Scaphiopus holbrookii 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Amphibia Anura Scaphiopodidae

Scientific Name: Scaphiopus holbrookii
Species Authority: (Harlan, 1835)
Common Name(s):
English Eastern Spadefoot
Rana holbrookii Harlan, 1835
Taxonomic Source(s): Frost, D.R. 2014. Amphibian Species of the World: an Online Reference. Version 6.0 (7 July 2014). Electronic Database. American Museum of Natural History, New York, USA. Available at:
Taxonomic Notes: Scaphiopus hurterii formerly was regarded as a subspecies of S. holbrookii, but checklists (Crother et al. 2000, Collins and Taggart 2002) have treated it as a distinct species. Garcia-Paris et al. (2003) used mtDNA to examine the phylogentic relationships of Pelobatoidea and found that the family Pelobatidae, as previously defined, is not monophyletic (Pelobates is sister to Megophryidae, not to Spea/Scaphiopus). They separated the Pelobatidae into two families: Eurasian spadefoot toads (Pelobates), which retain the name Pelobatidae; and North American spadefoot toads (Scaphiopus, Spea), which make up the revived family Scaphiopodidae.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2015
Date Assessed: 2014-08-20
Assessor(s): IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group
Reviewer(s): Cox, N.A.
Contributor(s): Hammerson, G.A.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Angulo, A.
This species is listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution and presumed large population.
Previously published Red List assessments:
2004 Least Concern (LC)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species occurs in the USA from Southern New England across the southern Great Lakes states to southeastern Missouri, south to the Gulf Coast, from eastern Louisiana to southern Florida (absent at higher elevations in Appalachians) (Conant and Collins 1991).
Countries occurrence:
United States (Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia)
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Many subpopulations are known. Probably there are many undiscovered subpopulations, it evades detection via erratic nocturnal activity. It is secretive, usually more abundant than is apparent. Overall, it is probably relatively stable.
Current Population Trend: Stable
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It occurs in areas of sandy, gravelly, or soft, light soils in wooded or unwooded terrain. It burrows underground when inactive. Eggs and larvae develop in temporary pools formed by heavy rains.
Systems: Terrestrial; Freshwater

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: It has been found in the international pet trade (Gerson 2012), although its origin (wild-bred vs. captive bred) is unclear.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Urbanization is a known threat in the northeastern USA (Klemens 1993). Pesticide use in conjunction with forest pest management is a potential threat. It has been found in the international trade (Gerson 2012), although the origins of individuals in trade are unclear.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: It occurs in many protected areas. Research is needed on its population status.

Citation: IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group. 2015. Scaphiopus holbrookii. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T59042A64981907. . Downloaded on 28 November 2015.
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