Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Amphibia Anura Ranidae

Scientific Name: Lithobates sphenocephalus
Species Authority: (Cope, 1889)
Common Name(s):
English Southern Leopard Frog
Lithobates sphenocephala Cope, 1889
Rana sphenocephala Cope, 1889
Rana utricularius Harlan, 1826
Taxonomic Source(s): Frost, D.R. 2014. Amphibian Species of the World: an Online Reference. Version 6.0 (7 July 2014). Electronic Database. American Museum of Natural History, New York, USA. Available at:

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2014
Date Assessed: 2014-08-13
Assessor(s): IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group
Reviewer(s): Luedtke, J.
Contributor(s): Hedges, B. & Hammerson, G.A.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Angulo, A.
Listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution and presumed large population.
Previously published Red List assessments:
2004 Least Concern (LC)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is known from the lowlands of the southeastern USA, southern New York to Florida Keys, west to eastern Kansas and eastern Texas (Conant and Collins 1991). It is introduced on Little Bahama Bank, Bahamas (Schwartz and Henderson 1991).
Countries occurrence:
United States (Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia)
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: This is the most abundant frog in Florida (Bartlett and Bartlett 1999). It is abundant in eastern Texas (Bartlett and Bartlett 1999) and widespread and locally abundant in the Illinois part of its range (Phillips et al. 1999). Subpopulations in Indiana have not undergone the drastic decline in numbers that has occurred in Rana pipiens (Minton 2001).
Current Population Trend: Stable
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It occurs in the vicinity of virtually any freshwater habitat; also slightly brackish marshes. In summer it disperses from water into moist vegetation. It occupies bottoms of pools and caves when inactive. Eggs and larvae develop in still, shallow waters of many kinds. Males call from water.
Systems: Terrestrial; Freshwater

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade:

There are no reports of this species being utilized.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Traffic on roads near ponds might be a local threat. Palis (1994) reported large numbers of road-killed individuals adjacent to a pond in Florida. Within a single subpopulation, families of leopard frogs vary in their tolerance to the insecticide carbaryl (Bridges and Semlitsch 2001). Local subpopulations are no doubt impacted by urbanization.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: No species-specific conservation actions are needed. It occurs in many protected areas.

Citation: IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group. 2014. Lithobates sphenocephalus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2014: e.T58723A64647484. . Downloaded on 04 October 2015.
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