Museum records, however, indicate that the species is present in all these areas except extreme eastern Tennessee. The eastern spadefoot is a secretive, burrowing species that breeds in temporary pools formed by heavy rains.

Taxonomy: Only the nominate subspecies is known to occur in Tennessee (Wasserman, 1968).


 

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