Leopard frog

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Leopard frog
Rana sphenocephala.jpg
Southern Leopard Frog (Rana sphenocephala)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Amphibia
Order: Anura
Family: Ranidae
Genus: Rana

See text.

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.


Leopard frogs (meadow frogs) were briefly grouped with the American bullfrog and relatives in the genus Lithobates. Lithobates, however, is no longer recognized as a genus by most authors.[1][2][3]


Further species may exist in this famous cryptic species complex

New species[edit]

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[4] 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.[5][6] On 30 October 2014, it was announced that the frog which was found in March 2012, is a new species of leopard frog called Rana kauffeldi that once inhabited Manhattan, New York.[7]


  1. ^ Hillis & Wilcox (2005)
  2. ^ Hillis (2007)
  3. ^ Pauly et al. (2009)
  4. ^ "New Frog Discovered in NYC: Freshwater Species of the Week – News Watch". Newswatch.nationalgeographic.com. 2012-03-16. Retrieved 2012-07-09. 
  5. ^ "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. 
  6. ^ 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.")
  7. ^ "Frogs' chorus leads to discovery of new species in US". BBC News. 29 October 2014. 


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