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.
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.
The American Bullfrog is the largest frog in the North America. It 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.
The Northern Leopard Frog has fairly large spots all over their body. The dorsal ridge is nearly complete.
The Rio Grande Leopard Frog’s dorsal ridge usually stops near the rear then angles in.
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 Northern 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.
The Green and Squirrel Tree Frog are 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.
Cajun Chorus Frog has three stripes that run down its back. It is found in the eastern part of the state.
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.
The Gulf Coast Toad is notable from the other toads 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.
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.
The Woodhouse’s Toad has opposing L shaped cranial crests.
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 Mexican Spadefoot Toad has no boss or bump between its eyes. It is found in the northwestern part of the state.
The Plains Spadefoot Toad has a boss between its eyes. It is found in the northwestern part of the state.
The Couch Spadefoot Toad has a sickle-shaped spade on its rear legs. It is found in the western part of the state.
Burrowing Toads – Rhinophrynidae
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.