The Spadefoot Toad
What do they look like? How do they behave? What do you need to know about the Key West spadefoot toad?
What does it look like?
Key West spadefoot toads are small, short, broad animals. They have little round bellies and have mostly smooth skin with few warts. They are usually brown in color and have thick dark strips lining their backs. What distinguishes these animals from their very close relatives, the Holbrook's spadefoot toads, is that they have a large amount of white hues in the skin on their backs. Their legs are short and stout, with sharp spades with which they can dig their underground homes.
Their undersides are mostly white on the front of their bodies, but the colorings turn grayish the farther back you look. They have large eyes that stick out above their heads and have vertical pupils. In fact, the eyes on these animals are often times the most visible and largest features. These toads generally don't grow much larger than two-inches long.
How does it behave?
Key West spadefoot toads have an extended breeding period from mid-spring to fall. They'll breed mainly during the periods of heavy rainfall. Their eggs are layed in long strings, and generally the females deposit the eggs on blades of grass. The tadpoles can hatch in as little as one day and transform to adult Key West spadefoots within two weeks to two months.
What do you need to know about it?
Their calls are weak sounds, compared with those of other toads. It often sounds as if they are hoarse, but they're not.
These animals thrive at night. They'll come out of the ground and look for food in the evening or overnight hours. They generally burrow themselves underground during the day, but they don't live too deeply.
They are found mainly in the Florida Keys and the far southern areas of Florida.