- Where R. capito does not occur, "gopher frog" may mean any North American species of Rana that is not a bullfrog or leopard frog.
The gopher frog (Rana capito) is a species of frog in the Ranidae family, endemic to the Southeastern United States. It primarily inhabits the threatened sandhill communities, flatwoods, and scrub in the Atlantic coastal plain, where it is usually found near ponds. Recent taxonomic studies have placed this species, as well as other North American frogs of the genus Rana, in the genus Lithobates (Crother, 2008).
Its two subspecies include the Carolina gopher frog (R. c. capito), and Florida gopher frog (R. c. aesopus). The dusky gopher frog (R. sevosa) had previously been considered a subspecies, but was elevated to species status in 2001.
Its primary threats include loss of habitat and fire suppression. It is entirely dependent upon small vernal pools for its annual reproduction. These pools in pine flatwoods are being lost to development, and to fire suppression, which allows forests to invade the natural savanna habitat. Hence, prescribed burns and habitat acquisition are considered key management strategies for its survival.
- United States Geological Survey. "Rana capito". Retrieved 2007-09-04.
- Georgia Museum of Natural History. "Gopher Frog (Rana capito)". Retrieved 2007-09-04.[dead link]
- Stephen C. Richter and Rebecca A. Doubledee (2001). "Rana sevosa". AmphibiaWeb. Retrieved 2008-08-05.
- Richter, S. C., Young, J. E., Johnson, G. N., and Seigel, R. A. (2003). Stochastic variation in reproductive success of a rare frog, Rana sevosa: implications for conservation and for monitoring amphibian populations. Biological Conservation 111: 171–7.
- Florida Natural Areas Inventory (2001). "Gopher Frog (Rana capito)". Field Guide to the Rare Animals of Florida. Retrieved 2007-09-04.
- Hammerson, G. & Jensen, J. 2004. Rana capito. 2006 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Downloaded on 23 July 2007.
- Hillis, D.M., Frost, J.S.,& Wright, D.A. (1983): Phylogeny and biogeography of the Rana pipiens complex: A biochemical evaluation. Systematic Zoology' 32: 132-143.
- Hillis, D.M. (1988): Systematics of the Rana pipiens complex: Puzzle and paradigm. Annual Review of Systematics and Ecology 19: 39-63.
- Hillis, D.M. & Wilcox, T.P. (2005): Phylogeny of the New World true frogs (Rana). Mol. Phylogenet. Evol. 34(2): 299–314. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2004.10.007 PMID 15619443 PDF fulltext.
- Hillis, D. M. (2007) Constraints in naming parts of the Tree of Life. Mol. Phylogenet. Evol. 42: 331–338.
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- Gopher Frogs, Burrows, and Fire: Interactions in the Longleaf Pine Ecosystem - 2009 University of Florida Fact Sheet
- Rana capito at CalPhotos
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