AmphibiaWeb - Ascaphus montanus


(Translations may not be accurate.)

Ascaphus montanus Mittleman & Myers, 1949
Rocky Mountain Tailed Frog, Inland Tailed Frog, Eastern Tailed Frog
family: Ascaphidae
genus: Ascaphus
Species Description: Nielson, M., K. Lohman, and J. Sullivan. 2001. Phylogeography of the tailed frog (Ascaphus truei): Implications for the biogeography of the Pacific Northwest. Evolution 55: 147.160.

© 2000 Brad Moon (1 of 5)
Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN Red List Status Account Least Concern (LC)
NatureServe Use NatureServe Explorer to see status.
National Status None
Regional Status None
Access Conservation Needs Assessment Report .



View distribution map in BerkeleyMapper.
View Bd and Bsal data (29 records).

bookcover The following account is modified from Amphibian Declines: The Conservation Status of United States Species, edited by Michael Lannoo (©2005 by the Regents of the University of California), used with permission of University of California Press. The book is available from UC Press.

Ascaphus montanus Nielson, Lohman and Sullivan, 2001
Montana (Mountain) Tailed Frog

Michael J. Adams1

Nielson et al. (2001) recommended that the genus Ascaphus be split into two species: tailed frogs (A. truei) and Montana tailed frogs (A. montanus). Their analysis was based on divergence of mitochondrial DNA and was consistent with previous allozyme work (Daugherty, 1979). The following account highlights references that are specific to the new species. Refer to the Ascaphus truei account for a complete review of the genus Ascaphus.

Montana tailed frogs occur in the Blue Mountains of southeast Washington (Metter, 1964a), central Idaho and the panhandle (Linsdale, 1933a; Corbit, 1960; Maughan et al., 1980), and western Montana (Smith, 1932; Franz and Lee, 1970) including at least one population on the eastern slope of the Rocky Mountains (Donaldson, 1934). Populations in the Wallowa Mountains of northeastern Oregon and the Seven Devils Mountains of western Idaho were not examined by Nielson et al. (2001) but were most similar to the Montana populations in Daugherty’s (1979) allozyme analysis. Ritland et al. (2000) found that interior British Columbia populations of Ascaphus were genetically distinct from coastal populations suggesting that the interior populations in Canada may also be Montana tailed frogs.

Mittleman and Myers (1949) reported that Montana tailed frogs have larger eyes and greater head width relative to body size than tailed frogs. However, Metter’s (1967) rangewide analysis failed to find geographic patterns in morphology for Ascaphus.

The life history of Montana tailed frogs appears similar to tailed frogs although few comparisons have been made. Montana tailed frogs have a 3-yr larval period (Metter, 1967; Daugherty and Sheldon, 1982a) and appear highly philopatric (Daugherty and Sheldon, 1982b). Clutch sizes reported from natural nests (n = 2 nests; Franz, 1970) and from dissected females (Metter, 1964a, 1967) range from 33–97, which appears somewhat higher than tailed frog clutches from the Cascade Mountains and Coastal Ranges (reviewed by Bury et al., 2001). Montana tailed frogs may only oviposit every other year (Metter, 1964a). Adams and Frissell (2001) reported seasonal movements of adults consistent with an avoidance of warm water temperatures.

1Michael J. Adams
USGS Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center
3200 SW Jefferson Way
Corvallis, Oregon 97331

Literature references for Amphibian Declines: The Conservation Status of United States Species, edited by Michael Lannoo, are here.

Feedback or comments about this page.


Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2023. <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 9 Dec 2023.

AmphibiaWeb's policy on data use.