Great Basin Naturalist


The distribution and breeding habitats of the Great Basin spadefoot toad (Scaphiopus intermontanus) were investigated in the Bonneville Basin of western Utah. The permanent springs and man-made reservoirs used for breeding were largely found below the 1600 m elevation. The pH's ranged between 7.2 and 10.4 and the total dissolved solids between 170 and 4800 mg/l. The springs were less alkaline than the rain-filled reservoirs. The lack of aquatic vegetation was a common feature of the reservoirs and most of the springs. Observations of breeding without rain are noted as well as the lack of breeding with rain. The snout–vent lengths of adult spadefoots are greater in the Bonneville Basin than in other parts of the Great Basin. Utilization of permanent water sources and stimuli for emergence and breeding, as well as the larger adult size of S. intermontanus in the Bonneville Basin, are discussed in relation to the diverse precipitation patterns, the sparseness of the water sources, and the Holocene history of the Great Basin.