The Common Spadefoot Toad is an amphibian that is native to North America. It is a toad that only has seven different species and is considered a small family.
The Common Spadefoot Toad is a toad that has short legs, protruding eyes and they are usually green or brown. They usually grow around 2-3 inches long and are round and wide.
They have a nickname called the “spadefoot” because they have a bone in their back leg that allows them to burrow better than other animals.
The skin of the Common Spadefoot Toad is smooth.
The Common Spadefoot Toad lives in areas that are dryer and where there are ponds, creeks or other water areas. Most of these toads are found in North America along riverbeds such as close to the Mississippi River.
These Common Spadefoot Toads are also found in Canada and in northwestern United States. Some of these toads are also found in Texas, Mexico and other places.
The Common Spadefoot Toad will eat crickets, caterpillars, spiders, millipedes, worms and snails but they will also eat plankton. At first, they are considered to be herbivores as tadpoles but then they become carnivores after they reach adulthood.
Tadpoles of the Common Spadefoot Toad will eat their siblings if they are unable to find food.
Since the Common Spadefoot Toad tadpoles will eat their own kind, they developed differently than other frogs and they grew stronger jaw muscles, smaller intestine and larger heads. They also have sharper faces so they can eat their prey.
There are some subspecies of the Common Spadefoot Toad including the Couch’s Spadefoot Toad, the Eastern Spadefoot Toad, the Great Basin Spadefoot Toad, the Hurter’s Spadefoot Toad, New Mexico Spadefoot Toad, Plains Spadefoot Toad and the Western Spadefoot Toad.
Some of the Spadefoot Toads have been put on the endangered list such as in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Connecticut and Rhode Island. This has happened because the pools and ponds that they lay eggs in have gotten shallower and dry up before the tadpoles have a chance to change to toads.
One of the most interesting things about the Common Spadefoot Toad is that it has feet that can dig and burrow into the dirt better than any other amphibian. This is where it got its name “spadefoot.”
During the winter months, the Common Spadefoot Toad will dig deep into the mud and hibernate there until winter is over and the weather gets warmer.