Juvenile and Adult

  • Vertical elongated (cat-like) pupils in bright light
  • Small warts often tipped with yellow or orange
  • Single, glossy, black, sharp-edged projection ("spade") on underside of each hind foot
  • Pronounced bump (boss) on top of head
  • Lacks parotoid gland behind each eye
  • Background colour: pale grey, brown to dull green

Body length: up to 6 cm


  • Loud, short, rapidly, repeated duck-like sound


  • Laid in small, golf ball-sized, randomly shaped or spherical mass
  • Often deposited in landform depressions that temporarily hold water in the spring and early summer, or after heavy rains


  • Eyes located centrally on body as viewed from above
  • Spiracle located low left side of body included in belly outline as viewed from side


  • Limited to the southeastern portion of the province in natural undisturbed habitats with areas of sandy soil
  • Found as far north as Wainwright and as far west as Pincher Creek

Learn more about the Spadefoot

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