Lithobates berlandieri (Baird, 1859)

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

Rana berlandieri Baird, 1859, Rep. U.S-Mex. Bound. Surv., 2(Pt. 2-Rept.): 27. Type(s): Not stated, and only one specimen figured although USNM 3293 (9 specimens) and USNM 131513 (according to Cochran, 1961, Bull. U.S. Natl. Mus., 220: 72) and MCZ 155 (2 specimens, exchanged from USNM, according to Barbour and Loveridge, 1929, Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool., 69: 326) reported as syntypes; USNM 131513 designated lectotype by Pace, 1974, Misc. Publ. Mus. Zool. Univ. Michigan, 148: 25. Type locality: "Southern Texas generally"; corrected to "Brownsville, Tex.", USA by Kellogg, 1932, Bull. U.S. Natl. Mus., 160: 205; lectotype from "Brownsville, Texas", USA.

Rana halecina berlandieriCope, 1875, Bull. U.S. Natl. Mus., 1: 32.

Rana halecina austricola Cope, 1886, Proc. Am. Philos. Soc., 23: 517. Syntypes: By indication, the Mexican specimens of "Rana halecina" referred to in a series of publications, including Baird, 1859, Rep. U.S-Mex. Bound. Surv., 2(Pt. 2-Rept.): 1–35; Brocchi, 1881, Miss. Scient. Mex. Amer. Centr., Rech. Zool., 3(2, livr. 1): 10, Rept; Günther, 1859 "1858", Cat. Batr. Sal. Coll. Brit. Mus. . . . ; specimen of "Rana lecontei" illustrated by Brocchi, 1881, Miss. Scient. Mex. Amer. Centr., Rech. Zool., 3(2, livr. 1): Pl. 4, fig. 1, selected lectotype by Kellogg, 1932, Bull. U.S. Natl. Mus., 160: 207. Type locality: "Mexican specimens referred to in these publications"; designated as "Vera Cruz", Mexico by lectotype designation of Kellogg, 1932, Bull. U.S. Natl. Mus., 160: 208, and restriction (apparently in ignorance of Kellogg's earlier action) by Smith and Taylor, 1950, Univ. Kansas Sci. Bull., 33: 351; designated as "Matamoros, Tamaulipas", Mexico, by Schmidt, 1953, Check List N. Am. Amph. Rept., Ed. 6: 83.

Rana virescens austricolaCope, 1889, Bull. U.S. Natl. Mus., 34: 398.

Rana virescens berlandieri — Cope, 1889, Bull. U.S. Natl. Mus., 34: 398.

Rana virescens var. austricolaIves, 1891, Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia, 43: 461.

Rana austricolaRuthven, 1912, Zool. Jahrb., Jena, Abt. Syst., 32: 305 (suggested to be similar to Rana lecontei); Noble, 1918, Bull. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist., 38: 315 (based on specimens of a species other than Rana berlandieri).

Rana halecina var. austricolaBoulenger, 1919, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., Ser. 9, 3: 413.

Rana pipiens berlandieriSchmidt, 1941, Field Mus. Nat. Hist. Publ., Zool. Ser., 22: 487.

Rana pipiens austricolaSmith, 1947, J. Washington Acad. Sci., 37: 409; Shannon, 1951, Proc. U.S. Natl. Mus., 101: 478; Shannon and Werler, 1955, Herpetologica, 11: 85.

Rana berlandieri berlandieriSanders, 1973, J. Herpetol., 7: 87.

Rana (Rana) berlandieriDubois, 1987 "1986", Alytes, 5: 41, by implication.

Rana (Pantherana) berlandieriDubois, 1992, Bull. Mens. Soc. Linn. Lyon, 61: 331; Yuan, Zhou, Chen, Poyarkov, Chen, Jang-Liaw, Chou, Matzke, Iizuka, Min, Kuzmin, Zhang, Cannatella, Hillis, and Che, 2016, Syst. Biol., 65: 835.

Rana (Novirana, Sierrana, Pantherana, Scurrilirana) berlandieriHillis 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) berlandieri — Hillis and Wilcox, 2005, Mol. Phylogenet. Evol., 34: 305 (this being the interpretation by Fouquette and Dubois, 2014, Checklist N.A. Amph. Rept.: 404, of the nomenclatural act of Hillis and Wilcox). 

Lithobates berlandieriFrost, 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) berlandieriDubois, 2006, C. R. Biol., Paris, 329: 829; Dubois, 2006, Mol. Phylogenet. Evol., 42: 325.

