Brazos Bend State Park
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Gator Hatch

Southern Leopard Frog

Rana sphenocephala

Southern Leopard Frog

Description - Body 2 -3 1/2 inches (5.1 - 9 cm). Greenish- brown in color with a number of dark brown dorsal spots. Spots are often longitudinally elongated. Spots are also normally present on both front and rear legs. Nose is more pointed than other frog species. A light colored spot in the center of ear tympanum separates it from the Northern Leopard Frog (Rana pipiens)

Voice - A series of short "chuckles" or "crooks". Often compared to the sound of rubbing two balloons together. Call is repeated several times in rapid succession. "Chu-hu-hu-hu-huck, Chu-hu-hu-hu-huck, Chu-hu-hu-hu-huck". Unlike most other frogs the Leopard Frog has a pair of vocal sacks, one on either side of the jaw.

Habitat - All types of shallow, freshwater habitats and even venturing into slightly brackish marshes along the coast. During the summer these frogs can be found a long way from water.

Breeding - The Leopard Frog is a cool weather breeder. It can usually be heard calling from November - April when temperatures are cool. Eggs are laid in shallow water.

Range in Texas - It can be found in all of East Texas as far south as Corpus Christi.

Notes - Sometimes called the "Spotted Frog" it long powerful legs can make it difficult to catch. The Southern Leopard Frog avoids predators by jumping in the water and returning to shore under water, while the predator searches for the frog at the point where the frog entered the water.

Updated: Aug 12, 2011