The Western Spadefoot Toad (classified by scientists as Spea hammondii), is a smooth-skinned, grayish-green toad with a gold colored eye. The belly is white and often the Spadefoot will have orange or red spots on its back. It is usually 1.5 to 2.5 inches long with a characteristic wedge shaped spade on its rear feet.
Spadefoot Toads can be found from north-central to southern California. It likes dry areas with sandy plants. The Spadefoot looks for places where it can burrow and dig with the spades on the hind legs, so loose, dry soil is essential. The burrowing allows it to stay in a moderate temperature zone and protects it from humidity. Spadefoot Toads are active at night, making a short trilling or snore-like noise while sitting in the water. The toad hunts all kinds of insects, worms, and moths. Did you know that the Spadefoot gives off a scent like roasted peanuts if it is injured or mishandled?
The Spadefoot mates from January to August, usually after a heavy rain. The female lays eggs that are attached to low shrubs or other plants floating in the water. After only 2 days, the eggs will begin to hatch and begin to transform into tadpoles.