Plains Spadefoot (Spea bombifrons)


  • Size: ~1/2 inch (metamorph) to ~2.5 inches (adult)
  • Dorsal color: light gray or brown with dark mottling
  • Often with orange small warts
  • Relatively smooth skin
  • Ventral color: white
  • Vertical pupils
  • Bony lump (boss) between the eyes (see below)
  • Mp3 of call (courtesy of


Drawing from Baxter & Stone 1980; Photo by Charlotte Snoberger


Eggs & Tadpoles

  • Eggs in small mass attached to submerged vegetation
  • Tadpoles often pale brown to greenish
  • Tadpole eyes medial, anal vent on midline


PlainsSpadefoot_metamorph_Brady-400px.jpg     PlainsSpadefoot_juvenile_Keehn-400px.jpg

Photo by Brady                                                                                         Photo by Charlotte Snoberger


Breeding Habitat

After heavy rains in temporary puddles, ditches, pools, and ponds in prairies, sagebrush steppe, sandhills and desert scrub.


Photo by Wyoming Natural Diversity Database


Native Range


Map by Wyoming Natural Diversity Database