Rana berlandieri
Rio Grande Leopard Frog
Subgenus: Pantherana
family: Ranidae
Taxonomic Notes: This species is placed in Lithobates by some authors, following Frost et al., 2006. This has been a controversial decision, because such well-known species as Rana catesbeiana, with an enormous literature, are made more obscure to many. What is not controversial is that Lithobates is the sister taxon of Rana, so the argument is simply one of Linnean ranks. AmphibiaWeb recommends treating Lithobates as a subgenus of Rana, with species names to be written as Rana (Lithobates) catesbeiana, as an example. This option preserves the maximal amount of phylogenetic information and preserves a long-standing taxonomy.

© 2011 Richard Sage (1 of 21)

  hear call (30.1K RM file)
  hear call (6068.2K WAV file)

  hear Fonozoo call (#1)
  hear Fonozoo call (#2)
  hear Fonozoo call (#3)

[call details here]

View distribution map using BerkeleyMapper.

Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN (Red List) Status Least Concern (LC)
See IUCN account.
NatureServe Status Use NatureServe Explorer to see status.
Other International Status None
National Status None
Regional Status None


This large leopard frog has a snout-vent length of 56 to 112 mm. The dorsal surface is grey to green or brown in color and is covered by many irregular dark spots. The ventral surface is cream colored, possibly pale yellow around the upper thighs. Mottling may be present on the chin of older individuals. The supralabial stripe is incomplete in adults. Dorsolateral folds are well developed but displaced medially in the region of the urostyle. Males possess external vocal sacs and conspicuous vestigal oviducts. Tadpoles are olive colored with a yellowish cast on the sides and dorsum. Iris is gold with tiny specks of black. Tail marked with pale and dark spots.

Distribution and Habitat

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Belize, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, United States

U.S. state distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Arizona, California, New Mexico, Texas

View distribution map using BerkeleyMapper.
Found in Eddy County, New Mexico, southwestern Texas, and southward throughout the eastern states of Mexico to northeastern Nicaragua. Introduced to southwestern Arizona in the last 25 years, it now occurs at several localities along the lower Colorado River.


See another account at


Platz, J. E. (1963). ''Rana berlandieri.'' Catalogue of American Amphibians and Reptiles. American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, 508.1-508.4.

Written by April Robinson (holden AT, UC Berkeley
First submitted 2001-02-12 (2004-04-05)

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Citation: AmphibiaWeb: Information on amphibian biology and conservation. [web application]. 2016. Berkeley, California: AmphibiaWeb. Available: (Accessed: Jun 28, 2016).

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