AmphibiaWeb - Rana chiricahuensis


(Translations may not be accurate.)

Rana chiricahuensis Platz and Mecham, 1979
Chiricahua Leopard Frog
Subgenus: Pantherana
family: Ranidae
genus: Rana
Taxonomic Notes: In 2011 Hekkala, Saumure, Jaeger, Herrmann, Sredl, Bradford, Drabeck and Blum, in an open access article published in Conservation Genetics (DOI 10.1007/s10592-011-0229-6), showed that Rana chiricahuensis, as treated in the following species account, includes two genetically distinct lineages. They were successful in obtaining sufficient genetic information from specimens of R. fisheri preserved in 1913 in ethanol and stored at the California Academy of Sciences to determine that it is a member of one of the two lineages, which is extant along the Mogollon Rim and White Mtns of central and eastern Arizona and extreme west-central New Mexico. Rana fisheri has long been considered to be extinct, but with this discovery the range of R. fisheri is extended from southern Nevada to central and eastern Arizona and adjacent New Mexico. R. chiricahuensis is accordingly restricted to the more southern and eastern portions of its former range. 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.

© 2003 William Leonard (1 of 20)

  hear call (445.2K MP3 file)

[call details here]

Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN Red List Status Account Vulnerable (VU)
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 (171 records).

This leopard frog attains an adult snout-vent length of 57-95 mm. Its body is fairly stocky, with rugose skin on the back and sides. Dorsolateral folds are present but interrupted posteriorly and displaced medially. The supralabial stripe is incomplete in adults. Vocal sacs are small and external. Grey mottling on the throat may extend onto the chest. The venter is variably melanistic with yellowish pigmentation in the groin region. The posterior of the thigh and the area surrounding the cloaca is covered with small tubercles.

Distribution and Habitat

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

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


View distribution map in BerkeleyMapper.
View Bd and Bsal data (171 records).
Discontinuously distributed in Arizona, New Mexico, Sonora and Chihuahua. Populations occur in the montane areas of the Mogollon Rim and along the eastern base of the Sierra Madre Occidental. Rana chiricahuensis is found at elevations from 1000-2600 m, and occurs in a variety of permanent aquatic habitats which provide adequate depth for predator escape.


Hear calls at the Western Sound Archive.


Platz, J. E. and Mecham, J. S. (1963). ''Rana chiricahuensis.'' Catalogue of American Amphibians and Reptiles. American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, 347.1-347.2.

Originally submitted by: April Robinson (first posted 2001-02-12)
Edited by: Michelle S. Koo (2012-04-29)

Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2012 Rana chiricahuensis: Chiricahua Leopard Frog <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed May 20, 2024.

Feedback or comments about this page.


Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2024. <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 20 May 2024.

AmphibiaWeb's policy on data use.