University of Massachusetts Amherst

Massachusetts North American Amphibian Program

Eastern Spadefoot

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Herp Atlas 1992-1998 Survey

  • The map below shows the distribution of the Eastern Spadefoot in Massachusetts based on the original intensive volunteer survey that took place from 1992-1998.
  • Download pdf of map

Updated Distribution Map

Scaphiopus holbrookii

Eastern Spadefoot

The Eastern spadefoot is our rarest anuran (tailless amphibian) and is listed as “threatened” in Massachusetts. It is most common on Cape Cod and in the Connecticut River valley, but also occurs in a few other locations in Eastern Massachusetts. The spadefoot’s call is an explosive, plaintive grunt that, from a distance, can sound like a flock of bleating sheep. Spadefoots only call for a few days at a time usually after very heavy or prolong rain events. In the absence of these rain events spadefoots in a given area may go years without breeding. When they do breed it may be as early as April or as late as September.



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