Lithobates sphenocephalus (Cope, 1886)

Class: Amphibia > Order: Anura > Family: Ranidae > Genus: Lithobates > Species: Lithobates sphenocephalus

Rana utricularius Harlan, 1826, Am. J. Sci. Arts, 10: 60. Type(s): Not designated; ANSP 2803 designated neotype by Pace, 1974, Misc. Publ. Mus. Zool. Univ. Michigan, 148: 18). Type locality: "Pennsylvania and New Jersey", USA. Neotype from "Philadelphia, Pennsylvania", USA. Considered a nomen dubium, likely synonymous with Rana pipiens, by Brown, Smith, and Funk, 1977, Bull. Zool. Nomencl., 33: 195–203. This disputed by Zug, 1982, Bull. Zool. Nomencl., 39: 80, and made arguable by Pace's neotype designation. Rana sphenocephala Cope, 1886, given precedence over this name by Opinion 1685, Anonymous, 1992, Bull. Zool. Nomencl., 49: 171–173, whenever they are in competition for priority.

Rana oxyrhynchus Hallowell, 1856, Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia, 8: 141–143. Holotype: Presumably originally in the ANSP; neotype designated as UMMZ 56130 by Pace, 1974, Misc. Publ. Mus. Zool. Univ. Michigan, 148: 18. Type locality: "in a sulphur spring, near the St. John's River, about three hundred miles from Key West", Florida, USA; neotype from "Enterprise, Volusia County, Florida", USA. Preoccupied by Rana oxyrhynchus Smith, 1849 (= Ptychadena oxyrhynchus). Synonymy with Rana halecina by Cope, 1886, Proc. Am. Philos. Soc., 23: 517, and Boulenger, 1919, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., Ser. 9, 3: 413; with Rana utricularius by Pace, 1974, Misc. Publ. Mus. Zool. Univ. Michigan, 148 (= Rana sphenocephala as used here). See Fox, 1913, Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia,, Index, 1812-1912: vii–xiv, for publication date of original publication. 

Rana halecina sphenocephala Cope, 1886, Proc. Am. Philos. Soc., 23: 517. Replacement name for Rana oxyrhynchus Hallowell, 1856. Given precedence over Rana utricularius Harlan, 1825, by Opinion 1685, Anonymous, 1992, Bull. Zool. Nomencl., 49: 171–173, whenever they are in competition for priority.

Rana virescens virescens Cope, 1889, Bull. U.S. Natl. Mus., 34: 399. Type(s): Not designated but frog figured by Cope is clearly a type and most similar to Rana sphenocephala (fide Brown, Smith, and Funk, 1977, Bull. Zool. Nomencl., 33: 200). Type locality: Not designated. Inadvertant validation of a previously unavailable name, but unfortunately a nomen dubium that might be applied to several species, including Rana blairi, Rana pipiens, and Rana sphenocephala. See Brown, Smith, and Funk, 1977, Bull. Zool. Nomencl., 33: 200, for discussion. Fouquette and Dubois, 2014, Checklist N.A. Amph. Rept.: 404, placed this name in the synonym of Lithobates berlandieri without discussion, as well (p. 426) under Lithobates sphenocephalus

Rana virescens sphenocephalaCope, 1889, Bull. U.S. Natl. Mus., 34: 99.

Rana sphenocephalaStrecker, 1915, Baylor Univ. Bull., 18: 46; Stejneger and Barbour, 1917, Check List N. Am. Amph. Rept.: 39.

Rana pipiens sphenocephalaStejneger and Barbour, 1943, Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool., 93: 58.

Rana utricularia utricularia — Pace, 1974, Misc. Publ. Mus. Zool. Univ. Michigan, 148: : 23.

Rana utricularia sphenocephala — Pace, 1974, Misc. Publ. Mus. Zool. Univ. Michigan, 148: : 22.

Rana (Rana) sphenocephalaDubois, 1987 "1986", Alytes, 5: 42, by implication.

Rana (Pantherana) sphenocephalaDubois, 1992, Bull. Mens. Soc. Linn. Lyon, 61: 332; Yuan, Zhou, Chen, Poyarkov, Chen, Jang-Liaw, Chou, Matzke, Iizuka, Min, Kuzmin, Zhang, Cannatella, Hillis, and Che, 2016, Syst. Biol., 65: 835.

Rana sphenocephala utriculariusCollins, 1997, Herpetol. Circ., 25: 13.

Rana sphenocephala sphenocephalaCollins, 1997, Herpetol. Circ., 25: 13.

Rana (Novirana, Sierrana, Pantherana, Scurrilirana) sphenocephalus sphenocephalusHillis and Wilcox, 2005, Mol. Phylogenet. Evol., 34: 305. See Dubois, 2006, Mol. Phylogenet. Evol., 42: 317-330, Hillis, 2007, Mol. Phylogenet. Evol., 42: 331-338, and Dubois, 2007, Cladistics, 23: 390-402, for relevant discussion of nomenclature. Invalid name formulation under the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature (1999) as discussed by Dubois, 2007, Cladistics, 23: 395.

