Rana fisheri
Las Vegas Valley Leopard Frog
Subgenus: Pantherana
family: Ranidae
Taxonomic Notes: This species long was thought to be extinct, and if it is restricted to its type locality in the city of Las Vegas, Nevada, that is correct. 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 the closely related species Rana chiricahuensis 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. The authors assigned this lineage to Rana fisheri, and accordingly, the species continues to exist. 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.
Species Description: Stejneger, L. 1893. Annotated list of the reptiles and batrachians collected by the Death Valley Expedition in 1891, with descriptions of new species. North American Fauna 7: 159–228.

© 2013 Tara Sprankle (1 of 2)
Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN (Red List) Status Extinct (EX)
NatureServe Status Use NatureServe Explorer to see status.
Other International Status Extinct
National Status None
Regional Status None



View distribution map using BerkeleyMapper.

From the IUCN Red List Species Account:


Range Description

This species was known from a small number of localities, elevation ca. 600m asl, in the northern portions of Las Vegas Valley, Clark County, Nevada, USA (Jennings, Riddle and Bradford 1995).

Habitat and Ecology

This frog was restricted to freshwater streams, springs, seeps, and adjacent riparian habitat associated with the Upper Las Vegas Valley (Wright and Wright 1949). Egg masses are not known, but metamorphic individuals were collected in the same habitats as those used by adults (Wright and Wright 1949).


It was last seen in 1942 (Wright and Wright 1949) and is now believed to be extinct (Jennings, Riddle and Bradford 1995).

Population Trend

Major Threats

It is extinct evidently due to habitat loss resulting from spring capture and ground water pumping by the growing city of Las Vegas (URS 1977), and exacerbated by the introduction of the Bullfrog Rana catesbeiana. Although some suitable habitat persists within or near the former range of this species, only R. catesbeiana can be found.

Conservation Actions

No conservation measures are needed; this species is extinct.

Red List Status

Extinct (EX)


Listed as Extinct because it has not been recorded for over 60 years, and extensive searches have failed to locate this species.

Taxonomic Notes

Since its description, Lithobates fisheri (Stejneger 1893) has been considered a distinct species (Linsdale 1940; Jennings, Riddle and Bradford 1995), a subspecies of L. pipiens (Stebbins 1959) or a synonym of L. onca (Jennings 1988; Stebbins 2003). Morphological analyses support the view that L. fisheri represents a separate species (Jennings, Riddle and Bradford 1995).


Randy Jennings, Geoffrey Hammerson 2004. Lithobates fisheri. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2004: e.T19148A8842858. .Downloaded on 21 February 2019


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