Pelobatidae – European spadefoot toads

Diggin into sandy soil, members of this family spend much of their life in the ground

While often referred to as a toad, the spadefoots are primitive frogs.

As one of the most elusive and secretive of all the most common amphibians, the spadefoot toads live most of their life underground in a state of total seclusion. Spadefoots usually dig their burrows but are also known to use the burrows of other animals.

They are adapted for dry environments and can decrease the water potential of their body fluids by accumulating urea in their plasma, such that they can reabsorb water from any soil with a higher water potential. They only emerge from the ground during periods of rain to breed.