Lithobates fisheri


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Lithobates fisheri
Species Authority: (Stejneger, 1893)
Common Name(s):
English Las Vegas Leopard Frog
Rana fisheri Stejneger, 1893
Taxonomic Notes: Since its description, Lithobates fisheri (Stejneger 1893) has been considered a distinct species (Linsdale 1940; Jennings, Riddle and Bradford 1995), a subspecies of L. pipiens (Stebbins 1959) or a synonym of L. onca (Jennings 1988; Stebbins 2003). Morphological analyses support the view that L. fisheri represents a separate species (Jennings, Riddle and Bradford 1995).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Extinct ver 3.1
Year Published: 2004
Date Assessed: 2004-04-30
Assessor(s): Randy Jennings, Geoffrey Hammerson
Reviewer(s): Global Amphibian Assessment Coordinating Team (Simon Stuart, Janice Chanson, Neil Cox and Bruce Young)
Listed as Extinct because it has not been recorded for over 60 years, and extensive searches have failed to locate this species.
1996 Extinct
1994 Extinct? (Groombridge 1994)
1990 Endangered (IUCN 1990)
1988 Endangered (IUCN Conservation Monitoring Centre 1988)
1986 Endangered (IUCN Conservation Monitoring Centre 1986)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species was known from a small number of localities, elevation ca. 600m asl, in the northern portions of Las Vegas Valley, Clark County, Nevada, USA (Jennings, Riddle and Bradford 1995).
Regionally extinct:
United States
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: It was last seen in 1942 (Wright and Wright 1949) and is now believed to be extinct (Jennings, Riddle and Bradford 1995).

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This frog was restricted to freshwater streams, springs, seeps, and adjacent riparian habitat associated with the Upper Las Vegas Valley (Wright and Wright 1949). Egg masses are not known, but metamorphic individuals were collected in the same habitats as those used by adults (Wright and Wright 1949).
Systems: Terrestrial; Freshwater

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): It is extinct evidently due to habitat loss resulting from spring capture and ground water pumping by the growing city of Las Vegas (URS 1977), and exacerbated by the introduction of the Bullfrog Rana catesbeiana. Although some suitable habitat persists within or near the former range of this species, only R. catesbeiana can be found.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: No conservation measures are needed; this species is extinct.

Bibliography [top]

Behler, J.L. and King, F.W. 1979. The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Reptiles and Amphibians. New York.

Blackburn, L., Nanjappa, P. and Lannoo, M.J. 2001. An Atlas of the Distribution of U.S. Amphibians. Ball State University, Muncie, IN, USA.

Frost, D.R. 1985. Amphibian Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference. Allen Press and the Association of Systematic Collections, Lawrence, Kansas.

IUCN. 2004. 2004 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Downloaded on 23 November 2004.

Jennings, M.R. 1988. Rana onca Cope, relict leopard frog. Catalogue of American Amphibians and Reptiles: 1-2.

Jennings, R.D., Riddle, B.R. and Bradford, D. 1995. Rediscovery of Rana onca, the relict leopard frog, in southern Nevada with comments on the systematic relationships of some leopard frogs (Rana pipiens complex) and the status of populations along the Virgin River. Unpublished report.

Linsdale, J.M. 1940. Amphibians and reptiles in Nevada. Proceedings of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences: 197-257.

Stebbins, R.C. 1954. Amphibians and Reptiles of Western North America. McGraw-Hill Book Company, New York.

Stebbins, R.C. 1959. Amphibians of Western North America. University of California Press, Berkeley, California.

Stebbins, R.C. 1985. A Field Guide to Western Reptiles and Amphibians. Second Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, Massachusetts.

Stebbins, R.C. 2003. A Field Guide to Western Reptiles and Amphibians, Third Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, Massachusetts.

Stejneger, L. 1893. Annotated list of the reptiles and batrachians collected by the Death Valley Expedition in 1891, with descriptions of new species. North American Fauna: 159-228.

Wright, A.H. and Wright, A.A. 1949. Handbook of frogs and toads of the United States and Canada. Comstock Publishing Company, Inc, Ithaca, New York, USA.

Citation: Randy Jennings, Geoffrey Hammerson 2004. Lithobates fisheri. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <>. Downloaded on 03 March 2015.
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