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Spadefoot Toad

Spadefoot Toad (Mesobatrachia)Spadefoot Toad (Mesobatrachia)Spadefoot Toad (Mesobatrachia)Spadefoot Toad (Mesobatrachia)
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Spadefoot Toad Facts

Five groups that classify all living things
A group of animals within the animal kingdom
A group of animals within a pylum
A group of animals within a class
A group of animals within an order
A group of animals within a family
Scientific Name:
The name of the animal in science
The animal group that the species belongs to
What kind of foods the animal eats
How long (L) or tall (H) the animal is
7.5-10cm (2.9-3.9in)
The measurement of how heavy the animal is
50-100g (1.7-3.5oz)
Top Speed:
The fastest recorded speed of the animal
17km/h (10mph)
How long the animal lives for
4-8 years
Whether the animal is solitary or sociable
Conservation Status:
The likelihood of the animal becoming extinct
Least Concern
The colour of the animal's coat or markings
Brown, Tan, Grey
Skin Type:
The protective layer of the animal
Permeable Scales
Favourite Food:
The preferred food of this animal
The specific area where the animal lives
Marshland prairies and open floodplains
Average Litter Size:
The average number of babies born at once
Main Prey:
The food that the animal gains energy from
Fly, Ants, Spiders
Other animals that hunt and eat the animal
Birds, Fish, Snakes
Special Features:
Characteristics unique to this animal
Toxic skin and wide, flat feet

Spadefoot Toad Location

Map of Spadefoot Toad Locations

Spadefoot Toad

There are two main types of spadefoot toad, those that live only in North America and those that live in Europe, Northern Africa and Western Asia. The spadefoot toad is an amphibian and anurans. Anurans are frogs and toads.

Spadefoot toads are rarely seen because of their unusual habits. They are usually found in Western North American deserts like the Mojave, Chihuaha, and Sonoran. Normally this would be a problem for an amphibian, but spadefoot toads are able to deal with the hot and dry weather as spadefoot toads spend most of their time underground.

The spadefoot toad is a burrowing species of toad and they use their large front feet to make tunnels in the sand. Spadefoot toads are able to spend weeks underground but will come to the surface at night time after heavy rain when the air is moist, so that they can feed.

Spadefoot toads are omnivorous animals and have a primarily vegetarian diet when they are young. As the spadefoot toad gets older, they begin to eat large invertebrates such as snails, grasshoppers and caterpillars.

The spadefoot toad tadpoles develop very quickly. They can also dig holes and bury themselves until the next desert rain, when they will spawn and turn into the larger, rounder adult toads.

Spadefoot toads generally live between 3 and 12 years but are prey to a number of larger predators. Birds and birds of prey can pick out an unsuspecting spadefoot toad from the sky above and snakes often hunt them on the ground. Fish are the primary predators for the smaller and more vulnerable spadefoot toad tadpoles.

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First Published: 18th November 2008, Last Updated: 10th September 2018

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2. David Burnie, Kingfisher (2011) The Kingfisher Animal Encyclopedia [Accessed at: 01 Jan 2011]
3. Dorling Kindersley (2006) Dorling Kindersley Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 18 Nov 2008]
4. Richard Mackay, University of California Press (2009) The Atlas Of Endangered Species [Accessed at: 01 Jan 2009]
5. Tom Jackson, Lorenz Books (2007) The World Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 18 Nov 2008]