List of amphibians of Texas

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Topographic map of Texas

Over sixty amphibian species are found in Texas, one of the fifty United States. These species include twenty-four species of frog, seventeen species of toad, and twenty-five species of salamander, all members of the class Amphibia. One toad, Bufo houstonensis, and three species of salamander, Eurycea sosorum, Eurycea rathbuni, and Notophthalmus meridionalis, are categorized as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Texas state law protects several amphibian species.[1] Eleven amphibian species have been designated as threatened within the state[2] and four others have been designated as endangered.[3]

The varying geography of Texas provides a large variety of habitats for amphibians. The land varies from swamps, pine forests in the east, rocky hills and limestone karst of the central Hill Country, desert in the south and west, mountains in the far west, and grassland prairie in the north, also known as the Panhandle. This vast contrast in biomes makes Texas home to a wide variety of herpetofauna. The state's many rivers, including the Rio Grande, the Colorado River, and the Trinity River, also provide diverse river habitats. Its central position in the United States means that species found primarily in either the western or eastern reaches of the country often have their ranges meeting in the state. Additionally, its proximity to Mexico is such that many species found there and into Central America also range as far north as Texas. Moreover, the karst topography of central Texas has created spring and cave ecosystems inhabited by several endemic species, such as the cave-dwelling Texas blind salamander.

List of species[edit]

Protected status under Texas law
Threatened
Endangered

Order Anura[edit]

Family Bufonidae[edit]

Bufonidae are a family of toads.

Bufonidae
Species Common name Distribution Status[a] Image
Anaxyrus americanus American toad Occurs in northeast Texas[4]
 LC [5]
Bufo americanus PJC1.jpg
Anaxyrus cognatus Great Plains toad Found in playa wetlands in the Great Plains area of the state[6]
 LC [7]
Bufo cognatus1.jpg
Anaxyrus debilis green toad Found in eastern Texas[8]
 LC [9]
Bufo debilis insidior1.jpg
Anaxyrus houstonensis Houston toad Found in the southeast counties of Austin, Bastrop, Burleson, Colorado, Lee, Leon, Lavaca, Milam, and Robertson[10]
 EN [11]
Houston toad.jpg
Anaxyrus punctatus red-spotted toad Found in central and western Texas[12]
 LC [13]
Bufo.punctatus.web.jpg
Anaxyrus speciosus Texas toad Common throughout western two-thirds of Texas, population declining in Rio Grande Valley[14]
 LC [15]
Bufo speciosus.jpg
Anaxyrus woodhousii Woodhouse's toad Found in central, west and north Texas[16]
 LC [17]
Bufo woodhousii.jpg
Incilius nebulifer coastal plains toad Found along coastal plans, populations are farther north than those of Incilius valliceps[18]
 LC [19]
Bufo nebulifer.jpg
Incilius valliceps Gulf Coast toad Found along the Texas Gulf Coast[18]
 LC [20]
Bufo valliceps (2016).jpg
Rhinella marina giant or cane toad Native to extreme southern Texas, invasive species in other parts of the United States[21]
 LC [22]
Canetoadmale.jpg

Family Hylidae[edit]

Hylidae, also called tree frogs, are a family of frogs which are commonly found in the New World.[23]

