Herpetofauna: One Life's List

Rana subaquavocalis
Ramsey Canyon Leopard Frog

Huachuca Mts., Arizona
August 4, 2000

What constitutes a Life List sighting? This was a tough one, since my only way to see a Ramsey Canyon Leopard Frog was to use binoculars.  What could I see?  Only the eyes and the top of the head, sticking out of the vegetation in this little man-made pond.

This rarest of North American frogs was only discovered a few years ago, when its small population had further diminished to just a handful, perhaps a hundred.  They are only found here and in another nearby canyon, and most of the frogs left are in the manmade pond pictured here.  They teeter on the brink of extinction, but efforts are being made to increase their numbers and establish other populations of the frog.

What makes them unique is the male frogs call while underwater, a trait unknown among other North American frogs.

On a return visit in 2006 I was able to get good looks at several subaquavocalis, and take a few photos as well. They are more robust than their leopard frog cousins in the midwest, and look more the lines and size of an adult Green Frog (Rana clamitans melanota). The ones I saw did not show any pattern but sported a nice green color.

related Herp Journal:

Tres Amigos En Arizona












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