Lithobates areolatus


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Lithobates areolatus
Species Authority: (Baird & Girard, 1852)
Common Name(s):
English Crawfish Frog
Lithobates areolata Baird & Girard, 1852
Rana areolata Baird and Girard, 1852

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2004
Date Assessed: 2004-04-30
Assessor(s): Geoffrey Hammerson, Matthew Parris
Reviewer(s): Global Amphibian Assessment Coordinating Team (Simon Stuart, Janice Chanson, Neil Cox and Bruce Young)
Listed as Near Threatened because this species is probably in significant decline (but probably at a rate of less than 30% over ten years) because of widespread habitat loss through much of its range, thus making the species close to qualifying for Vulnerable.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is known from northern and central Mississippi, north-central Louisiana, and eastern Texas north through eastern Oklahoma, north-central Arkansas, western Tennessee, and western Kentucky through southern Indiana and Illinois, across Missouri, northern Iowa, and eastern Kansas, USA (Altig and Lohoefener 1983; Conant and Collins 1991).
United States
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: It can be locally common in remnant habitat patches, but much of its native habitat has been lost. It is secretive but not uncommon in Texas (Bartlett and Bartlett 1999). In Illinois, it is uncommon and declining in some areas where breeding habitats have been drained or stocked with predatory fish (Phillips, Brandon and Moll 1999). The species was locally plentiful in western Indiana until about 1970, when it declined markedly and disappeared from many sites for reasons that are not well understood, including some in which the habitat did not change in any obvious way (Minton 2001). It might no longer occur in southern Iowa (Johnson 2000). It has been found repeatedly and in large numbers in the Ouachita River bottomlands in Louisiana (Dundee and Rossman 1989).
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This species inhabits moist meadows, pasturelands, river flood plains, pine scrub, and golf courses. It hides in crayfish, reptile, or rodent burrows when inactive, and also under logs and in sewers. Eggs are laid and larvae usually develop in temporary water such as in flooded fields, ditches, farm ponds, and small lakes.
Systems: Terrestrial; Freshwater

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The major threats to this species are habitat loss and degradation particuarly through drainage of its breeding habitat. It is also threatened by the stocking of breeding waters with predatory fish (Phillips, Brandon and Moll 1999).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: It occurs in many protected areas. Better information on current population status and trends is needed to aid its conservation.

Citation: Geoffrey Hammerson, Matthew Parris 2004. Lithobates areolatus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <>. Downloaded on 31 March 2015.
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