Western (Plains) Spadefoot

Western Spadefoot

Copyright Gary Nafis

Genus Species: Spea bombifrons

Size: 2 - 2½”

Location:This Western species has made it into a few locations in the Arkansas River Valley.

Advertisement Call: Short snores every second or so.




This spadefoot is also known as the Plains Spadefoot, but is listed as the Western Spadefoot in the FrogWatch™ Field Scope database.  Notice the four rough stripes on its back and warty skin.  There is a raised bone on their head between their eyes called a “boss” which is missing in the Eastern Spadefoot.  The Western Spadefoot is smaller than the Eastern and Hurter’s Spadefoot.  Their back foot tubercle is more wedge-shaped than their sickle-shaped cousins.  He is rarely seen without rain present.  Reproductive behavior is similar to the other spadefoots.

Interesting Fact: Spadefoot fossils that are 35 million years old have been found in North America.

The Western Spadefoot is a member of the Pelobatidae (Spadefoot) family and is a Middle Frog (Mesobatrachia).