Hylidae
Species Common name Distribution Status Image
Acris crepitans northern cricket frog Found as far west as western Texas[24]
 LC [25]
Acris crepitansPCCA20061001-8206B1.jpg
Hyla arenicolor canyon tree frog
 LC [26]
Canyon Treefrog (5205515626).jpg
Hyla chrysoscelis Cope's gray tree frog Documented in east-central Texas[27]
 LC [28]
Hyla chrysoscelis UMFS 2016 1.jpg
Hyla cinerea green tree frog Occurs throughout eastern Texas and as far south as the Rio Grande Valley[29]
 LC [30]
Green treefrog.jpg
Hyla squirella squirrel tree frog Found in eastern Texas[31]
 LC [32]
Hyla squirella2.jpg
Hyla versicolor gray tree frog Found in the eastern-central portion of the state, excluding the most eastern fifth[33]
 LC [34]
Gray treefrog (Hyla versicolor).jpg
Pseudacris clarkii spotted chorus frog Found in central Texas[35]
 LC [36]
Pseudacris crucifer spring peeper Found in eastern Texas[37]
 LC [38]
H crucifer USGS.jpg
Pseudacris streckeri Strecker's chorus frog Found in eastern Texas[39]
 LC [40]
Pseudacris streckeri streckeri.jpg
Pseudacris feriarum upland chorus frog
 LC [41]
Pseudacris feriarum.jpg
Smilisca baudinii Mexican tree frog Southern extreme of Texas[42]
 LC [43]
Smilisca baudinii01.jpg

Family Leptodactylidae[edit]

Leptodactylidae are a family of frogs.

Leptodactylidae
Species Common name Distribution Status Image
Eleutherodactylus augusti eastern barking frog Found in western and central Texas and along the Balcones Fault; isolated populations exist in the Trans-Pecos region[44] Craugastor augusti WLF-430-7A, Municipio Gómez Farías; 9 Aug 2004.jpg
Eleutherodactylus cystignathoides Rio Grande chirping frog Native to extreme southern Texas along the lower Rio Grande Valley in Cameron and Hildago counties[45]
 LC [46]
Rio Grande Chirping Frog (Eleutherodactylus cystignathoides), Liberty Co., TX, USA (30.3193°N, 94.8190°W, 21 m.) 13 April 2007.jpg
Eleutherodactylus guttilatus spotted chirping frog Found in the Big Bend region[47]
 LC [48]
Eleutherodactylus guttilatus.jpg
Eleutherodactylus marnockii cliff chirping frog Common in rocky areas of central Texas[49]
 LC [50]
Eleutherodactylus marnockii.jpg
Leptodactylus fragilis Mexican white-lipped frog Documented in the extreme southern portion of the lower Rio Grande Valley[51]
 LC [52]
Leptodactylus fragilis01.jpg

Family Microhylidae[edit]

Microhylidae are a family of toads.

Microhylidae
Species Common name Distribution Status Image
Gastrophryne carolinensis eastern narrowmouth toad As far west as central Texas[53]
 LC [54]
Gastrophryne carolinensis.jpg
Gastrophryne olivacea Great Plains narrowmouth toad Found throughout Texas except for northern Panhandle and western extremes[55]
 LC [56]
Gastrophryne olivacea02.jpg
Hypopachus variolosus Mexican narrow-mouthed toad Found in 15 counties in southern Texas[57]
 LC [58]
Hypopachus variolosus.jpg

Family Pelobatidae[edit]

Pelobatidae are a family of toads.

Pelobatidae
Species Common name Distribution Status Image
Scaphiopus couchii Couch's spadefoot toad Central Texas[59]
 LC [60]
Scaphiopus couchii ANRA.jpg
Scaphiopus hurterii Hurter's spadefoot toad Inhabits freshwater areas of Texan forest, shrubland, grassland, and wetlands[61]
 LC [61]
Scaphiopus hurterii.jpg
Spea bombifrons plains spadefoot toad Found in the arid plains of northwest Texas; isolated populations also exist in south Texas[62]
 LC [63]
Spea bombifrons.jpg
Spea multiplicata New Mexico spadefoot toad Found in central Texas[64]
 LC [65]
Nmspadefoot.jpg

Family Ranidae[edit]

Ranidae, true frogs, are the largest family of frogs.[citation needed] Scientifists disagree on whether the family taxon is Lithobates or Rana.[66][citation needed]

