Couch's Spadefoot Toad
Scaphiopus couchi

Description:  These are medium-sized, toad-shaped frogs that have a smoother, wetter skin than true toads, vertical pupils, and distinctive spades on their hind feet.  They have an overall greenish-yellow coloration, and are sexually dimorphic - males are typically patternless greenish-yellow, while females have a network of dark lines overlaying the greenish-yellow ground color.  They average about 3-4" in total length.  Their call is similar to a loud bleating like a sheep.  They are also explosive breeders - the entire population in a particular area may breed in a few days time, and the tadpoles transform into small toadlets in just over a week.

Habitat:  This species is most common in dry grassy areas, but ranges into some of the driest deserts in the US.  While it needs soil in which to bury itself to avoid drought, it does occur in rocky canyons.

Distribution:  this species occurs throughout the western  2/3s of Texas.  We have not yet confirmed it for the Nueces Canyon, but it should occur throughout the area.

Abundance:  uncommon in our area and needs to be confirmed

Conservation Status:  abundant in most areas, their status is secure.

Comments:  Needs to be confirmed for our area.