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Eastern Spadefoot  
Scaphiopus holbrookii
Description: Size: 1.7-2.2 inches. (record 2.8inches).  A plump-bellied frog with short legs. It has a peculiar humpbacked profile. The back of this frog has lyre-shaped pale markings, but the most striking features by far are its vertical pupils, which give it an other-worldly appearance.  It is the only Tennessee frog or toad to have vertical pupils.  Also diagnostic for this frog are the black, sickle-shaped "spades" on the rear feet, which it uses to burrow into the ground.  It may also be flecked with orange or reddish warts. 

Voice: Call is a dyspeptic, downward-slurred "errrrrgh," resembling the call of a young crow.  We have heard them call from June through August, usually after heavy rains of 2" or more.

Habitat: Eastern Spadefoots are subterranean, coming above the ground during violent weather to breed and to forage.  Breeding areas are temporary pools formed after warm weather thunderstorms.  They appear to prefer sandy soils in which to burrow.

Range: Occurs statewide with the exception of the eastern mountains.