Scaphiopodidae Cope, 1865

Class: Amphibia > Order: Anura > Family: Scaphiopodidae
7 species

English Names

Burrowing Toads (Fowler, 1907, Annu. Rep. N.J. State Mus. for 1906: 92).

Spadefoots (Cochran, 1961, Living Amph. World: 56).

Spadefoot Toads (Frank and Ramus, 1995, Compl. Guide Scient. Common Names Amph. Rept. World: 96).

Nearctic Spadefoot Toads (Vitt and Caldwell, 2009, Herpetology, 3rd Ed.: 444).

Nearctic Spadefoots (Painter, Stuart, Giermakowski, and Pierce, 2017, Western Wildlife, 4: 34). 


Southern Canada and USA south to temperate southern Mexico.


Frost, Grant, Faivovich, Bain, Haas, Haddad, de Sá, Channing, Wilkinson, Donnellan, Raxworthy, Campbell, Blotto, Moler, Drewes, Nussbaum, Lynch, Green, and Wheeler, 2006, Bull. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist., 297, considered Scaphiopodidae to form the sister taxon of Pelodytidae and reviewed the relevant phylogenetic literature of the group. Roelants, Gower, Wilkinson, Loader, Biju, Guillaume, Moriau, and Bossuyt, 2007, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 104: 887–892, suggested that Scaphiopodidae is the sister taxon of remaining Anomocoela (Pelobatidae, Pelodytidae, and Megophryidae), this confirmed by  Zhang, Liang, Hillis, Wake, and Cannatella, 2013, Mol. Biol. Evol., 30: 1899–1915, on the basis of analysis of complete mtDNA genomes. See discussion under Pelobatidae regarding the exclusion of this group from that family. Dubois, 2005, Alytes, 23: 8, regarded Scaphiopodidae to be one of four subfamilies of Pelobatidae (Megophryinae, Pelodytinae, and Pelobatinae being the others), but subsequently accepted the four-family arrangement (see Fouquette and Dubois, 2014, Checklist N.A. Amph. Rept.: 257). Vitt and Caldwell, 2009, Herpetology, 3rd Ed.: 444–445, provided a general taxonomic account and map as part of a much more general and extensive overview of amphibian biology. Pyron and Wiens, 2011, Mol. Phylogenet. Evol., 61: 543–583, confirmed the placement of Scaphiopodidae as the sister taxon of Pelodytidae + (Pelobatidae+ Megophryidae). Blackburn and Wake, 2011, In Zhang (ed.), Zootaxa, 3148: 39–55, briefly reviewed the taxonomic history of this taxon. Powell, Collins, and Hooper, 2011, Key Herpetofauna U.S. & Canada, 2nd Ed.: 37–38, provided a key to the genera and species. Vitt and Caldwell, 2014, Herpetology, 4th Ed., provided a summary of life history, diagnosis, and taxonomy. Lemos-Espinal and Dixon, 2013, Amphibians and Reptiles of San Luis Potosí: 75-76, provided an account for San Luis Potosí, Mexico. Blotto, Pereyra, Grant, and Faivovich, 2020, Bull. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist., 443: 34, discussed possible morphological synapmorphies for the group, particularly of hand and foot morphology. Elias-Costa, Araujo-Vieira, and Faivovich, 2021, Cladistics, 37: 498–517, discussed the evolution of submandibular musculature optimized on the tree of Jetz and Pyron, 2018, Nature Ecol. & Evol., 2: 850–858, which provided morphological synapomorphies of this taxon. 

Contained taxa (7 sp.):

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