Frogs by State

Frogs and Toads of Texas

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.

If you are looking to identify a specific frogs and toads of Texas 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

True Frog Family – Ranidae

Texas contains 10 frogs from the family Ranidae, the True Frog family. These are your typical frogs.

Common Name: Crawfish Frog
Scientific Name: Rana areolatus
Location: Eastern half of the state
Breeding Season: January to April

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.

American Bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana)

Common Name: American Bullfrog
Scientific Name: Rana catesbeiana
Location: Throughout the state except parts of the western side
Breeding Season: March to October

The American Bullfrog is the largest frog in the North America. Mature males of the species have a yellow colored throat while the female and juvenile males has a white colored throat. They live by permanent bodies of water.

Green Frog / Bronze Frog (Rana clamitans)

Common Name: Green Frog / Bronze Frog
Scientific Name: Rana clamitans
Location: Eastern half of the state
Breeding Season:

The Green Frog / Bronze Frog is found in a variety of different habitats. Males of the species have a yellow colored throat while the female has a yellow colored throat. Best way to tell them apart from other true frogs below is the dorsal ridge on its back does not go all the way down its back

Common Name: Pig Frog
Scientific Name: Rana grylio
Location: small part near the eastern part of the state near Beaumont
Breeding Season:

The American Bullfrog and Pig Frog 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. Also the Pig Frog is barely in the state.

Common Name: Rio Grande Leopard Frog
Scientific Name: Rana berlandieri
Location: Western part of the state
Breeding Season:

The Rio Grande Leopard Frog’s dorsal ridge breaks near the rear.

Common Name: Plains Leopard Frog
Scientific Name: Rana blairi
Location: Northern part of the state
Breeding Season:

The Plains Leopard Frog’s dorsal fold is broken on its lower back. It usually has a white spot on its typanum or ear drum. It also has a more noticeable lip stripe.

Common Name: Southern Leopard Frog
Scientific Name: Rana sphenocephalus
Location: Eastern part of the state
Breeding Season:

The Southern Leopard Frog has a nearly complete dorsal ridge, and has white spot in the center of its tympanum.

Common Name: Pickeral Frog
Scientific Name: Rana palustris
Location: Eastern half
Breeding Season:

Pickeral Frog looks like the leopard frogs but its spots are more rectangular than the leopard frogs.

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Tree Frog Family – Hylidae

Texas is home to a variety of tree frog species, not all of them live in trees.  They fall into 4 genera: the Cricket Frogs – Acris, Chorus Frogs – Pseudacris, regular tree frogs – Hyla, and Smilisca, which is kinda an outlier.

Common Name: Blanchard’s Cricket Frog
Scientific Name: Acris blanchardi
Location: Everywhere besides the far western border of the state
Breeding Season:

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.

Common Name: Canyon Tree Frog
Scientific Name: Hyla arenicolor
Location: Western part of the state around the Big Bend area
Breeding Season:

The Canyon Tree Frog has rough skin and no stripes through its eyes but has a light spot below it.

Cope’s Gray Tree Frog (Hyla chrysoscelis) / Eastern Gray Tree Frog (Hyla versicolor)

Common Name: Eastern Gray Tree Frog
Scientific Name: Hyla veriscolor
Location: Eastern part of the state
Breeding Season: 

Common Name: Cope’s Gray Tree Frog
Scientific Name: Hyla chrysoscelis
Location: Eastern half
Breeding Season: 

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

Green Tree Frog (Hyla cinerea)

Common Name: Green Tree Frog
Scientific Name: Hyla cinerea
Location: Eastern half
Breeding Season: 

Common Name: Squirrel Tree Frog
Scientific Name: Hyla squirella
Location: Eastern edge of the state
Breeding Season: 

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.

Pseudacris – Chorus Frog genus

Spotted Chorus Frog (Pseudacris clarkii)

Common Name: Spotted Chorus Frog
Scientific Name: Pseudacris clarkii
Location: Eastern half of the state
Breeding Season: 

The Spotted Chorus Frog obviously has spots that are green and are bordered by black.

Strecker’s Chorus Frog (Pseudacris streckeri)

Common Name: Strecker’s Chorus Frog
Scientific Name: Pseudacris streckeri
Location: Eastern half of the state
Breeding Season: 

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.

Spring Peeper (Pseudacris crucifer)

Common Name: Spring Peeper
Scientific Name: Pseudacris crucifer
Location: Throughout state
Breeding Season: March to early June

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.

Common Name: Mexican Tree Frog
Scientific Name: Smilisca baundinii
Location: Southern part of the state
Breeding Season: Anytime following enough rainfall

The Mexican Tree Frog is the largest native tree frog in the United States. One of the key identifying characteristics is a row of warts on its lower arms.

