7 species in 2 genera

Spadefoot Toads

This group was formerly part of the family Pelobatidae. Scaphiopodids plus Pelobatids are collectively known as the Spadefoot Toads, owing to a keratinized digging spade present on each hindfoot. These toads are desert dwellers, spending considerable time underground each year until the rains arrive. At that point they rapidly move to the surface and breed explosively in temporary pools. Tadpole development is extraordinarily rapid in this group.

Scaphiopus couchii
Photo by David Wake
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Genus Scaphiopus (3 species)
Scaphiopus couchii AmphibiaWeb account photos sound/video
Scaphiopus holbrookii AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video
Scaphiopus hurterii AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video

Genus Spea (4 species)
Spea bombifrons AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video
Spea hammondii AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video
Spea intermontana AmphibiaWeb account photos sound/video
Spea multiplicata AmphibiaWeb account photos sound/video

Citation: AmphibiaWeb: Information on amphibian biology and conservation. [web application]. Berkeley, California: AmphibiaWeb. Available: (Accessed:

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