Scaphiopus holbrookii Eastern Spadefoot
Also known as:
Eastern Spadefoot Toad, Solitary Spadefoot
Deland, Volusia County, FloridaFebruary 24, 2021
Eastern Spadefoot (Scaphiopus holbrookii) Eastern Spadefoot (Scaphiopus holbrookii)
My wife, my sister-in-law, and I were staying in an Airbnb after our camper van broke down following fairly mysterious damage to its underside -- long story. Aaaaanyway, walking back to our room one night, I was telling my sister-in-law how you could find a zillion spiders via their reflective eyeshine if you hold your flashlight just so. But I couldn't actually see any spiders at all at the time. I guess that area of concrete and lawn suffered from a paucity of our eight-legged friends.

Later that evening I decided to go have another look in a different part of the Airbnb grounds, where the landscaping was less concrete-and-lawn-y and more just-a-fence-around-some-natural-habitat-ish. I had no choice really; I hadn't done any eye-shining for months (we had just arrived in Florida after a winter drive across the country) and as everyone knows eye-shining is fun so once you start thinking about eye-shining then you really get the urge to go out and shine some eyes. Sure enough, there were a zillion spiders. But also, I quickly noticed one eye-shine that seemed larger, more diffuse, and less green than that of the spiders. When I approached, what should I find but the oh-so-cute head of a spadefoot popping out of its little burrow in the sand. Joy!

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