Southern Frogs – Leptodactylidae

Common Name: Mexican White-Lipped Frog
Scientific Name: Hyla arenicolor
Location: Southern tip
Breeding Season:

The Mexican White-Lipped Frog is the only member of its family found in the state. It has a pointy snout with white lips and extremely elongated toes.

Eleutherodactylidae 

The family Eleutherodactylidae is a group of small, direct developing frogs.

Common Name: Rio Grande Chirping Frog
Scientific Name: Eleutherodactylus cystignathoides
Location: Eastern edge of Texas
Breeding Season:

Eleutherodactylus_guttilatus
Spotted Chirping Frog (Eleutherodactylus guttilatus)

Common Name: Spotted Chirping Frog
Scientific Name: Eleutherodactylus guttilatus
Location: Western edge of the state
Breeding Season:

Common Name: Cliff Chirping Frog
Scientific Name: Eleutherodactylus marnockii
Location: Central part of Texas
Breeding Season:

The three Chirping Frogs look extremely similar and its best to tell them apart based on locations.

Flesh bellied Frog Family – Craugastoridae

Common Name: Barking Frog
Scientific Name: Craugastor augusti
Location: Western parts of the state
Breeding Season:

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.

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Toads

True Toad Family – Bufonidae

The True Toads are your typical toad. They usually have a parotid gland behind their eyes that contain a poison called  It is not advised to let your dog eat these guys.

American Toad (Anaxyrus americanus)

Common Name: American Toad
Scientific Name: Anaxyrus americanus
Location: Northeastern edge
Breeding Season:

The American Toad’s cranial crest and the parotoid gland to not touch or they are connected by a spur.

Common Name: Fowler’s Toad
Scientific Name: Anaxyrus fowleri
Location: East side
Breeding Season: 

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.

Common Name: Great Plains Toad
Scientific Name: Anaxyrus cognatus
Location: Panhandle + upper Rio Grande Valley
Breeding Season:

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: Central and Western Texas
Breeding Season:

No cranial crest. No stripe down middle of the back.  The Green Toad has elongated parotoid gland.

Common Name: Houston Toad
Scientific Name: Anaxyrus houstonensis
Location: Just west of Houston but west of Austin
Breeding Season:

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.

Common Name: Red Spotted Toad
Scientific Name: Anaxyrus punctatus
Location: West and central Texas
Breeding Season:

No cranial crest. No stripe down middle of the back. Parotoid gland is also rather small.

Common Name: Texas Toad
Scientific Name: Anaxyrus speciosus
Location: Everywhere besides eastern edges of the state
Breeding Season:

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.

Common Name: Woodhouse’s Toad
Scientific Name: Anaxyrus woodhousii
Location: Everywhere besides the Rio Grande Valley
Breeding Season:

The Woodhouse’s Toad has opposing L shaped cranial crests.

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Common Name: Coastal Plains Toad
Scientific Name: Incilius nebulifer
Location: Southeastern Texas
Breeding Season:

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.

Common Name: Cane Toad / Bufo Toad
Scientific Name: Rhinella marina
Location: Southern tip
Breeding Season:

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.

Narrow Mouthed Toad Family – Microhylidae

Common Name: Eastern Narrow Mouthed Toad
Scientific Name: Gastrophryne carolinesis
Location: Eastern Edge
Breeding Season: April to October following heavy rains

The Eastern Narrow Mouthed Frog has a dark belly and often has a broad line down its back.

Common Name: Great Plains Narrowed Mouth Toad
Scientific Name: Gastrophryne olivacea
Location: Throughout the state
Breeding Season:

The Great Plains Narrow Mouthed Toad has a light, unmarked belly and has no patterns and a few spots on its back.

Common Name: Sheep Frog
Scientific Name: Hypopachus variolosus
Location: Southern tip
Breeding Season:

The Sheep Frog 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.

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Spadesfoot Toad Family – Scaphiopodidae

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
Breeding Season: 

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
Breeding Season: 

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
Breeding Season: 

The Couch Spadefoot Toad has a sickle-shaped spade on its rear legs.

Hurter’s Spadefoot Toad (Scaphiopus hurterii)

Common Name: Hurter’s Spadefoot Toad
Scientific Name: Scaphiopus hurterii
Location: Eastern half of the state
Breeding Season: 

Burrowing Toads – Rhinophrynidae

Common Name: Mexican Burrowing Toad
Scientific Name: Rhinophrynus dorsalis
Location: Southern part of Texas
Breeding Season: 

Mexican Burrowing Toad is the only member of its family in the state. It has a distinct look that makes it easy to identify.

3 thoughts on “Frogs and Toads of Texas”

  1. Erm, regarding the bullfrog, while the male has a yellow throat, the female has a yellow throat… ??? So basitthey are identical? or…. 🤷🏻‍♀️

      1. 😆 thank you for clarifying that – this means then that it was a dinner plate sized male that jumped in front of me this afternoon. 😁

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