A Guide to California's
Reptiles and Amphibians

Sounds of
Lowland Leopard Frog - Lithobates yavapaiensis

Platz and Frost, 1984

(= Rana yavapaiensis)
Click the speaker icon to listen to an mp3 sound file.

Lowland Leopard Frog
Calling Male, Pima County, Arizona

Male frogs and toads sometimes make a variety of sounds. These calls can have different functions.

Advertisement Calls

The advertisement call is the most well-known call of a frog or toad. It is made by a male during the breeding season to establish his territory and repel rival males and to attract females as potential mates. Males usually make the call in or near bodies of water near areas that are attractive to a female as a good place to lay her eggs. Advertisement calls can be heard during the evening and at night, and often during daylight at the peak of the breeding season. Sometimes an advertisement call will be heard outside of the breeding season and away from water. The reason for this is not understood.

Each species has its own unique advertisement call. This is necessary to differentiate them when there is more than one species calling. The evolution of this specific male advertisement call and its recognition by females is considered to be an important isolating mechanism in the evolution of a species.

The call of the Lowland Leopard Frog consists of several short quiet chuckles, sounding like quick, short, kisses. Calls at night, sometimes during the day.


The following recordings were made at dusk and at night at a small pool in a canyon bottom in Yavapai County, Arizona (shown below at dusk.) Water was slowly flowing into the pool. 3 or 4 frogs were calling. Calling was not continuous and loud calling appeared to have been triggered by the loud trilling of Red-spotted toads.

Sound  This is a 25 second continuous recording of two frogs calling at night.
Sound  This is a 36 second edited recording of frogs calling at night. Bird noises are in the background.
Sound  This is a 56 edited recording of frogs calling at dusk. Bird notes, a poorwhill, mourning doves, the distant echoed braying of wild donkeys are heard in the background.          Red-spotted toads can also be heard calling loudly in the foreground.
Sound  This is a 74 second recording of 2 frogs calling, with wild donkeys and bird notes in the background, and Red-spotted toads calling loudly in the foreground.
Lowland Leopard Frog Habitat Lowland Leopard Frog Habitat Lowland Leopard Frog Habitat Lowland Leopard Frog Habitat
Calling location - a small pool in a desert creek bed, Yavapai County, Arizona. Two adult males in calling position hiding behind branches at the edge of the pool shown to the left.

The following sounds were recorded at night in Pima County, Arizona with the kind assistance of Dr. Cecil Schwalbe. The frogs called from an artificial pond which is part of a joint effort to re-establish Lowland Leopard Frogs near Saguaro National Park in areas where they were once more common.

Sound  This is a 16 second recording of a small chorus of frogs. This was recorded by Jeff Rice of and used by permission.
Sound  This is a 58 second recording of 2 frogs calling. Three short continuous segments have been put together. The recording was made at the same pond as the previous recording, but about two weeks later. The frogs are less animated and call more slowly.
Sound  This is a 46 second continuous recording of 2 frogs calling. The recording was made at the same artificial pond as the first recording in this group, but about two weeks later. The frogs are less animated and call more slowly.
Waveform and Sonogram
Sound  This is a recording of some sounds of a Lowland Leopard Frog recorded at night in Yavapai County, Arizona.
The image above is a visual representation of this call.  Click on it to see a larger image.
Click here for information about how to read the waveform and sonogram images.
Short Video
Lowland Leopard Frog
A Lowland Leopard frog calls at night from the edge of the small pond in Pima County, Arizona described above.
A second frog, close, but not in the picture, also makes a few sounds.

You can listen to more recordings of Lowland Leopard Frogs on this cd:

Carlos Davidson - Frog and Toad Calls of the Pacific Coast

cd cover

and on the cd that comes with this book:

Lang Elliott, Carl Gerhardt, and Carlos Davidson - The Frogs and Toads of North America - Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

book cover

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