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Southwest Reptiles and Amphibians



Plains Spadefoot - Spea bombifrons

(Cope, 1863)
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Plains Spadefoot Plains Spadefoot Plains Spadefoot
  Adult, Cochise County, Arizona  
  Plains Spadefoot  
  Adult, Cochise Cunty, Arizona
 
     
Tadpoles and recently-metamorphosed terrestrial juveniles
The following spadefoot tadpoles and metamorphs were photographed at several locations in Cochise County, Arizona, where Spea multiplicata and Spea bombifrons both occur. These spadefoots could be either species. I cannot positively identify them at such a young age and small size, other than saying that most likely they are not Scaphiopus couchii, so I will just say that these pictures probably include individuals of both species of Spea.

tadpole tadpole tadpole
tadpole tadpole tadpole
tadpole tadpole tadpole
tadpole tadpole tadpole
tadpole tadpole tadpole
tadpole tadpole tadpole
tadpole
tadpole tadpole
     
Habitat
habitat habitat habitat
Breeding pool, Cochise County, Arizona, shown on two consecutive days - evaporation happens quickly when there is no rain. Shallow breeding pool in August (full of tadpoles) Cochise County, Arizona. (Same location as shown to the left, 5 years earlier.)
habitat habitat habitat
Breeding habitat, Cochise County, Arizona Breeding pool, Hidalgo County,
New Mexico
The same breeding pool location seen to the left in Hidalgo County, New Mexico, 2 months later.
  habitat  
  Breeding habitat, Hidalgo County,
New Mexico
 
     
Short Videos
spadefoot spadefoot spadefoot
Spadefoot tadpoles (either Spea bombifrons or Spea multiplicata) in a rain pool in Cochise County, Arizona metamorphose into tiny tailed spadefoots and move onto land as the pool quickly drys up. (Shown over a period of about one week.) Spadefoot tadpoles swim around in a small aquarium. Cochise County, Arizona.

These were tentatively identified as Spea bombifrons, but there is a chance they could also be Spea multiplicata (stagnalis.)
A tiny recently-metamorphosed spadefoot (either Spea bombifrons or Spea multiplicata) which has not yet absorbed its tail hops around next to its dessicating breeding pool with a predator attached to its tail (probably a water scavenger beetle larva.) Cochise County, Arizona.




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