Eastern Spadefoot Scaphiopus holbrookii (Harlan, 1835)  

Status:

Eastern Spadefoot (Scaphiopus holbrookii) is the only spadefoot species found in Maryland (and anywhere east of the Mississippi). While often called "spadefoot toads," spadefoots (family Scaphiopodidae) are actually not closely related to the true toads of the family Bufonidae. They are strangely-shaped, with an elongated spade-shaped structure on the hind foot, large eyes with vertical pupils, and no parotoid glands. This species is highly fossorial (active primarily underground), and outside of the breeding season, they are usually seldom encountered. Spadefoots are associated with loose, sandy soil, which is easy to burrow into, and as a result, they are most common on the coastal plain. After heavy rains in spring or summer, spadefoots emerge from underground and migrate to breeding sites in shallow wetlands and pools. The entire breeding cycle may occur on only a few nights a year at a given locality (Conant & Collins, 1998; Maryland DNR site; Virginia Herpetological Society site).

There are 70 records in the project database.

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Eastern Spadefoots calling in Caroline Co., Maryland (5/19/2018). - Mark Schilling.

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Eastern Spadefoot, Dorchester County, MD, 5/16/2007 Photo by Jim Brighton. (MBP list)

Spadefoot Toads emerged from their subterranean world in rural Queen Anne's and Caroline Counties during a May thunderstorm (5/27/2007). Photo by Bill Hubick. (MBP list)

Spadefoot Toads emerged from their subterranean world in rural Queen Anne's and Caroline Counties during a May thunderstorm (5/27/2007). Photo by Bill Hubick. (MBP list)

An Eastern Spadefoot in Queen Anne's Co., Maryland (7/1/2016). Photo by Dan Small. (MBP list)

An Eastern Spadefoot in St. Mary's Co., Maryland (10/27/2018). Photo by Ben Springer. (MBP list)

An Eastern Spadefoot in Pasadena, Anne Arundel Co., Maryland (9/5/2014). Photo by Bill Hubick. (MBP list)

An Eastern Spadefoot in Dorchester Co., Maryland (9/12/2015). Photo by Rick Borchelt. (MBP list)

An Eastern Spadefoot in Dorchester Co., Maryland (9/12/2015). Photo by Rick Borchelt. (MBP list)

An Eastern Spadefoot in Anne Arundel Co., Maryland (9/16/2012). Photo by Mark Johnson. (MBP list)

An Eastern Spadefoot from a local population in northern Anne Arundel Co., Maryland (4/20/2013). Photo by Bill Hubick. (MBP list)

An young Eastern Spadefoot in Worcester Co., Maryland (6/24/2013). Photo by Scott Housten. (MBP list)

Eastern Spadefoot mating in Charles Co., Maryland (4/30/2014). Photo by George Jett. (MBP list)

An Eastern Spadefoot in Caroline Co., Maryland (8/1/2013). Photo by Mark Johnson. (MBP list)

An emerging Eastern Spadefoot in southern Anne Arundel Co. (6/29/2008). Photo by Bill Hubick. (MBP list) (More of this species)

An emerging Eastern Spadefoot in southern Anne Arundel Co., Maryland (6/29/2008). Photo by Bill Hubick. (MBP list) (More of this species)

A metamorph Eastern Spadefoot in Anne Arundel Co., Maryland (8/6/2013). Photo by Robert Aguilar, SERC. (MBP list)

A close-up of a Spadefoot's "spade", which is used for burrowing (5/27/2007). Photo by Bill Hubick. (MBP list)


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