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Bullfrog (Lithobates catesbeianus)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Amphibia
Order: Anura
Family: Ranidae
Genus: Lithobates
Type species
Rana palmipes
Spix, 1824

Many, see text

Lithobates is a group of true frogs, of the family Ranidae. It has been defined as a separate genus from Rana. The name was defined by Hillis et al. for a subgenus of four Central and South American frogs within the genus Rana:[1][2] The name is derived from litho- (stone) and the Greek bates (βάτης, one who treads), meaning who treads on rock or rock climber.[3][4]

The name was later used by Frost et al. as the name of a separate genus of ranid frogs that also includes most of the North American frogs traditionally included in the genus Rana,[5] including the American bullfrog and northern leopard frog. Frost used the name in this sense in the frog section of a North American common names list edited by Crother (2008).[6] This proposed change has since been rejected by others, such as Stuart (2008)[7] and Pauly et al. (2009).[8] AmphibiaWeb,[9] an online compendium of amphibian names, also does not recognize Lithobates as a distinct genus, but Amphibian Species of the World 5.6, an online reference, has accepted this genus as valid.[10]



  1. ^ Hillis, David M. & Wilcox, Thomas P. (2005) Phylogeny of the New World true frogs (Rana). Mol. Phylogenet. Evol. 34: 299–314. PDF fulltext
  2. ^ 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
  3. ^ Dodd, C. Kenneth (2013). Frogs of the United States and Canada 1. The Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 20. ISBN 978-1-4214-0633-6. 
  4. ^ βάτης. Liddell, Henry George; Scott, Robert; A Greek–English Lexicon at the Perseus Project one that treads or covers
  5. ^ Frost, Darrel R. (2006): Amphibian Species of the World Version 3 - Petropedetidae Noble, 1931. American Museum of Natural History, New York, USA. Retrieved 2006-AUG-05., Frost, Darrel R. et al. (2006): The amphibian tree of life. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History. Number 297. New York.
  6. ^ Crother, B.I. (ed.) (2008): Scientific and standard English names of amphibians and reptiles of North American north of Mexico - [1]. SSAR Herptological Circular 37:1-84.
  7. ^ Stuart, Bryan L. (2008): The phylogenetic problem of Huia (Amphibia: Ranidae). Mol. Phylogenet. Evol. 46(1): 49-60. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2007.09.016 (HTMl abstract)
  8. ^ 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. PDF fulltext
  9. ^ AmphibiaWeb: Information on amphibian biology and conservation. [web application]. 2012. Berkeley, California: Rana. AmphibiaWeb, available at (Accessed: August 20, 2012).
  10. ^ Lithobates, American Museum of Natural History.