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Behavioral Ecology

Plains spadefoot - Spea bombifrons


  • 1.5-2 inches total length
  • Found in prairies and open floodplains
  • Hidden in daytime, hunts at night
  • Breed in temporary pools
  • Feed on a variety of small terrestrial arthropods


 Interesting fact:
  • The tadpoles of spadefoot toads in the desert southwest can become carnivorous when exposed to thyroid hormones produced by the fairy shrimp that share their small pools.  The tadpoles thus affected grow larger heads, heavy jaws and teeth, and will feed on their fellow tadpoles.