AMPHIBIAWEB
Rana blairi
Plains Leopard Frog
Subgenus: Pantherana
family: Ranidae
Taxonomic Notes: This species was placed in the genus Lithobates by Frost et al. (2006). However, Yuan et al. (2016, Systematic Biology, doi: 10.1093/sysbio/syw055) showed that this action created problems of paraphyly in other genera. Yuan et al. (2016) recognized subgenera within Rana for the major traditional species groups, with Lithobates used as the subgenus for the Rana palmipes group. AmphibiaWeb recommends the optional use of these subgenera to refer to these major species groups, with names written as Rana (Aquarana) catesbeiana, for example.

© 2009 Michael Graziano (1 of 7)
Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN (Red List) Status Least Concern (LC)
NatureServe Status Use NatureServe Explorer to see status.
CITES No CITES Listing
Other International Status None
National Status None
Regional Status None

   

 

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Description
Dorsal coloration is buff, pale brown, sometimes reddish-brown or olive green, with round dark brown spots often outlined by light narrow borders. Dorsolateral folds are usually interrupted posteriorly and displaced medially. Usually there is a complete pale supralabial stripe and a dark snout spot present. There is nearly always a white spot in the center of the tympanum. The posterior surface of the thigh has dark brown mottling or reticulations. The ventral surface is cream colored with some yellow on the groin and proximal portion of the thigh.

Distribution and Habitat

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: United States

U.S. state distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas

 

View distribution map using BerkeleyMapper.
Found primarily in the Great Plains and Prairie Peninsula, ranging from southeast South Dakota to central Texas, and from southwestern Arizona to central Indiana. Original habitat for Rana blairi was probably prairie grassland, but it is now commonly found in areas of human disturbance.

Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
R. blairi has been observed to use a wide variety of sites for breeding, including roadside and drainage ditches, marshes, rain pools, farm ponds, livestock tanks, streams, rivers and irrigation sloughs. Males frequently call from a floating position at the surface of the water. Breeding occurs some time between February and October, depending on local conditions. Eggs laid in late summer or fall may overwinter and transform the next spring. This frog has been observed to seek shelter in vegetation when disturbed, rather than in the water. Their tadpoles are preyed upon more readily than bullfrog tadpoles by several fish species. Adults are preyed upon by several species of snakes.

Trends and Threats
Suggested causes of the decline of some populations include water pollution, predation by introduced game fish, groundwater pumping, introduction of exotic fish and amphibians, agricultural development, increased aridity, habitat loss or alteration, competition with R. berlandieri, and predation, competition and/or larval inhibition by R. catesbeiana.

References

Brown, L. E. (1963). ''Rana blairi.'' Catalogue of American Amphibians and Reptiles. American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, 536.1- 536.6.



Written by April Robinson (holden AT uclink4.berkeley.edu), UC Berkeley
First submitted 2001-02-12 (2001-05-31)

Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2001 Rana blairi: Plains Leopard Frog <http://amphibiaweb.org/species/4991> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Jul 4, 2020.



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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2020. <http://amphibiaweb.org> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 4 Jul 2020.

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