Stockier than other leopard frogs looking like a small bullfrog with spots. Maximum size is 50 - 135 cm. Sexually dimorphic (males are smaller than females). Coloring is usually an olive to dark green, with charcoal spots. Face is usually green. The groin and abdomen are yellow.
Montane central Arizona east and south along the Mogollon Rim to montane parts of western New Mexico; SE montane section of AZ adjacent to Sonora; extreme SW corner of NM; and Mexico through Sierra Madre and Chihuahua.
Uses a large variety of permanent aquatic habitats including springs, streams, man-made and natural ponds, and lakes. Exists from 1,000 to 2,600 meters in elevation in habitats where adequate water depth provides escapes from predators. Habitat tends to contain abundant aquatic vegetation.
Nests in thickets of trees and shrubs approximately 4-7 m. tall with high percentage of canopy cover and dense foliage from 0 to 4 m. off ground.
Life Cycle:
These frogs need permanent water for reproduction. Those found above 1,800 m. breed during June/ July/August; below 1,800 meters breed from spring to late summer (but prior to June mostly). Egg masses are usually suspended within 5 cm of the surface on vegetation growing in water 15-35 cm deep near the shore of ponds and streams. Masses are clumped in spherical form. Metemophosis occurs 2 to 9 months after hatching and time varies depending on temperature. Tadpoles are dark colored and reproductive maturity usually requires 2-3 years from metamorphosis. Life span is up to 14 years in the wild.
Probably a wide range of invertebrates (caterpillars, beetles, etc.). Threats: Habitat destruction and alteration; aquatic habitat drainage (causes fragmentation), river channeling, damming, and grazing. Also bullfrog and exotic fish introductions (predation) and UV-B radiation caused by ozone.
Family: Ranidae. Extirpated from almost 50% of its historical occurrences in the U.S. Has declined more than any other leopard frog in Arizona. Soutwest Center is conducting a status review of this species.
graphic Andrew Rodman ©2002
August 4, 2003
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