Lithobates sphenocephalus


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

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

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.
2004 Least Concern

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).
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).
Population Trend: Stable

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. Version 2015.2. <>. Downloaded on 30 August 2015.
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