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Amphibians in the Southwest

American Bullfrog

Amphibians in the Southwest

Amphibians in the Southwest Overview

Amphibians are ectothermic, tetrapod vertebrates of the class Amphibia and all modern day amphibians of the subclass, lissamphibia.

They inhabit a wide variety of habitats, with most species living within terrestrial, fossorial, arborea, or freshwater aquatic ecosystems. Thus amphibians typically start out as larvae living in water, but some species have developed behavioral adaptations to bypass this. The young generally undergo metamorphosis from larva with gills to an adult air-breathing form with lungs. Amphibians use their skin as a secondary respiratory surface and some small terrestrial salamanders and frogs lack lungs and rely entirely on their skin.

They are superficially similar to lizards but, along with mammals and birds, reptiles are amniotes and do not require water bodies in which to breed. With their complex reproductive needs and permeable skins, amphibians are often ecological indicators; in recent decades there has been a dramatic decline in amphibian populations for many species around the globe.

The three modern orders of amphibians are Anura (the frogs and toads), Caudata (the salamanders), and Gymnophiona (the caecilians). 


Frogs in the Southwest

  1. American Bullfrog – (Lithobates catesbeianus) (Nevada, New Mexico)
  2. Arizona Treefrog (Hyla wrightorum) (New Mexico)
  3. Baja California Treefrog – (Pseudacris hypochondriaca) (Pseudacris regilla) (Nevada)
  4. Balcones Barking Frog (Craugastor augusti latrans) (New Mexico)
  5. Boreal Chorus Frog (Pseudacris maculata) (New Mexico)
  6. Bullfrog (Rana catesbiana) (Nevada)
  7. Canyon Treefrog (Hyla arenicolor) (Nevada, New Mexico)
  8. Chiricahua Leopard Frog (Lithobates chiricahuensis) (New Mexico)
  9. Columbia Spotted Frog (Rana luteiventris) (Nevada)
  10. Eastern Cricket Frog (crepitans crepitans) (New Mexico)
  11. Lowland Leopard Frog (Lithobates yavapaiensis) (Nevada, New Mexico)
  12. Northern Leopard Frog (Lithobates pipiens) (Nevada, New Mexico)
  13. Plains Leopard Frog (Lithobates blairi) (New Mexico)
  14. Relect Leopard Frog – Ranidae (Lithobates onca) (Nevada)
  15. Rio Grande Leopard Frog (Lithobates berlandieri) (New Mexico)
  16. Western Chorus Frog (Pseudacris triseriata) (New Mexico)

Salamanders in the Southwest

  1. Barred Tiger Salamander (Ambystoma mavortium) [Nevada, New Mexico]
  2. Jemez Mountain Salamander (Plethodon neomexicanus) (New Mexico)
  3. Sacramento Mountains Salamander (Aneides hardii) (New Mexico)

Toads in the Southwest

  1. Amargosa Toad – Bufonidae (Anaxyrus nelsoni) (Nevada)
  2. Arizona Toad – Bufonidae (Anaxyrus microscaphus) (Nevada, New Mexico)
  3. Boreal Toad – Bufonidae (Anaxyrus boreas boreas) (Nevada, New Mexico)
  4. Chihuahuan Desert Spadefoot Spea multiplicata stagnalis (New Mexico)
  5. Couch’s Spadefoot Scaphiopus couchii (New Mexico)
  6. Great Basin Spadefoot (Spea intermontana) (Nevada)
  7. Great Plains Toad (Anaxyrus cognatus) (Nevada, New Mexico)
  8. Plains Spadefoot (Spea bombifrons) (New Mexico)
  9. Red-spotted Toad (Anaxyrus punctatus) (Nevada, New Mexico)
  10. Sonoran Desert Toad (Ollotis alvaria) (New Mexico)
  11. Southwestern Woodhouse’s Toad (Anaxyrus woodhousii australis) (Nevada, New Mexico)
  12. Texas Toad (Anaxyrus speciosus) (New Mexico)
  13. Western Green Toad (Anaxyrus debilis insidior) (New Mexico)
  14. Western Narrow-mouthed Toad (Gastrophryne olivacea olivacea) (New Mexico)
  15. Western Toad (Bufo Boreas) (Nevada) 

Desert Amphibians in the Southwest Resources

Desert Amphibians in the Southwest