Ranidae
Species Common name Distribution Status Image
Lithobates areolatus crawfish frog Once found througout eastern Texas, now limited to two populations near coast[67]
 NT [68]
Rana areolata.jpg
Lithobates berlandieri Rio Grande leopard frog Occur in central and western areas of the state[69]
 LC [70]
Rana berlandieri.jpg
Rana blairi Plains leopard frog Dsitribution includes northern Texas[71]
 LC [72]
Plains Leopard Frog (Lithobates blairi).jpg
Rana catesbeiana bullfrog Occurs throughout most of Texas[73]
 LC 
North-American-bullfrog1.jpg
Lithobates clamitans green frog Throughout eastern Texas[74]
 LC [74]
Large bronze frog top view.JPG
Rana grylio pig frog Galveston Bay and Gulf Coastal Plain to the east[75]
 LC 
Rana grylio.jpg
Lithobates palustris pickerel frog Found throughout eastern Texas[76]
 LC [77]
Pickerel Frog.jpg
Lithobates sphenocephala southern leopard frog Common in the eastern third of Texas[78]
 LC [79]
Southern Leopard Frog, Missouri Ozarks.JPG

Family Rhinophrynidae[edit]

Rhinophrynidae are a family of frogs containing only one extant genus, the monotypic Rhinophrynus.

Rhinophrynidae
Species Common name Distribution Status Image
Rhinophrynus dorsalis Mexican burrowing toad Documented in the counties of Starr and Zapata in extreme southwestern Texas[80]
 LC [81]
Mexican burrowing toad - Flickr - GregTheBusker (3).jpg

Order Urodela[edit]

Family Amphiumidae[edit]

Amphiumidae are a family of salamanders.

Amphiumidae
Species Common name Distribution Status Image
Amphiuma tridactylum three-toed amphiuma Native to the eastern area of the state[82]
 LC [83]
Amphiuma tridactylum.jpg

Family Salamandridae[edit]

Salamandridae are a family of salamanders.

Salamandridae
Species Common name Distribution Status Image
Notophthalmus meridionalis black-spotted newt Found in southern Texas[84]
 EN [85]
Black-spotted Newt (Notophthalmus meridionalis), Santa Ana NWR, Hidalgo Co, TX, USA, (26.0821°N, 98.1354°W), 14 April 2016.jpg
Notophthalmus viridescens eastern newt Native to eastern Texas[86]
 LC [87]
Notophthalmus viridescens adult male 2.jpg

Family Ambystomatidae[edit]

Ambystomatidae are a family of mostly terrestrial salamanders.

Ambystomatidae
Species Common name Distribution Status Image
Ambystoma maculatum spotted salamander Found near stagnant water in hardwood and mixed forests[88]
 LC [89]
Spotted Salamander (Ambystoma maculatum), front (6202625800).png
Ambystoma mavortium barred tiger salamander Distributed throughout Texas except eastern quarter[90]
 LC [91]
Ambystoma mavortium1.jpg
Ambystoma opacum marbled salamander Found throughout East Texas, from Red River south to the Gulf of Mexico[92]
 LC [93]
Marbled salamander (14367751333).jpg
Ambystoma talpoideum mole salamander Found in Gulf Coastal Plain of east Texas[94]
 LC [95]
Ambystoma talpoideum at UMFS 2.JPG
Ambystoma texanum smallmouth salamander Eastern Texas[96]
 LC [97]
Smallmouth Salamander (Ambystoma texanum) (13667003274).jpg
Ambystoma tigrinum eastern tiger salamander Distributed throughout Texas except eastern quarter[98]
 LC [99]
Salamandra Tigre.png

Family Plethodontidae[edit]

Plethodontidae are a family of salamanders found mostly in the Western Hemisphere; however, some species are found in Southern Europe and South Korea. They are the largest group of salamanders.[100] Several species of salamanders are endemic to specific cave systems in Texas. Due to their small habitat and specified role, many are threatened or endangered.[101][102]

