Spadefoot Toads

Spadefoot Toad

By Molly Bilker / Photo by Bruce D. Taubert

Aptly named, spadefoot toads spend the majority of the year in underground burrows they dig with their hind legs and bony, shovel-like feet. Four species live in Arizona: the Couch’s (pictured), Great Basin, southern and plains spadefoots. They are characterized by their stocky, round bodies; their smooth skin; and their uniquely vertical pupils, which set them apart from most other toad species. Spadefoot toads can be found in desert-scrub and grassland environments throughout Arizona.