New Mexico Spadefoot Toad (Spea multiplicata) - Wiki
New Mexico Spadefoot Toad
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[Photo] MEXICAN SPADEFOOT TOAD, Spea multiplicata, Arizona. Photo by Gary Nafis. Source: http://www.reptilesofaz.com/Turtle-Amphibs-Subpages/h-s-multiplicata.html
The New Mexico Spadefoot Toad or Mexican Spadefoot Toad (Spea multiplicata) is a species of American spadefoot toad family Scaphiopodidae found in the southwestern United States and Mexico. Like other species of spadefoot toad, they get their name from a distinctive spade-like projections on their hind legs which enable them to dig in sandy soils. Some sources also refer to the species as the Desert Spadefoot Toad or Southern Spadefoot Toad.
The New Mexico Spadefoot Toad grows from 1.5 to 2.5 inches in length, and has a round body, with relatively short legs. They are green, to grey, to brown, usually reflecting the soil color of their native habitat, often with black and orange colored speckling on their back, and a white underside. They have large eyes, with vertical pupils.
Like all species of spadefoot toad, the New Mexico Spadefoot Toad is nocturnal and secretive. Spending most of its time buried in the ground, emerging during periods of rainfall to feed on insects and to breed. Breeding takes place in temporary pools left by the rain. Eggs laid in large masses, often hatch in as little as 48 hours. The tadpoles are forced to metamorphosize quickly, before the water dries up.
The species was once classified as a subspecies of the Western Spadefoot Toad, Spea hammondii, but distinctive morphological characteristics led researchers to reclassify it as its own species. The New Mexico Spadefoot Toad is also known to hybridize with the Plains Spadefoot Toad, Spea bombifrons in the areas where their ranges overlap, making distinguishing the species from each other difficult.
The New Mexico Spadefoot Toad is the Official State Amphibian of New Mexico.
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