Scaphiopus couchii Couch’s Spadefoot
near Sierra Vista, Cochise County, ArizonaAugust 7, 2004
Couch’s Spadefoot (Scaphiopus couchii) Couch’s Spadefoot (Scaphiopus couchii) Couch’s Spadefoot (Scaphiopus couchii)
My friend Roger Repp of the Tucson Herpetological Society calls these "junk toads" because they are so common in the area. But heck, I'd never encountered them before, and they look like little space aliens, so I think they're great. Like most of the toads that live in southern Arizona's hot desert, these guys are mostly seen only in the late summer monsoon season, when this part of Arizona gets most of its rainfall.

I saw these three and several others driving around at night. The lighter individuals at top are male; the darker individual at bottom is a female. The bottom two toads are both topped with fine red dust, showing that they spent their day buried in the desert sand.

near Animas, Hidalgo County, New MexicoAugust 14, 2013
Couch’s Spadefoot (Scaphiopus couchii)
The reticulated pattern of darker and lighter areas mark this spadefoot as a female. Males have little or no pattern.
near Animas, Hidalgo County, New MexicoAugust 4, 2014
Couch’s Spadefoot (Scaphiopus couchii) Couch’s Spadefoot (Scaphiopus couchii)
I have not yet gotten bored of these colorful and wide-eyed creatures, despite how common they are.
near Animas, Hidalgo County, New MexicoAugust 22, 2016
Couch’s Spadefoot (Scaphiopus couchii) Couch’s Spadefoot (Scaphiopus couchii)
These guys are just so goofy and improbable, especially in the middle of the desert. You gotta love 'em.
Cochise County, ArizonaAugust 23, 2016
Couch’s Spadefoot (Scaphiopus couchii) Couch’s Spadefoot (Scaphiopus couchii)
A few more from across the state line the next evening. Road-cruising for snakes at night is more fun when you can always stop for a funny-looking toad or three.
Cochise County, ArizonaAugust 24, 2016
Couch’s Spadefoot (Scaphiopus couchii)
Just one more picture, I can't resist!
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