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Frogs in My Backyard. - A Quick Reference Guide to the Most Common Frogs and Toads in Different Parts of Texas. Texas – A Wonder World of Frogs. Texas has 42 different species of frogs and toads Many counties in Texas may have more than 20 species

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frogs in my backyard

Frogs in My Backyard

- A Quick Reference Guide to the Most Common Frogs and Toads in Different Parts of Texas

texas a wonder world of frogs
Texas – A Wonder World of Frogs
  • Texas has 42 different species of frogs and toads
  • Many counties in Texas may have more than 20 species
  • However, many of the sounds you hear at night are made by a handful of the most common frogs and toads.
  • Pick your region and start learning to recognize the night songs in your backyard!
  • P.S. If you’re lucky to live in some very special and unique habitats, such as the mountains of West Texas or the subtropics of the Lower Rio Grande Valley, then you’ll have some other unique species that are common in your area. Check out a field guide to see what “special” species you can expect!
slide3

North

East

West

Central

Coastal

South

Click on your region…

woodhouse s toad
Woodhouse’s Toad

Anaxyrus (Bufo) woodhousii/velatus/fowleri complex

  • 2-5 inches in length
  • Light stripe down back; elongate paratoid glands; warty skin
  • Prefers sandy soils; uses many wetland types
  • Breeds in spring and summer
  • Call sounds like a sheep or “waaaah”
cricket frog
Cricket Frog

Acris crepitans

  • Small frog—about 1 inch in length
  • Colors can vary; small warts on skin
  • Found near permanent water
  • Breeds in spring and summer
  • Call sounds like marbles clicking together
spotted chorus frog
Spotted Chorus Frog

Pseudacris clarkii

  • Small frog—about 1 inch in length
  • Usually a pattern of greenish spots
  • Found in small wetlands in grasslands
  • Can breed all year, but peak in spring
  • Call sounds like running your fingers along the teeth of a comb
leopard frogs
Leopard Frogs

Texas has three species of leopard frogs. All are spotted, with a dorso-lateral fold. All are found in permanent water bodies and may breed year-round. The calls are variable, with many different sounds, squeaks, and grunts.

Lithobates (Rana) berlandieri

Rio Grande Leopard Frog

Plains Leopard Frog

Southern Leopard Frog

Lithobates (Rana) blairi

Lithobates (Rana) sphenocephalus

bullfrog
Bullfrog

Lithobates (Rana) catesbeianus

  • Largest frog—4-6 inch body length
  • Greenish-gray above; white below; prominent eardrum (tympanum)
  • Found in large water bodies
  • Breeds in spring, summer, fall
  • Deep call sounds like blowing across the top of a bottle
cricket frog11
Cricket Frog

Acris crepitans

  • Small frog—about 1 inch in length
  • Colors can vary; small warts on skin
  • Found near permanent water
  • Breeds in spring and summer
  • Call sounds like marbles clicking together
spring peeper
Spring Peeper

Pseudacris crucifer

  • Small frog—1-2 inches long
  • “X”-pattern on back; toe pads
  • Found near small ponds in wooded areas
  • Breeds in winter
  • Call sounds like high-pitched whistle; groups calling sound like sleigh bells
green treefrog
Green Treefrog

Hyla cinerea

  • 1¼-2¼ inches long
  • Bright green with distinct white line on side
  • Found in moist wetland habitats—marshes, swamps, riparian areas
  • Breeds primarily in spring and summer
  • Call sounds like quacking of ducks or honking of geese
bronze green frog
Bronze (Green) Frog

Lithobates (Rana) clamitans

  • Body length: 2-3 inches long
  • Green to metallic bronze; fold of skin around eardrum
  • Found in permanently wet habitats—streams, swamps, ponds
  • Breeds in spring and summer
  • Call sounds like plucking of banjo string
southern leopard frog
Southern Leopard Frog

Lithobates (Rana) sphenocephalus

  • Body length: 2-3½ inches long
  • Spotted on back, with fold of skin down side of back
  • Found in permanent water bodies
  • Breeds year-round
  • Variable call with grunts, squeaks and chucks—sounds like “Woody Woodpecker”
bullfrog16
Bullfrog

Lithobates (Rana) catesbeianus

  • Largest frog—4-6 inch body length
  • Greenish-gray above; white below; prominent eardrum (tympanum)
  • Found in large water bodies
  • Breeds in spring, summer, fall
  • Deep call sounds like blowing across the top of a bottle
gulf coast toad
Gulf Coast Toad

Ollotis nebulifer (Bufo valliceps)

  • Body length: 2-4 inches long
  • Prominent stripe on back and crests on head
  • Found in a variety of habitats—urban and rural; permanent and temporary wetlands
  • Breeds spring and summer
  • Call is a long, low, rattling trill
cricket frog19
Cricket Frog

Acris crepitans

  • Small frog—about 1 inch in length
  • Colors can vary; small warts on skin
  • Found near permanent water
  • Breeds in spring and summer
  • Call sounds like marbles clicking together
green treefrog20
Green Treefrog

Hyla cinerea

  • 1¼-2¼ inches long
  • Bright green with distinct white line on side
  • Found in moist wetland habitats—marshes, swamps, riparian areas
  • Breeds primarily in spring and summer
  • Call sounds like quacking of ducks or honking of geese
eastern narrowmouth toad
Eastern Narrowmouth Toad

Gastrophryne carolinensis

  • Small frog—about 1 inch
  • Oval shaped; dark above, light mottling below
  • Usually found in recently-flooded wetlands
  • Breeds late spring to summer, following rains
  • Call is a loud, long bleat—like an air-horn
southern leopard frog22
Southern Leopard Frog

