This species occurs in the USA from Southern New England across the southern Great Lakes states to southeastern Missouri, south to the Gulf Coast, from eastern Louisiana to southern Florida (absent at higher elevations in Appalachians) (Conant and Collins 1991).
Habitat and Ecology
It occurs in areas of sandy, gravelly, or soft, light soils in wooded or unwooded terrain. It burrows underground when inactive. Eggs and larvae develop in temporary pools formed by heavy rains.
Many subpopulations are known. Probably there are many undiscovered subpopulations, it evades detection via erratic nocturnal activity. It is secretive, usually more abundant than is apparent. Overall, it is probably relatively stable.
Urbanization is a known threat in the northeastern USA (Klemens 1993). Pesticide use in conjunction with forest pest management is a potential threat. It has been found in the international trade (Gerson 2012), although the origins of individuals in trade are unclear.
It occurs in many protected areas. Research is needed on its population status.
Red List Status
Least Concern (LC)
This species is listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution and presumed large population.
Scaphiopus hurterii formerly was regarded as a subspecies of S. holbrookii, but checklists (Crother et al. 2000, Collins and Taggart 2002) have treated it as a distinct species. Garcia-Paris et al. (2003) used mtDNA to examine the phylogentic relationships of Pelobatoidea and found that the family Pelobatidae, as previously defined, is not monophyletic (Pelobates is sister to Megophryidae, not to Spea/Scaphiopus). They separated the Pelobatidae into two families: Eurasian spadefoot toads (Pelobates), which retain the name Pelobatidae; and North American spadefoot toads (Scaphiopus, Spea), which make up the revived family Scaphiopodidae.
IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group 2015. Scaphiopus holbrookii. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T59042A64981907. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2015-2.RLTS.T59042A64981907.en