Common Name

Scientific Name

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Photo by Breck Bartholomew
Photo Copyright Breck Bartholomew

The Mexican spadefoot, Spea multiplicata, is a small toad native to southeastern Utah, much of the southwestern and south-central United States, and parts of Mexico. Within its Utah range, the Mexican spadefoot is fairly common. The species is usually active during wet spring and summer nights, burrowing under the ground (or hiding in rodent burrows) during the day and during cold times of the year.

The Mexican spadefoot eats primarily insects. Tadpoles of the species eat plant matter, detritus, and sometimes small invertebrates. The Mexican spadefoot spawns in the pools created by rain storms during the spring and summer. Eggs hatch in two days, and tadpoles metamorphose to adults in about one month. The species is found in habitats ranging from desert grasslands to pine forests.


  • Biotics Database. 2005. Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, NatureServe, and the network of Natural Heritage Programs and Conservation Data Centers.