Rana (Novirana, Sierrana, Pantherana, Scurrilirana) sphenocephalus utriculariaHillis and Wilcox, 2005, Mol. Phylogenet. Evol., 34: 305. See Dubois, 2006, Mol. Phylogenet. Evol., 42: 317-330, Hillis, 2007, Mol. Phylogenet. Evol., 42: 331-338, and Dubois, 2007, Cladistics, 23: 390-402, for relevant discussion of nomenclature. Invalid name formulation under the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature (1999) as discussed by Dubois, 2007, Cladistics, 23: 395.

Rana (Novirana) sphenocephalus sphenocephala — Hillis and Wilcox, 2005, Mol. Phylogenet. Evol., 34: 305. Interpretation by Fouquette and Dubois, 2014, Checklist N.A. Amph. Rept.: 426, of the nomenclatural act of Hillis and Wilcox, 2005. 

Rana (Novirana) sphenocephalus utricularia — Hillis and Wilcox, 2005, Mol. Phylogenet. Evol., 34: 305. Interpretation by Fouquette and Dubois, 2014, Checklist N.A. Amph. Rept.: 426, of the nomenclatural act of Hillis and Wilcox, 2005. 

Lithobates sphenocephalusFrost, Grant, Faivovich, Bain, Haas, Haddad, de Sá, Channing, Wilkinson, Donnellan, Raxworthy, Campbell, Blotto, Moler, Drewes, Nussbaum, Lynch, Green, and Wheeler, 2006, Bull. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist., 297: 369. Che, Pang, Zhao, Wu, Zhao, and Zhang, 2007, Mol. Phylogenet. Evol., 43: 1-13; by implication.

Lithobates (Lithobates) sphenocephalus sphenocephalusDubois, 2006, C. R. Biol., Paris, 329: 830; Dubois, 2006, Mol. Phylogenet. Evol., 42: 325.

Lithobates (Lithobates) sphenocephalus utriculariusDubois, 2006, C. R. Biol., Paris, 329: 830; Dubois, 2006, Mol. Phylogenet. Evol., 42: 325.

Rana (Scurrilirana) sphenocephala utriculariaHillis, 2007, Mol. Phylogenet. Evol., 42: 335-336, by implication.

Rana (Scurrilirana) sphenocephala sphenocephalaHillis, 2007, Mol. Phylogenet. Evol., 42: 335-336, by implication.

Lithobates sphenocephalus sphenocephalusFrost, McDiarmid, and Mendelson, 2008, in Crother (ed.), Herpetol. Circ., 37: 8).

Lithobates sphenocephalus utriculariusFrost, McDiarmid, and Mendelson, 2008, in Crother (ed.), Herpetol. Circ., 37: 8).

Rana (Lithobates) sphenocephala — Fouquette and Dubois, 2014, Checklist N.A. Amph. Rept.: 425. 

English Names

Southern Leopard Frog (Dickerson, 1906, The Frog Book: 186; Brimley, 1915, J. Elisha Mitchell Sci. Soc., 30: 7; Schmidt, 1953, Check List N. Am. Amph. Rept., Ed. 6: 82; Conant, Cagle, Goin, Lowe, Neill, Netting, Schmidt, Shaw, Stebbins, and Bogert, 1956, Copeia, 1956: 177; Conant, 1975, Field Guide Rept. Amph. E. Cent. N. Am., Ed. 2: 345; Collins, Huheey, Knight, and Smith, 1978, Herpetol. Circ., 7: 13; Frank and Ramus, 1995, Compl. Guide Scient. Common Names Amph. Rept. World: 109; Collins, 1997, Herpetol. Circ., 25: 13; Crother, Boundy, Campbell, de Queiroz, Frost, Highton, Iverson, Meylan, Reeder, Seidel, Sites, Taggart, Tilley, and Wake, 2001 "2000", Herpetol. Circ., 29: 15; Frost, McDiarmid, and Mendelson, 2008, in Crother (ed.), Herpetol. Circ., 37: 8; Frost, McDiarmid, Mendelson, and Green, 2012, in Crother (ed.), Herpetol. Circ., 39: 18; Frost, Lemmon, McDiarmid, and Mendelson, 2017, in Crother (ed.), Herpetol. Circ., 43: 16).

Southern Meadow Frog (Wright, 1932, Life Hist. Frogs Okefinokee Swamp, 2: 14; Wright and Wright, 1933, Handb. Frogs Toads U.S. Canada: xi).

Leopard Frog (Rana sphenocephala: Carr, 1940, Univ. Florida Biol. Sci. Ser., 3: 67).

Florida Leopard Frog (Rana sphenocephala: Collins and Taggart, 2009, Standard Common Curr. Sci. Names N. Am. Amph. Turtles Rept. Crocodil., ed. 6: 8).

