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Rainforest frog (Lithobates vaillanti) (9430279338).jpg
Vaillant's frog, an undisputed member of genus Lithobates
Scientific classification
Rana or Lithobates (disputed, see text)
Lithobates (if not treated as genus, see text)

Fitzinger, 1843
Type species
Rana palmipes
Spix, 1824

7 to 50, depending on the definition

Lithobates is a subgenus or genus of true frogs, of the family Ranidae.[1] The name is derived from litho- (stone) and the Greek bates (βάτης, one that treads), meaning one that treads on rock, or rock climber.[2][3]

The name was defined by Hillis and Wilcox (2005) for a subgenus of four Central and South American frogs within the genus Rana:[4][5] The subgenus was subsequently expanded to seven species in Central and South America in a systematic revision of the genus Rana.[6] The name was previously used by Frost et al. as a separate genus of ranid frogs that included most of the North American frogs traditionally included in the genus Rana,[7] 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).[8] This proposed change has since been rejected by others, such as Stuart (2008),[9] Pauly et al. (2009),[10] AmphibiaWeb,[11] and Yuan et al. (2016).[6] AmphibiaWeb, available at, an online compendium of amphibian names, follows Yuan et al. (2016) in recognizing Lithobates as a subgenus.[6] On the other hand, Amphibian Species of the World 6.0, an online reference, uses Lithobates as a genus.[1] This definition is also followed by, e.g., the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)[12] and the Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles.[13]


Following the narrowest definition of Lithobates as a subgenus (neotropical true frogs), this taxon contains these species:

Following the Amphibian Species of the World, the genus Lithobates ([North] American water frogs, North American true frogs) contains these species:[1]


  1. ^ a b c Frost, Darrel R. (2016). "Lithobates Fitzinger, 1843". Amphibian Species of the World: an Online Reference. Version 6.0. American Museum of Natural History. Retrieved 7 August 2016.
  2. ^ 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.
  3. ^ βάτης. Liddell, Henry George; Scott, Robert; A Greek–English Lexicon at the Perseus Project one that treads or covers
  4. ^ Hillis, David M.; Wilcox, Thomas P. (2005). "Phylogeny of the New World true frogs (Rana)" (PDF). Mol. Phylogenet. Evol. 34 (2): 299–314. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2004.10.007. PMID 15619443. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2008-05-28.
  5. ^ Hillis, David M (2007). "Constraints in naming parts of the Tree of Life". Mol. Phylogenet. Evol. 42 (2): 331–338. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2006.08.001. PMID 16997582.
  6. ^ a b c Yuan, Zhi-Yong; Zhou, Wei-Wei; Chen, Xin; Poyarkov, Nikolay A.; Chen, Hong-Man; Jang-Liaw, Nian-Hong; Chou, Wen-Hao; Matzke, Nicholas J.; Iizuka, Koji; Min, Mi-Sook; Kuzmin, Sergius L.; Zhang, Ya-Ping; Cannatella, David C.; Hillis, David M.; Che, Jing (2016). "Spatiotemporal diversification of the true frogs (genus Rana): A historical framework for a widely studied group of model organisms". Systematic Biology. 65 (5): 824–842. doi:10.1093/sysbio/syw055. PMID 27288482.
  7. ^ 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.
  8. ^ Crother, B.I. (ed.) (2008): Scientific and standard English names of amphibians and reptiles of North American north of Mexico - "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-04-16. Retrieved 2012-04-28.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link). SSAR Herptological Circular 37:1-84.
  9. ^ 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)
  10. ^ Pauly, Greg B.; Hillis, David M.; Cannatella, David C. (2009). "Taxonomic freedom and the role of official lists of species names" (PDF). Herpetologica. 65 (2): 115–128. doi:10.1655/08-031r1.1. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-07-25.
  11. ^ AmphibiaWeb: Information on amphibian biology and conservation. [web application]. 2012. Berkeley, California: Rana
  12. ^ "The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2016-1". International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 7 August 2016.
  13. ^ Crother, Brian I., ed. (August 2012). Scientific and Standard English Names of Amphibians and Reptiles of North America North of Mexico, with comments regarding confidence in our understanding. Seventh edition. SSAR Herpetological circular No. 39 (PDF). Shoreview, MN: Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles (SSAR). pp. 1–92. ISBN 978-0-916984-85-4.