CaliforniaHerps.com

A Guide to California's
Reptiles and Amphibians




Sounds of
Great Basin Spadefoot - Spea intermontana

(Cope, 1883)
Click the speaker icon to listen to an mp3 sound file.

Male frogs and toads sometimes make a variety of sounds. These calls can have different functions.


Advertisement Calls

The advertisement call is the most well-known call of a frog or toad. It is made by a male during the breeding season to establish his territory and repel rival males and to attract females as potential mates. Males usually make the call in or near bodies of water near areas that are attractive to a female as a good place to lay her eggs. Advertisement calls can be heard during the evening and at night, and often during daylight at the peak of the breeding season. Sometimes an advertisement call will be heard outside of the breeding season and away from water. The reason for this is not understood.

Each species has its own unique advertisement call. This is necessary to differentiate them when there is more than one species calling. The evolution of this specific male advertisement call and its recognition by females is considered to be an important isolating mechanism in the evolution of a species.


The call of a Geat Basin Spadefoot is a loud short 1-3 note duck-like snoring sound. It has been compared to the sound of a flock of ducks slowed down. Calls at night.

Sound Sound
This is a 13 second recording of the advertisement calls of one Great Basin Spadefoot at close range with a second in the background. The spadefoots were calling from a small temporary pool in an agricultural area of Franklin County, Washington at night in late May. Crickets, a barn owl screech, and farm equipment are heard in the background.
This is a 21 second recording of a distant chorus of a large group of Great Basin Spadefoots recorded at night in an agricultural area of Franklin County, Washington in late May (shown below.)
Great Basin Spadefoot Habitat Great Basin Spadefoot Habitat
 
Sound Sound
This is a recording of one advertisement call made by a male spadefoot at night on the shore of a shallow pool in Grant County, Washington (shown below.) This is a 27 second recording of advertisements call made by a small group of male spadefoot at night on the shore of a shallow pool in Grant County, Washington (shown below.)
Great Basin Spadefoot Habitat

Waveform and Sonogram
Sound sonogram
This is a recording of a single advertisement call of a Great Basin Spadefoot recorded at night in Grant County, Washington.

The image on the right is a visual representation of this call.

Click on it to see a larger image.

Click here for information about how to read the waveform and sonogram images.

Short Videos
Great Basin Spadefoot Great Basin Spadefoot  
Male spadefoots call at night from a shallow stagnant pool in central Washington.
(Long Version)

Male spadefoots call at night from a shallow stagnant pool in central Washington.
(Short Version)
 

You can listen to more sounds of Great Basin Spadefoots on this cd:

Carlos Davidson - Frog and Toad Calls of the Pacific Coast - Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology

cd cover

and on the cd that comes with this book:

Lang Elliott, Carl Gerhardt, and Carlos Davidson - The Frogs and Toads of North America - Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

book cover

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