Scaphiopus holbrookii


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Scaphiopus holbrookii
Species Authority: (Harlan, 1835)
Common Name(s):
English Eastern Spadefoot
Taxonomic Notes: Scaphiopus hurterii formerly was regarded as a subspecies of S. holbrookii, but recent 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: 2004
Date Assessed: 2004-04-30
Assessor(s): Geoffrey Hammerson
Reviewer(s): Global Amphibian Assessment Coordinating Team (Simon Stuart, Janice Chanson, Neil Cox and Bruce Young)
Listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution, presumed large population, and because it is unlikely to be declining fast enough to qualify for listing in a more threatened category.

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).
United States
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Many populations known. Probably there are many undiscovered populations; evades detection via erratic nocturnal activity. Secretive; usually more abundant than is apparent. Overall, probably relatively stable.
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

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

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.

Conservation Actions [top]

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

Citation: Geoffrey Hammerson 2004. Scaphiopus holbrookii. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <>. Downloaded on 28 May 2015.
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