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Spadefoot from fron view

It has a particularly squat, rounded shape.

(photo: Jaime Bosch)

The COMMON SPADEFOOT TOAD has a dumpy body with short and strong limbs and huge, conspicuous eyes. Its most important characteristic is the vertical pupil. It has a black spade on the hind foot, which is a protruding, crescent-shaped, sharp-edged callus internus adapted to digging. The dorsal side of the frog is olive, light- or dark brown, with irregular, more or less square and longitudinally streched darker blotches, creating a map-like pattern. Often red dots can be found on the smooth or slightly warty skin. Their belly is grayish-white with lighter or darker mottled marks. The adult frogs grow 5-7 cm.

Distibution map by our National Herpetological Mapping Program:

Pattern of spadefoot toads

Along the characteristic large, dark blotches they also have red pinpoint dots.

(photo: Bálint Halpern)

Spadefoot head shape

Its head has rounded contours, its snout is blunt, while their pupil is vertical.

(photo: Bálint Halpern)

Spadefoot habitat

They often gather on sandy, barren surfaces where they detect their crawling prey easily.

(photo: Bálint Halpern)

Spadefoot toad

Certain individuals are densely patterned with the red pinpoints.

photo: Jaime Bosch)

Juvenile spadefoot toad

Freshly metamorphosed specimens are only slightly smaller than older individuals.

(photo: Tibor Kovács)

Common spadefoot toad portrait

Its vertical pupil is very distinctive.

(photo: Gábor Szelényi)

Spadefoot close-up

In certain individual the red pinpoint dots cover almost all of its back.

(photo: Gábor Szelényi)

Spadefoot egg clump

Their thick clumps of eggs are twisted around aquatic vegetation.

(photo: Gábor Szelényi)

Spadefoot toad digging spur

On its hind limbs there are modified, spade-like tubercles as an adaptation to digging.

(photo: Gábor Szelényi)