A Guide to the Amphibians
and Reptiles of California







Comparison of California Ranid Frog Features








These are a few of the features of the Ranid frogs found in California that can help differentiate them from each other. Similar species are grouped together.


Feature LIthobates yavapaiensis Lithobates berlandieri Lithobates pipiens Lithobates sphenocephala   Rana cascadae Rana aurora Rana draytonii Rana pretiosa Rana luteiventris   Rana sierra Rana muscosa Rana boylii Lithobates catesbeianus
Dorsolateral
Folds
Distinct Distinct Distinct Distinct   Distinct Distinct Distinct Distinct Distinct   Indistinct or Absent Indistinct or Absent Indistinct or Absent Indistinct or Absent
Length of Dorsolateral
Folds
Interrupted
in front of groin, angled inward
Interrupted in front of groin, angled inward Continuous to Groin, not angled inward Continuous
to Groin, not angled
inward
                     
Light Spot on Tympanum Sometimes Present Yes None Yes, Distinct            
Tympanum Size           Smaller Than Eye Smaller Than Eye Smaller Than Eye As Large as Eye or Larger
Light line on
upper lip
Fades in
Front of Eye
Fades in Front of Eye Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes   At least Indistinct At least Indistinct At least Indistinct  
Throat   Sometimes with mottled dark pigment       Usually Spotted Usually Spotted Usually Spotted  
Snout Shape Rounded   Rounded Pointed            
Spots on Snout in Front of Eyes Usually None No Yes No     None None Pale Spot  
Head     Not Elongated Elongated            
Toe Tips           Dark Dark Not Dark  
Rear of Thighs Dark
Reticulum
Bold Dark Thigh Reticulations              
Underside of
Hind Limbs
Often
Yellow
Often Yellow   Pale Yellow Red Red Orange, Red Yellow, Orange   Yellow Yellow Yellow  
Venter Unmarked, Often Yellow Unmarked   Yellow or Orange Pale, mottled Pale, mottled Rust, Orange, Red Yellow, Orange   Yellow/ white Yellow/ white Yellow/ white White, Pale yellow
Eye Mask None None None None Dark Mask Dark Mask Dark Mask Dark Mask Dark Mask   None None None None
Eyes Slightly Upturned         Not Turned Upwards Not Turned Upwards Not Turned Upwards Turned Upwards Turned Upwards          
Dorsal Spots   A few large light spots, not clearly edged with light color Numerous well-defined rounded spots outlined in pale color A few spots with no white outline   Distinct, with sharp outlines Vague, not distinctly outlined Vague, not distinctly outlined Distinct Spots Distinct Spots          
Sides     Numerous Spots Few Spots   Mottled Mottled Mottled Not Mottled Not Mottled          
Skin           Smooth Smooth Smooth Slightly Granular Slightly Granular          
Heels of Adpressed
Limbs
          Reach Nostrils Reach Nostrils Reach Nostrils Don't reach nostrils Don't reach nostrils          
Groin Yellow Often Yellow       Yellow or Green with Indistinct dark mottling Reddish Reddish Red            
Feature Lithobates yavapaiensis Lithobates berlandieri Lithobates pipiens Lithobates sphenocephala   Rana cascadae Rana aurora Rana draytonii Rana pretiosa Rana luteiventris   Rana sierra Rana muscosa Rana boylii Lithobates catesbeianus


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