|Northern red-legged frog (Rana aurora)|
Rana (commonly known as the pond frog or brown frog) is a genus of frogs. Members of this genus are found through much of Eurasia, North America, Africa, Central America, and the northern half of South America. Many other genera were formerly included here; see below for details.
These true frogs are usually largish species characterized by their slim waists and wrinkled skin; many have thin ridges running along their backs but they generally lack "warts" like in typical toads. They are excellent jumpers due to their long slender legs. The typical webbing found on their hind feet allows for easy movement through water. Coloration is mostly greens and browns above, with darker and yellowish spots.
Distribution and habitat
Many frogs in this genus breed in early spring, although subtropical and tropical species may breed throughout the year. Males of most of the species are known to call, but a few species are thought to be voiceless. Females lay eggs in rafts or large, globular clusters, and can produce up to 20,000 at one time.
Rana species feed mainly on insects and invertebrates, but will swallow anything they can fit into their mouths, including small vertebrates. Among their predators are egrets, crocodiles and snakes.
Some 50 species are now placed in this genus; many other species formerly placed in Rana are now placed elsewhere, for the North American frogs see Lithobates. Rana is now restricted to the Old World true frogs and the Eurasian brown and pond frogs of the common frog R. temporaria group. The validity and delimitation of the subgenera are somewhat disputed.
Genera recently split from Rana are Babina, Clinotarsus (including Nasirana), Glandirana, Hydrophylax, Hylarana, Lithobates, Odorrana (including Wurana), Pelophylax, Pulchrana, Sanguirana, and Sylvirana. Of these, Odorrana is so closely related to Rana proper, it could conceivably be included here once again. The others seem to be far more distant relatives, in particular Pelophylax.
New species are still being described in some numbers.
- Rana amurensis – Siberian tree frog, Siberian wood frog, Amur brown frog
- Rana arvalis – moor frog
- Rana asiatica – Central Asiatic frog, Asian frog
- Rana aurora – northern red-legged frog
- Rana boylii – foothill yellow-legged frog
- Rana camerani – long-legged wood frog
- Rana cascadae – Cascades frog
- Rana chaochiaoensis – Chaochiao frog
- Rana chensinensis – Asiatic grass frog, Chinese brown frog
- Rana chevronta – chevron-spotted brown frog
- Rana coreana – Korean brown frog
- Rana dalmatina – agile frog
- Rana draytonii – California red-legged frog
- Rana dybowskii – Dybowski's frog
- Rana graeca – Greek stream frog, Greek frog
- Rana hanluica
- Rana holtzi – long-legged wood frog
- Rana huanrenensis – Huanren frog
- Rana iberica – Iberian frog
- Rana italica – Italian stream frog
- Rana japonica – Japanese brown frog
- Rana johnsi – Johns' groove-toed frog
- Rana kukunoris – plateau brown frog
- Rana kunyuensis
- Rana latastei – Italian agile frog, Lataste's frog
- Rana longicrus – Taipa frog
- Rana luteiventris – Columbia spotted frog
- Rana macrocnemis – long-legged wood frog, Caucasus frog, Turkish frog, Brusa frog
- Rana mortenseni
- Rana multidenticulata
- Rana muscosa – southern mountain yellow-legged frog
- Rana omeimontis – Omei brown frog, Omei wood frog
- Rana ornativentris – montane brown frog, Nikkō frog
- Rana pirica – Hokkaidō frog
- Rana pretiosa – Oregon spotted frog
- Rana pseudodalmatina
- Rana pueyoi
- Rana pyrenaica – Pyrenean frog, Pyrenees frog
- Rana sakuraii – stream brown frog, Napparagawa frog
- Rana sauteri – Sauter's brown frog, Kanshirei village frog, Taiwan groove-toed frog, Taiwan pseudotorrent frog
- Rana shuchinae – Sichuan frog
- Rana sierrae – Sierra Nevada yellow-legged frog, Sierra Nevada Mountain yellow-legged frog
- Rana tagoi – Tago's brown frog
- Rana temporaria – common frog, European common frog, European common brown frog
- Rana tlaloci – Tlaloc's leopard frog
- Rana tsushimensis – Tsushima brown frog, Tsushima leopard frog
- Rana weiningensis
- Rana zhengi
- Rana zhenhaiensis – Zhenhai brown frog
- Rana sp. 'Okinawa' – Ryūkyū brown frog, Okinawa frog
The harpist brown frog (also known as Kampira Falls frog or Yaeyama harpist frog) was formerly known as R. psaltes; it was subsequently identified as the long-known R. okinavana. The latter name has been misapplied to the Ryūkyū brown frog, but the harpist brown frog is a rather distinct species that apparently belongs in Babina or Nidirana if these are considered valid.
- Cai et al. (2007), Stuart (2008)
- Lithobates, American Museum of Natural History.
- Hillis & Wilcox (2005), Hillis (2007), Pauly et al. (2009)
- Hillis & Wilcox (2005), Hillis (2007), Stuart (2008), Pauly et al. (2009)
- Matsui (2007)
- Cai, Hong-xia; Che, Jing, Pang, Jun-feng; Zhao, Er-mi & Zhang, Ya-ping (2007): Paraphyly of Chinese Amolops (Anura, Ranidae) and phylogenetic position of the rare Chinese frog, Amolops tormotus. Zootaxa 1531: 49–55. PDF abstract and first page text
- Dubois, A. & Ohler, A. (1995) Frogs of the subgenus Pelophylax (Amphibia, Anura, genus Rana): a catalogue of available and valid scientific names, with comments on the name-bearing types, complete synonymies, proposed common names, and maps showing all type localities. In: Ogielska, M. (ed.): II International Symposium on Ecology and Genetics of European water frogs, 18–25 September 1994, Wroclaw, Poland. Zoologica Poloniae 39(3-4): 139-204
- Frost, Darrel R. (2006): Amphibian Species of the World: an Online Reference. Version 4, 2006-AUG-17.
- Hillis, D. 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 PDF fulltext
- 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 PDF fulltext
- Matsui, Masafumi (2007): Unmasking Rana okinavana Boettger, 1895 from the Ryukyus, Japan (Amphibia: Anura: Ranidae). Zool. Sci. 24: 199–204. doi:10.2108/zsj.24.199 (HTML abstract)
- 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
- 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)
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