Plethodontidae
Species Common name Distribution Status Image
Desmognathus auriculatus southern dusky salamander As far east as the Trinity River Basin[103]
 LC [104]
Southern Dusky Salamander (D. auriculatus).jpg
Eurycea latitans Cascade Caverns salamander Endemic to the Cascade Caverns of central Texas and other cave systems in close proximity[105]
 VU [106]
Eurycea nana San Marcos salamander Found only in the San Marcos River in Hays County[107]
 VU [108]
San Marcos salamander.jpg
Eurycea neotenes Texas salamander Spring and cave systems in the Edwards Plateau region of central Texas[109]
 VU [110]
Eurycea quadridigitata dwarf salamander Found in eastern Texas[111]
 LC [112]
Dwarf salamander.jpg
Eurycea rathbuni Texas blind salamander Only lives in water-filled caves in the Edwards Plateau in Hays County[113]
 VU [114]
Texas blind salamander.jpg
Eurycea robusta Blanco blind salamander Unknown, single specimen found in subterranean system under Blanco River in Hays County[115]
 DD [116]
Eurycea sosorum Barton Springs salamander Found only at outlets of Barton Springs in Zilker Park, Austin[117]
 VU [118]
Eurycea sosorum FWS 20405.jpg
Eurycea tonkawae Jollyville Plateau salamander Endemic to the Buttercup Cave system near Austin[119]
 EN [120]
Eurycea tonkawae IMG 3631.jpg
Eurycea tridentifera Comal blind salamander Endemic to Honey Creek Cave in Comal County and other caves in Cibolo Sinkhole Plain[121]
 VU [122]
Eurycea troglodytes Valdina Farms salamander Endemic to springs and cave systems in the counties of Bandera, Edwards, western Kerr, Medina, Real, and Uvalde[123]
 DD [124]
Eurycea waterlooensis Austin blind salamander Known only from outflows of Barton Springs in Austin[125]
 VU [126]
Plethodon albagula western slimy salamander Disjunct, and genetically divergent, populations in central, southeastern, and northeastern Texas[127][128]
 LC [129]
Plethodon albagula, St. Louis County, Missouri.jpg

Family Sirenidae[edit]

Sirenidae are a family of aquatic salamanders only found in northern Mexico and the Southeastern United States.[130] They are generally regarded as the most primitive extant salamanders.[131]

Sirenidae
Subspecies Common name Distribution Status Image
Siren intermedia nettingi western lesser siren Found in east and southeast Texas, as well as in the Rio Grande Valley[132]
 LC [133]
Western Lesser Siren (Siren intermedia nettingi) (15809078292).jpg
Siren intermedia texana[b] Rio Grande lesser siren Occurs in south Texas[134]

Family Proteidae[edit]

Proteidae are a family of aquatic salamanders only found in North America and the Balkans.[citation needed] Colloquially called mudpuppies, waterdogs, or olms, they are paedomorphic and exhibit laterally compressed tail fins and the red, filamentous external gills.[135] Only one species of Proteidae is found in Texas.

Proteidae
Species Common name Distribution Status Image
Necturus beyeri Gulf Coast waterdog Found in the Sabine River System[136]
 LC [137]
Necturus beyeri.jpg

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

Notes[edit]

^ a: Conservation status at a world level of the species according to the IUCN Red List: Conservation status - IUCN Red List of Threatened Species:

 EX  - Extinct,  EW  - Extinct in the wild
 CR  - Critically endangered,  EN  - Endangered,  VU  - Vulnerable
 NT  - Near threatened,  LC  - Least concern
 DD  - Data deficient,  NE  - Not evaluated

^ b: The status of Siren intermedia texana as a distinct subspecies is contested. Recent research has claimed that it is indistinguishable from Siren intermedia nettingi.[138]

Citations[edit]

  1. ^ "Federal and State Listed Amphibians and Reptiles in Texas". Texas Parks & Wildlife Department. Archived from the original on March 9, 2020. Retrieved September 13, 2020.
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