Scaphiopus holbrookii

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Scaphiopus holbrookii
Scaphiopus holbrookii1-.jpg
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Amphibia
Order: Anura
Family: Scaphiopodidae
Genus: Scaphiopus
Species: S. holbrookii
Binomial name
Scaphiopus holbrookii
(Harlan, 1835)
  • Rana holbrookii Harlan, 1835
  • Scaphiopus solitarius Holbrook, 1836
  • Scaphiopus holbrookii Cope, 1889

Scaphiopus holbrookii, commonly known as the eastern spadefoot, is a species of American spadefoot toad (family Scaphiopodidae) endemic to the United States.[1][2]

Geographic range[edit]

It is found in the southeastern United States, except for mountainous areas, and is also found northward along the Atlantic Coast, through the Mid-Atlantic states, into southern New England, including eastern Massachusetts. It is found in inland states such as Pennsylvania and New York, but only as far westward as the appalacian mountains, and the Hudson River Valley in New York.[3]


An American Eastern spadefoot.

The average length (head + body) of an adult Eastern spadefoot is 44–57 mm (1¾-2¼ in).

It is brownish with two yellowish stripes on its back. These stripes, which begin on the upper eyelids, may diverge or converge, resulting in a pattern resembling a lyre or an hourglass. Some specimens may be very dark, with less distinct markings.[3]

It has one spur on each of its back feet for burrowing.[4]

A similar species is the Hurter's spadefoot toad, which was once considered a subspecies of Scaphiopus holbrookii.[4]


It spends almost all of its life deep underground; coming out only to breed, and sometimes eat. It remains in a type of hibernation almost all its life. It burrows in a spiral, preferring sandy soils.


The epithet, holbrookii, is in honor of John Edwards Holbrook, American herpetologist.[5]


  1. ^ a b IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group (2015). "Scaphiopus holbrookii". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN. 2015: e.T59042A64981907. Retrieved 4 January 2016. 
  2. ^ Frost, Darrel R. (2015). "Scaphiopus holbrookii (Harlan, 1835)". Amphibian Species of the World: an Online Reference. Version 6.0. American Museum of Natural History. Retrieved 4 January 2016. 
  3. ^ a b Conant, Roger. 1975. A Field Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians of Eastern and Central North America. Second Edition. Houghton Mifflin. Boston. 429 pp. ISBN 0-395-19977-8 (pbk.) (Scaphiopus holbrooki holbrooki, p. 299 + Plate 44 + Map 253.)
  4. ^ a b "Eastern Spadefoot Toad". eNature. Retrieved 28 March 2016. 
  5. ^ Bo Beolens; Michael Watkins; Michael Grayson (22 April 2013). The Eponym Dictionary of Amphibians. Pelagic Publishing. p. 96. ISBN 978-1-907807-44-2. 

External links[edit]