Frogs and Toads of Arizona
If you are looking to identify specific frogs and toads of Arizona and can’t figure it out from the page, you can check my Frog Identification and see how to contact me about helping you out.
Frogs of Arizona
The True Frogs are your typical frogs that are generally found along the shores of a lake or pond.
Common Name: Plains Leopard Frog
Scientific Name: Rana blairi
Location: Southeast Arizona
Breeding Season: March – May and August
The Plains Leopard Frog’s dorsal fold is usually segmented on its lower back. It usually has a white spot on its typanum or ear drum.
Common Name: Chiricahua Leopard Frog
Scientific Name: Rana chiricahuensis
Location: Southwest corner
Breeding Season: at low elevations, from February to June while at higher elevations, from May until August
The Chiricahua Leopard Frog appears similar to other leopard frogs but it dorsal fold is broken into segments near its rear and they are angled inward. It is listed as a threatened species by the United States.
Common Name: Relict Leopard Frog
Scientific Name: Rana onca
Location: Northwest corner
Breeding Season: September to March
The Relict Leopard Frog was once considered extinct. Populations were only rediscovered in the 1990’s. The frog’s dorsal folds stop before the rear.
Common Name: Northern Leopard Frog
Scientific Name: Rana pipiens
Location: Northeastern part of the state
Breeding Season: Spring
The Northern Leopard Frog is a medium to large species of semi aquatic species of frog. They vary in color from dark brown to slim green with fairly large spots all over their body. The dorsal ridge is nearly complete. Its range covers most of America but in Arizona, they are listed as a species of special concern.
Common Name: Lowland Leopard Frog
Scientific Name: Rana yavapaiensis
Location: Everywhere besides the north
Breeding Season: January – April and then again in late summer
The Lowland Leopard Frog is stockier and paler than the Northern Leopard Frog and has the dorsal fold angled inward near the rear.
Common Name: Tarahumara Frog
Scientific Name: Rana tarahumarae
Location: Probably extinct in the state
Breeding Season: NA
The Tarahumara Frog is not doing well in the state. They are considered extinct in Arizona but there has been attempts to re-introduce them to the wild.
Common Name: Canyon Tree Frog
Scientific Name: Hyla arenicolor
Location: Western part of the state
The Canyon Tree Frog has rough skin and no stripes through its eyes. They are found along boulders and rocks above streams.
Common Name: Arizona Tree Frog
Scientific Name: Hyla wrightorum
Location: Central Arizona
Breeding Season: Summer
They have no distinct markings on its back but does have a stripe that runs through the eye.
Common Name: Lowland Burrowing Tree Frog
Scientific Name: Smilisca fodiens
Location: Central Pima county and slightly up into the southern border of Maricopa and Pinal
Breeding Season: June into July
The Lowland Burrowing Tree Frog is different than most other tree frogs in that it spends its time underground instead of in the trees. They are known for their large, flat head.
Common Name: Pacific Tree Frog
Scientific Name: Pseudacris regillia
Location: Western half
Breeding Season: November to June
The Pacific Tree Frog is actually a chorus frog so it is smaller than most tree frogs. It has no stripes down its back but one down its eye.
Common Name: Boreal Chorus Frog
Scientific Name: Pseudacris maculata
Location: Central forest areas
The Boreal Chorus Frog is a small sized Chorus Frog, ranging from brown, red, tan, to olive in color. They have three lines down its back
Quick video of the frog calling
Common Name: Barking Frog
Scientific Name: Craugastor augusti
Location: Southeastern corner
The Barking Frog is the one species of its family in the state. It has tubercles on its feet and a skin fold on the back of the head.
Toads of Arizona
The True Toads are the typical toads that you know. They have warts along their back and parotoid glands behind their eyes. These toads produce toxins so make sure to wash your hands after handling and don’t eat them.
Common Name: Great Plains Toad
Scientific Name: Anaxyrus cognatus
Location: Statewide except the northeastern border
The Great Plains Toad has V shaped cranial crest
Video of a male Great Plains Toad calling by Annika Enloe
Common Name: Green Toad
Scientific Name: Anaxyrus debilis
Location: Southeast corner
The Green Toad lacks a cranial crest and has no stripe down middle of the back. They also have elongated parotoid gland.
Common Name: Arizona Toad
Scientific Name: Anaxyrus microscaphus
Location: Central Arizona
The Arizona Toad has a weak or no cranial crest. It’s parotoid glands are round.
Common Name: Red Spotted Toad
Scientific Name: Anaxyrus punctatus
No cranial crest. No stripe down middle of the back. Parotoid gland is also rather small.
Common Name: Sonoran Green Toad
Scientific Name: Anaxyrus retiformis
Location: Southern part of the state
The Sonoran Green Toad has a yellow / green colored dots that is surrounding by black.
Common Name: Woodhouse’s Toad
Scientific Name: Anaxyrus woodhousii
The Woodhouse’s Toad has opposing L shaped cranial crests.
Common Name: Colorado River Toad
Scientific Name: Incilius alvarius
Location: Southern part
The toad has a prominent cranial crest and large parotoid glands.
Common Name: Great Plains Narrowed Mouth Toad
Scientific Name: Gastrophryne olivacea
The Great Plains Narrowed Mouth Toad is the only narrowed mouth toad in the state. It’s not a true toad because it lacks a parotoid gland behind its eye and doesn’t have a keratonized spade on its rear feet.
Common Name: Mazatlan Narrow-mouthed Toad
Scientific Name: Gastrophryne mazatlanensis
Common Name: Couch’s Spadefoot Toad
Scientific Name: Scaphiopus couchii
Location: Southern half of the state
Breeding Season: Summer months following heavy rainfall
The Couch’s Spadefoot Toad differs from the other spadefoot toads in the state due to its sickle shaped spade while the others are more rounded.
Common Name: Plains Spadefoot Toad
Scientific Name: Spea bombifrons
Location: Eastern Arizona
The Plains Spadefoot Toad has a bony boss between its eyes that can help identify it.
Common Name: Great Basin Spadefoot Toad
Scientific Name: Spea intermontana
Location: Northwest corner of the state
The Great Basin Spadefoot Toad has a glandular boss between its eyes compared to the Plains Spadefoot Toad.
Common Name: Mexican Spadefoot Toad
Scientific Name: Spea multiplicata
Location: Statewide besides the western corners
The Mexican Spadefoot Toad has no boss between its eyes.
Introduced Frog of Arizona
There are a few frogs that have been introduced to the state.
Common Name: African Clawed Frogs
Scientific Name: Xenopus laevis
The African Clawed Frog might be spreading diseases to native frog species. In the state of Arizona, it is illegal to be in possession of one without a permit. It is thought that the African Clawed Frog has spread Chytrid Fungus in the wild.
Common Name: Rio Grande Leopard Frog
Scientific Name: Rana berlandieri
Location: Southwestern corner
Rio Grande Leopard Frog was probably introduced to the state in the 70s or 60s. The frogs could cause problems with native species by competing for food.
Common Name: American Bullfrog
Scientific Name: Rana catesbeiana
The American Bullfrog is the largest frog in the state. They are found near permanent bodies of water such as large ponds, streams, and lakes. Once the males of the species reach sexual maturity, their throats turn bright yellow.