Large range throughout the southwest, including most of Arizona, southeastern Utah, southern Colorado, western Oklahoma, western Texas, and all of New Mexico. It stretches south through central Mexico.
Spends most of its life buried underground, emerging nocturnally after summer monsoon rains to feed and breed in temporary rain pools.
A small, stout-bodied toad that reaches 1.5-2.5 inches in length. It has a relatively large head with big, bulging eyes and vertical pupils. It has small bumps all over its skin, and is named for the hard, black, spade-like projections on its hind feet used for digging. Its background coloration is light tan, grey, or greenish with small dark spots all over its dorsum, often aligned with the skin bumps. Some spots are distinct while others are faded. It has a plump belly and a bi-lobed gular sac. Its ventrum is pale and unmarked.
Learn more with Schechter Natural History's Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians