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Western spadefoot toad
Spea hammondii 1.jpg
Western Spadefoot Toad (Spea hammondii)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Amphibia
Order: Anura
Suborder: Mesobatrachia
Family: Scaphiopodidae
Genus: Spea
Cope, 1866

Spea is a genus of North American amphibian commonly referred to as the western spadefoot toads. They differ greatly from true toads (those of the family Bufonidae) by having eyes with vertical pupils, no parotoid glands, and relatively smooth skin. Their most distinctive feature is a spade-like projection on their hind feet, from which their common name is derived. This projection enables spadefoot toads to dig in loose soils with ease. Its name is from the Ancient Greek speos (σπέος, ‘cave, cavern’)[1]


Spea species were once classified with their European cousins in the family Pelobatidae, but have since been reclassified to their own family, Scaphiopodidae with other North American species. There are four species in the genus Spea:

Related species[edit]

Genus Scaphiopus, southern spadefoot toads


  1. ^ Dodd, C. Kenneth (2013). Frogs of the United States and Canada 1. The Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 20. ISBN 978-1-4214-0633-6.