Lithobates (Rana) sphenocephalus

  • Body length: 2-3½ inches long
  • Spotted on back, with fold of skin down side of back
  • Found in permanent water bodies
  • Breeds year-round
  • Variable call with grunts, squeaks and chucks—sounds like “Woody Woodpecker”
bullfrog23
Bullfrog

Lithobates (Rana) catesbeianus

  • Largest frog—4-6 inch body length
  • Greenish-gray above; white below; prominent eardrum (tympanum)
  • Found in large water bodies
  • Breeds in spring, summer, fall
  • Deep call sounds like blowing across the top of a bottle
gulf coast toad25
Gulf Coast Toad

Ollotis nebulifer (Bufo valliceps)

  • Body length: 2-4 inches long
  • Prominent stripe on back and crests on head
  • Found in a variety of habitats—urban and rural; permanent and temporary wetlands
  • Breeds spring and summer
  • Call is a long, low, rattling trill
texas toad
Texas Toad

Anaxyrus (Bufo) speciosus

  • Body length: 2-3¼ inches long
  • Numerous warts; no prominent color markings
  • Found in a grasslands and woodlands with sandy soil
  • Breeds spring and summer
  • Call is a repeated series of short, strong trills; sounds like a rivet-gun
couch s spadefoot toad
Couch’s Spadefoot Toad

Scaphiopus couchii

  • Body length: 2¼-3½ inches long
  • Mottled yellowish warty skin; prominent eyes; elliptical pupils
  • Uses temporary wetlands in grasslands and savannah
  • Breeds spring and summer only after heavy rains
  • Call is a short, strained “waaaah”
great plains narrowmouth toad
Great Plains Narrowmouth Toad

Gastrophryne olivacea

  • Small frog—about 1 inch
  • Oval shaped; smooth, grayish skin
  • Usually found in recently-flooded wetlands; hides in burrows
  • Breeds late spring to summer, following rains
  • Call is a long, angry, insect-like buzz
rio grande leopard frog
Rio Grande Leopard Frog

Lithobates (Rana) berlandieri

  • Body length: 2-4 inches long
  • Spotted on back; fold of skin down side of back is interrupted at the groin
  • Found in permanent water bodies
  • Breeds year-round
  • Variable call is predominated by a low “growl”
gulf coast toad31
Gulf Coast Toad

Ollotis nebulifer (Bufo valliceps)

  • Body length: 2-4 inches long
  • Prominent stripe on back and crests on head
  • Found in a variety of habitats—urban and rural; permanent and temporary wetlands
  • Breeds spring and summer
  • Call is a long, low, rattling trill
cricket frog32
Cricket Frog

Acris crepitans

  • Small frog—about 1 inch in length
  • Colors can vary; small warts on skin
  • Found near permanent water
  • Breeds in spring and summer
  • Call sounds like marbles clicking together
cliff chirping frog
Cliff Chirping Frog

Eleutherodactylus (=Syrrhophus) marnockii

  • Small frog—about 1 inch
  • Mottled greenish skin; large head; small toe-pads
  • Inhabits and breeds in rocky crevices
  • Breeds year-round, with peaks in spring
  • Frail call of chirps and short trills
great plains narrowmouth toad34
Great Plains Narrowmouth Toad

Gastrophryne olivacea

  • Small frog—about 1 inch
  • Oval shaped; smooth, grayish skin
  • Usually found in recently-flooded wetlands; hides in burrows
  • Breeds late spring to summer, following rains
  • Call is a long, loud, insect-like buzz
rio grande leopard frog35
Rio Grande Leopard Frog

Lithobates (Rana) berlandieri

  • Body length: 2-4 inches long
  • Spotted on back; fold of skin down side of back is interrupted at the groin
  • Found in permanent water bodies
  • Breeds year-round
  • Variable call is predominated by a low “growl”
red spotted toad
Red Spotted Toad
  • Body length: 1½-3 inches
  • Round paratoid glands; red-spotted warts
  • Often found in rocky areas and grasslands near water
  • Breeds spring and summer following rain
  • Call is a long, high, musical trill

Anaxyrus (Bufo) punctatus

great plains toad
Great Plains Toad

Anaxyrus (Bufo) cognatus

  • Body length: 2-4½ inches
  • Dark spots edged in white; warty skin
  • Found in a variety of arid habitats with loose soil
  • Breeds spring and summer following rain
  • Call is a very long, low, rattling trill
spotted chorus frog39
Spotted Chorus Frog

Pseudacris clarkii

  • Small frog—about 1 inch in length
  • Usually a pattern of greenish spots
  • Found in small wetlands in grasslands
  • Can breed all year, but peak in spring
  • Call sounds like running your fingers along the teeth of a comb
new mexico spadefoot toad
New Mexico Spadefoot Toad

Spea multiplicata

  • Body length: 1½-2½ inches long
  • Orange or yellowish warts; prominent eyes; elliptical pupils
  • Found in sandy soil areas; uses temporary wetlands to breed
  • Breeds winter, spring, and summer only after heavy rains
  • Call is a short, wooden rattle
leopard frogs41
Leopard Frogs

Texas has three species of leopard frogs, with two found in West Texas. Both are spotted, with a dorso-lateral fold. Both are found in permanent water bodies and may breed year-round. The calls are variable, with many different sounds, squeaks, and grunts; however, the Rio Grande Leopard Frog call is predominated by “growls” or “purrs.”

Lithobates (Rana) berlandieri

Plains Leopard Frog

Lithobates (Rana) blairi

Rio Grande Leopard Frog

references
References:
  • http://www.zo.utexas.edu/research/txherps/
  • http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/amphibians/