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Couch's Spadefoot Toad

Scaphiopus couchii

Photo of Scaphiopus couchii by Jack Newville

This photo contributed by Jack Newville was taken in Avondale, Arizona.

The color patterns displayed by this toad vary considerably from green to yellow or brown. Females' patterns are more distinct while the males', like the one at left, tend to be more washed out. Look for the 'spade', a tough, sickle-shaped pad on the hind feet. When the ephemeral pool of water begins to dry the toads burrow down into the mud, form a tough casing around themselves and there can remain in semi-dormancy for extraordinarily long periods until rain refills the habitat.

Scaphiopodidae -- Spadefoot Toad Family

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Copyright Michael J. Plagens, 1999-2009