Couch's Spadefoot Toad
|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.