|Southern Leopard Frog (Rana sphenocephala)|
A leopard frog (sometimes called a meadow frog) can mean any frog of about 14 species within the true frog genus. They are generally similarly colored—green with prominent black spotting that sometimes appears as a leopard pattern. They are distinguished by their distribution and certain rather subtle ecological, behavioral, morphological and genetic traits. Their range in the North-American subcontinent extends throughout temperate and subtropical North America to northern Mexico, with some species found even further south. They are also found in Europe.
Further species may exist in this famous cryptic species complex
- Rio Grande Leopard Frog, Rana berlandieri
- Plains Leopard Frog, Rana blairi
- Chiricahua Leopard Frog, Rana chiricahuensis
- Vegas Valley Leopard Frog, Rana fisheri
- Northwest Mexico Leopard Frog, Rana magnaocularis
- Island Leopard Frog, Rana miadis
- Transverse Volcanic Leopard Frog, Rana neovolcanica
- Guerreran Leopard Frog, Rana omiltemana
- Relict Leopard Frog Rana onca
- Northern Leopard Frog, Rana pipiens
- Southern Leopard Frog, Rana sphenocephala
- Ramsey Canyon Leopard Frog, Rana subaquavocalis
- Tlaloc's Leopard Frog, Rana tlaloci
- Lowland Leopard Frog, Rana yavapaiensis
In March 2012, it was announced that DNA testing had confirmed that a new species of leopard frog had been found whose habitat was centered near New York's Yankee Stadium and included northern New Jersey, southeastern mainland New York, and Staten Island; the new still unnamed species is part of a cryptic species complex that was first distinguished by its short, repetitive croak, distinct from the "long snore" or "rapid chuckle" of other area leopard frog species. <This species has now been identified as far south as southeastern Virginia and northeastern North Carolina.
- Hillis & Wilcox (2005)
- Hillis (2007)
- Pauly et al. (2009)
- "New Frog Discovered in NYC: Freshwater Species of the Week – News Watch". Newswatch.nationalgeographic.com. 2012-03-16. Retrieved 2012-07-09.
- "Hiding in Plain Sight, a New Frog Species With a 'Weird' Croak Is Identified in New York City". ScienceDaily. March 14, 2012. Retrieved 2012-03-15.
- Newman CE, Feinberg JA, Rissler LJ, Burger J, Shaffer HR. 2012. A new species of leopard frog (Anura: Ranidae) from the urban northeastern US. Mol. Phylogenet. Evol. 63 (2): 445-455. ("Rana sp. nov.")
- Hillis, David M. & Wilcox, Thomas P. (2004) 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, David. M. (2007) Constraints in naming parts of the Tree of Life. Mol. Phylogenet. Evol. 42: 331–338. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2006.08.001 PMID 16997582 PDF fulltext
- Pauly, Greg B., Hillis, David M. & Cannatella, David C. (2009): Taxonomic freedom and the role of official lists of species names. Herpetologica 65: 115–128. doi:10.1655/08-031R1.1 PDF fulltext