Family Pelobatidae – Spadefoots

Eastern spadefoot (Scaphiopus holbrooki)

  • Description: 1 3/4-3 1/4 inches; stocky, relatively smooth skin; olive to dark brown with two irregular yellow or greenish lines from behind eye running down back; pupil of eye vertically elliptical (cat-like); hard, sickle-shaped "spade" on each rear foot.

  • Distribution: Believed to occur throughout state but apparently somewhat local. Prefers areas with loose, sandy soil.

  • Breeding period: Breeds after heavy rains (usually greater than two inches) when temperatures are above 60°F.

  • Breeding sites: Temporary pools and ponds.

  • Voice: Loud, un-musical "mwaaah," has been described as similar to the sounds made by a person with severe gastrointestinal distress.

  • Comments: Individual and small chorus recorded on DeSoto National Forest, Harrison County.