Florida Leopard Frog (Rana sphenocephala sphenocephala: Frank and Ramus, 1995, Compl. Guide Scient. Common Names Amph. Rept. World: 109; Collins, 1997, Herpetol. Circ., 25: 13; Crother, Boundy, Campbell, de Queiroz, Frost, Highton, Iverson, Meylan, Reeder, Seidel, Sites, Taggart, Tilley, and Wake, 2001 "2000", Herpetol. Circ., 29: 15; Lithobates sphenocephalus sphenocephalus: Frost, McDiarmid, and Mendelson, 2008, in Crother (ed.), Herpetol. Circ., 37: 8; Collins and Taggart, 2009, Standard Common Curr. Sci. Names N. Am. Amph. Turtles Rept. Crocodil., ed. 6: 9; Frost, McDiarmid, Mendelson, and Green, 2012, in Crother (ed.), Herpetol. Circ., 39: 18; Frost, Lemmon, McDiarmid, and Mendelson, 2017, in Crother (ed.), Herpetol. Circ., 43: 16).

Southern Leopard Frog (Rana sphenocephala utricularia: Frank and Ramus, 1995, Compl. Guide Scient. Common Names Amph. Rept. World: 109; Collins, 1997, Herpetol. Circ., 25: 13; Crother, Boundy, Campbell, de Queiroz, Frost, Highton, Iverson, Meylan, Reeder, Seidel, Sites, Taggart, Tilley, and Wake, 2001 "2000", Herpetol. Circ., 29: 15; Lithobates sphenocephalus utricularius: Frost, McDiarmid, and Mendelson, 2008, in Crother (ed.), Herpetol. Circ., 37: 8; Collins and Taggart, 2009, Standard Common Curr. Sci. Names N. Am. Amph. Turtles Rept. Crocodil., ed. 6: 9). 

Florida Leopard Frog (Lithobates sphenocephalus sphenocephalusFrost, McDiarmid, Mendelson, and Green, 2012, in Crother (ed.), Herpetol. Circ., 39: 18).

Coastal Plain Leopard Frog (Lithobates sphenocephalus utriculariusFrost, Lemmon, McDiarmid, and Mendelson, 2017, in Crother (ed.), Herpetol. Circ., 43: 16). 

Distribution

Southeastern New York south along the Atlantic coastal plain (see comment) to southern Florida, west to southern Texas, and north to eastern Kansas, southern Illinois, and southern Ohio (excluding most of the Appalachian Mountains); introduced on Grand Bahama I., Bahamas, and into Madera County, California, USA.

Comment

Rana (Rana) pipiens subgroup of the Rana pipiens group as defined by Hillis, Frost, and Wright, 1983, Syst. Zool., 32: 132-143. In the equivalent Rana (Pantherana) pipiens group of Dubois, 1992, Bull. Mens. Soc. Linn. Lyon, 61: 332. See Opinion, 1685, Anonymous, 1992, Bull. Zool. Nomencl., 49: 171-173, and Brown, Smith, and Funk, 1977, Bull. Zool. Nomencl., 33: 195-203, for literature on the confusing nomenclatural issues. Whether subspecies can be recognized is controversial (Brown, Smith, and Funk, 1977, Bull. Zool. Nomencl., 33: 199-200), although the issue is far from resolved (Zug, 1982, Bull. Zool. Nomencl., 39: 80-81; Uzzell, 1982, Bull. Zool. Nomencl., 39: 83). Jacobs, 1973, HISS News J., 1: 98, provided the first record for Grand Bahama Island. Henderson and Powell, 2009, Nat. Hist. Rept. Amph. W. Indies: 97, summarized the natural history literature for the Antillean populations. Newman and Rissler, 2011, Mol. Ecol., 20: 5295–5312, reported on molecular phylogeography, documenting two major lineages east and west of the Apalachicola region of Forida, USA.. Newman, Feinberg, Rissler, Burger, and Shaffer, 2012, Mol. Phylogenet. Evol., 63: 445–455, noted, but did not name a previously undetected species related to either Lithobates sphenocephalus, Lithobates palustris, or Lithobates pipiens, with a range of northern New Jersey, through New York City, likely to western Connecticut, USA.  Duran and Hall, 2013, Herpetol. Rev., 44: 622, provided a record for South Texas (Kleberg County) and documented sympatry with Lithobates berlandieri. Butterfield, Lannoo, and Nanjappa, 2005, in Lannoo (ed.), Amph. Declines: 586–590, and Dodd, 2013, Frogs U.S. and Canada, 2 : 621–637, provided detailed accounts that summarized literature of biology, range, and conservation. Recognition of Lithobates kauffeldi by Feinberg, Newman, Watkins-Colwell, Schlesinger, Zarate, Curry, Shaffer, and Burger, 2014, PLoS One, 9 (10)(e108213): 1–15, may require that populations from northeastern North Carolina to tidewater Virginia and Maryland, USA, be assigned to that species. Elliot, Gerhardt, and Davidson, 2009, Frogs and Toads of N. Am.: 220–223, provided an account, photos, and advertisement call. Altig and McDiarmid, 2015, Handb. Larval Amph. US and Canada: 234–235, provided an account of larval morphology and biology. See account of biology and life history in southern Florida by Meshaka and Lane, 2015, Herpetol. Conserv. Biol., 10 (Monogr. 5): 81–89. Root, Passamaneck, and Keele, 2017, Herpetol. Rev., 48: 385, noted an introduced population in Madera County, California, USA, in the San Joaquin River. 

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