Frogs and Toads of Texas
Texas is home to a great variety of frogs and toads with over 30 different species. This makes Texas one of the froggiest states in the United States.
Common Name: Crawfish Frog
Scientific Name: Rana areolatus
The Crawfish Frog gets its name from living in crawfish holes. Its has skin folds on the side and a small typanum. It also has a pair of vocal sacs for calling.
Common Name: American Bullfrog
Scientific Name: Rana catesbeiana
The American Bullfrog is the largest frog in the North America.
Common Name: Green Frog
Scientific Name: Rana clamitans
Common Name: Pig Frog
Scientific Name: Rana grylio
The American Bullfrog looks very similar to the Green Frog but the dorsal ridge wraps around the tympanum while the Green Frog’s dorsal ridge is incomplete and does not extend all the way to its rear. The American Bullfrog is also very similar to the Pig Frog but the Pig Frog has bolder spots / stripes on the back of its thighs while the Bullfrog has light spots.
Common Name: Northern Leopard Frog
Scientific Name: Rana pipiens
The Northern Leopard Frog has fairly large spots all over their body. The dorsal ridge is nearly complete.
Common Name: Rio Grande Leopard Frog
Scientific Name: Rana berlandieri
The Rio Grande Leopard Frog’s dorsal ridge usually stops near the rear then angles in.
Common Name: Plains Leopard Frog
Scientific Name: Rana blairi
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.
The Southern Leopard Frog has a nearly complete dorsal ridge just like the Northern Leopard Frog but it has a white spot in the center of its typanum.
Pickeral Frog looks like the leopard frogs but its spots are more rectangular than the leopard frogs.
The Blachard’s Cricket Frog is the only cricket frog in the state. Its skin is relatively more rough than the other tree frogs in the state. It also has no distinct markings.
The Canyon Tree Frog has rough skin and no stripes through its eyes but has a light spot below it. Its found in the western part of the state around the Big Bend area.
These two frogs are identical besides their calls and chromosome numbers. These tree frogs are also larger than the ones below. Also note that Gray Tree Frogs are not always gray and can be green.
Here is a video I took of some Eastern Gray Tree Frogs calling
The Green and Squirrel Tree Frog appear very similar. The Green Tree Frog has a stripe that goes down its side while the Squirrel Tree Frog doesn’t.
The Spotted Chorus Frog obviously has spots that are green and are bordered by black.
The Strecker’s Chorus Frog lacks doesn’t have any pattern of stripes or dots on its back. It has a line that runs through its eye and down its side though.
The Spring Peeper is a notoriously loud frog and one of the first signs of spring. It has a noticeable X marking on its back.
Common Name: Cajun Chorus Frog
Scientific Name: Pseudacris fouquettei
Location: Eastern half of state
Breeding Season: November to May
Cajun Chorus Frog has three stripes that run down its back.
The Mexican Tree Frog is found in the southern part of the state. It is also the largest tree frog in the United States. One of the key identifying characteristics is a row of warts on its lower arms.
The Mexican White-Lipped Frog is the only member of its family found in the state. It has a pointy snout with white lips. The frog is found in the southern tip of the state.
The three Chirping frogs can be hard to tell apart. Best way to tell them apart is by range. Rio Grande Chirping Frog is found along the eastern side of the state. Spotted Chirping Frog is found more west while the Cliff Chirping Frog is found in the middle.
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.
The American Toad’s cranial crest and the parotoid gland to not touch or they are connected by a spur.
The Fowler’s Toad appears similar to the American Toad. Their postorbital ridge touches their parotid gland. They also have a white belly while the American Toad’s is speckled.
The Great Plains Toad has V shaped cranial crest
No cranial crest. No stripe down middle of the back. The Green Toad has elongated parotoid gland.
The Houston Toad is a federally endangered species. It is only found in the state of Texas. The Houston Toad has thicker cranial crests than other toads in the state.
No cranial crest. No stripe down middle of the back. Parotoid gland is also rather small.
The Texas Toad ‘s cranial crests absent or weak with no stripe down its back. The tubercles on its feet are black and sharp edged. It is the state amphibian of Texas.
The Woodhouse’s Toad has opposing L shaped cranial crests.
The Coastal Plains Toad is notable from the other toads in the family Bufonidae because its in a different genus Incilius. This genus has a more defined cranial crest than Anaxyrus.
The highly invasive Cane Toad is actually found naturally in the southern tip of the state. It is the largest toad in the state and is highly poisonous. They have a highly prominent cranial crests and large parotoid glands.
The Eastern Narrow Mouthed Frog is found on the eastern edge of the state. It has a dark belly and often has a broad line down its back.
The Great Plains Narrow Mouthed Toad is found throughout the state. It has a light, unmarked belly and has no patterns and a few spots on its back.
The Sheep Frog is found along the southern tip of the state. It usually has a thin line that runs down its back. It also has two spades on its rear legs. The belly has thin lines all over it.
The spadefoot toads are known for their “spades” on their rear feet that they use for digging. They are all highly fossorial, only coming to the surface to breed and eat.
Common Name: Mexican Spadefoot Toad
Scientific Name: Spea multiplicata
Location: Northwestern part of the state
The Mexican Spadefoot Toad has no boss or bump between its eyes.
Common Name: Plains Spadefoot Toad
Scientific Name: Spea bombifrons
Location: Northwestern part of state
The Plains Spadefoot Toad has a boss between its eyes. It is found in the northwestern part of the state.
Common Name: Couch’s Spadefoot Toad
Scientific Name: Scaphiopus couchii
Location: Western half of state
The Couch Spadefoot Toad has a sickle-shaped spade on its rear legs.
Common Name: Hurter’s Spadefoot Toad
Scientific Name: Scaphiopus hurterii
Location: Eastern half of the state
Burrowing Toads – Rhinophrynidae
Common Name: Mexican Burrowing Toad
Scientific Name: Rhinophrynus dorsalis
Location: Southern edge of state
Mexican Burrowing Toad is the only member of its family in the state. It is found in the southern part of the state. It has a distinct look that makes it easy to identify.