Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Amphibia Anura Ranidae

Scientific Name: Lithobates palustris
Species Authority: (LeConte, 1825)
Common Name(s):
English Pickerel Frog
Rana palustris LeConte, 1825
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:
Taxonomic Notes: A recently recognized but unnamed new cryptic species with a sister relationship to Lithobates palustris (Newman et al. 2012) suggests that a revision of the species' distribution may be needed to assess geographic variation and if there could be more cryptic species concealed under this nominal form.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2014
Date Assessed: 2014-08-12
Assessor(s): IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group
Reviewer(s): Luedtke, J.
Contributor(s): Hammerson, G.A. & Pelletier, S.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Angulo, A.
Listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution, tolerance of a degree of habitat modification and presumed large population.
Previously published Red List assessments:
2004 Least Concern (LC)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species can be found in Eastern North America from the Gaspé Peninsula to Wisconsin, south to southern South Carolina, northern Georgia, southern Mississippi and southeastern Texas (Conant and Collins 1991). It is absent from most of far southeastern U.S. and the prairie region of Illinois and vicinity.
Countries occurrence:
Canada (New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Québec); United States (Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin)
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: There are thousands of subpopulations; it is considered to be abundant and stable.
Current Population Trend: Stable
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: There are various habitats in wooded regions, it can be found in the vicinity of cool clear streams and ponds in the north and in warm, turbid swamps in parts of the south. It disperses from the water's edge into fields and woods in some regions. When inactive, it hides at the bottom of water bodies or in caves in some areas. Eggs and larvae develop in standing water of woodland ponds, bog ponds, stream pools, sloughs and flooded ditches, often in sites with few or no fishes (e.g. Holomuzki 1995).
Systems: Terrestrial; Freshwater

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade:

There are no reports of this species being utilized.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Local subpopulations are no doubt impacted by clear-cutting and urbanization, although the species as a whole is not considered to be threatened.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There are no conservation measures needed. It occurs in many protected areas.

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.4. Forest - Temperate
suitability: Suitable season: resident 
3. Shrubland -> 3.4. Shrubland - Temperate
suitability: Suitable season: resident 
4. Grassland -> 4.4. Grassland - Temperate
suitability: Marginal season: resident 
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.1. Wetlands (inland) - Permanent Rivers/Streams/Creeks (includes waterfalls)
suitability: Suitable season: resident 
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.2. Wetlands (inland) - Seasonal/Intermittent/Irregular Rivers/Streams/Creeks
suitability: Suitable season: resident 
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.4. Wetlands (inland) - Bogs, Marshes, Swamps, Fens, Peatlands
suitability: Suitable season: resident 
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.5. Wetlands (inland) - Permanent Freshwater Lakes (over 8ha)
suitability: Suitable season: resident 
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.6. Wetlands (inland) - Seasonal/Intermittent Freshwater Lakes (over 8ha)
suitability: Suitable season: resident 
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.7. Wetlands (inland) - Permanent Freshwater Marshes/Pools (under 8ha)
suitability: Suitable season: resident 
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.9. Wetlands (inland) - Freshwater Springs and Oases
suitability: Suitable season: resident 
7. Caves and Subterranean Habitats (non-aquatic) -> 7.1. Caves and Subterranean Habitats (non-aquatic) - Caves
suitability: Suitable season: resident 
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.1. Artificial/Terrestrial - Arable Land
suitability: Marginal season: resident 
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.2. Artificial/Terrestrial - Pastureland
suitability: Marginal season: resident 
15. Artificial/Aquatic & Marine -> 15.2. Artificial/Aquatic - Ponds (below 8ha)
suitability: Suitable season: resident 
15. Artificial/Aquatic & Marine -> 15.9. Artificial/Aquatic - Canals and Drainage Channels, Ditches
suitability: Suitable season: resident 

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Occur in at least one PA:Yes
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
1. Residential & commercial development -> 1.1. Housing & urban areas
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

1. Residential & commercial development -> 1.2. Commercial & industrial areas
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

4. Transportation & service corridors -> 4.1. Roads & railroads
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

5. Biological resource use -> 5.3. Logging & wood harvesting -> 5.3.5. Motivation Unknown/Unrecorded
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

Bibliography [top]

Atlas des Amphibiens et des Reptiles du Québec. 2012. Available at:

Barbour, R.W. 1971. Amphibians and Reptiles of Kentucky. University Press of Kentucky, Lexington.

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

Conant, R. and Collins, J.T. 1991. A Field Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians: Eastern and Central North America. Third Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, Massachusetts.

Conant, R. and Collins, J.T. 1998. A Field Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians: Eastern and Central North America. Third edition, Expanded. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, MA, USA.

DeGraaf, R.M. and Rudis, D.D. 1983. Amphibians and Reptiles of New England: Habitats and Natural History. University of Massachusetts Press, Amherst, MA, 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.

Holomuzki, J.R. 1995. Oviposition sites and fish-deterrent mechanisms of two stream anurans. Copeia: 607-613.

IUCN. 2014. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. Available at: (Accessed: 13 November 2014).

Johnson, T.R. 1977. The Amphibians of Missouri. Univ. Kansas Mus. Nat. Hist., Pub. Ed. Ser. 6, Kansas.

Minton Jr, S.A. 1972. Amphibians and Reptiles of Indiana. Indiana Academy of Science Monographs 3, Indianapolis, IN, USA.

Mount, R.H. 1975. The Reptiles and Amphibians of Alabama. Auburn University Agricultural Experiment Station, Auburn, Alabama.

Newman, C.E., Feinberg, J. A., Rissler, L.J., Burger, J., Shaffer, H.B. 2012. A new species of leopard frog (Anura: Ranidae) from the urban northeastern US. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 63: 445–455.

Pace, A.E. 1974. Systematic and biological studies of the leopard frogs (Rana pipiens Complex) of the United States. Miscellaneous Publications, Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan: 1-140.

Schaaf, R.T., Jr. and Smith, P.W. 1971. Rana palustris. Catalogue of American Amphibians and Reptiles: 1-3.

Vogt, R.C. 1981. Natural History of Amphibians and Reptiles of Wisconsin. Milwaukee Public Museum, Milwaukee, WI, USA.

Citation: IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group. 2014. Lithobates palustris. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2014: e.T58690A64542045. . Downloaded on 07 October 2015.
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