Rana (Scurrilirana) berlandieriHillis, 2007, Mol. Phylogenet. Evol., 42: 335–336, by implication.

Rana (Lithobates) berlandieri — Fouquette and Dubois, 2014, Checklist N.A. Amph. Rept.: 403. 

English Names

Berlandier's Frog (Yarrow, 1882, Bull. U.S. Natl. Mus., 24: 25).

Rio Grande Leopard Frog (Schmidt, 1953, Check List N. Am. Amph. Rept., Ed. 6: 83; 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: 346; Collins, Huheey, Knight, and Smith, 1978, Herpetol. Circ., 7: 12; Liner, 1994, Herpetol. Circ., 23: 27; Frank and Ramus, 1995, Compl. Guide Scient. Common Names Amph. Rept. World: 106; Lee, 1996, Amph. Rept. Yucatan Peninsula: 122; Collins, 1997, Herpetol. Circ., 25: 13; Lee, 2000, Field Guide Amph. Rept. Maya World: 126; Crother, Boundy, Campbell, de Queiroz, Frost, Highton, Iverson, Meylan, Reeder, Seidel, Sites, Taggart, Tilley, and Wake, 2001 "2000", Herpetol. Circ., 29: 14; Stebbins, 2003, Field Guide W. Rept. Amph., Ed. 3: 240; Frost, McDiarmid, and Mendelson, 2008, in Crother (ed.), Herpetol. Circ., 37: 7; Liner and Casas-Andreu, 2008, Herpetol. Circ., 38: 16; Collins and Taggart, 2009, Standard Common Curr. Sci. Names N. Am. Amph. Turtles Rept. Crocodil., ed. 6: 8; Frost, McDiarmid, Mendelson, and Green, 2012, in Crother (ed.), Herpetol. Circ., 39: 17; Frost, Lemmon, McDiarmid, and Mendelson, 2017, in Crother (ed.), Herpetol. Circ., 43: 14).


Central and western Texas and southern New Mexico (USA) through eastern Chihuahua to central Veracruz and Hidalgo, Mexico; introduced into the lower Colorado River and lower Gila River drainages of Sonora and Baja California del Norte, Mexico, and California and Arizona, USA.


In the Rana berlandieri subgroup of the Rana pipiens complex as defined by Hillis, Frost, and Wright, 1983, Syst. Zool., 32: 132–143. In the Rana (Pantherana) berlandieri group of Dubois, 1992, Bull. Mens. Soc. Linn. Lyon, 61: 331. Introduced population in northwestern Mexico and southwestern USA reported by Platz, Clarkson, Rorabaugh, and Hillis, 1990, Copeia, 1990: 324–332. See accounts by Lee, 1996, Amph. Rept. Yucatan Peninsula: 122–124; Campbell, 1998, Amph. Rept. N. Guatemala Yucatan Belize: 94–95, Lee, 2000, Field Guide Amph. Rept. Maya World: 126–127, and McCranie and Wilson, 2002, Amph. Honduras: 473–482. Platz, 1991, Cat. Am. Amph. Rept., 508: 1–4, reviewed the species. Hillis, 1988, Annu. Rev. Ecol. Syst., 19: 39–63, reported an undescribed species, confused with Rana berlandieri, from the Meseta Central of Chiapas, Mexico. Stebbins, 2003, Field Guide W. Rept. Amph., Ed. 3: 240, provided a brief account, figure, and map. See comment under Rana forreri. Rorabaugh and Servoss, 2006, Herpetol. Rev., 37: 102, provided a record for the Colorado River drainage of Sonora, Mexico. Zaldívar-Riverón, León-Regagnon, and Nieto-Montes de Oca, 2004, Mol. Phylogenet. Evol., 30: 38–49, provided a molecular phylogenetic analysis of this species and near relatives, including serveral undescribed relatives: "Pagapayo", "Arcelia", and "Colima". Lemos-Espinal, 2007, Anf. Rept. Chihuahua Mexico: 55–56, provided an account for Chihuahua, Mexico. Lemos-Espinal and Smith, 2007, Anf. Rept. Coahuila México: 54, provided an account for Coahuila, Mexico. Lemos-Espinal and Dixon, 2013, Amphibians and Reptiles of San Luis Potosí: 67–68, provided an account for San Luis Potosí, Mexico. Valdes-Lares, Martín-Muñoz de Cote, and Muñiz-Martínez, 2013, Herpetol. Rev., 44: 648–649, provided new records for Durango, Mexico. Rorabaugh, 2005, in Lannoo (ed.), Amph. Declines: 530–532, and Dodd, 2013, Frogs U.S. and Canada, 2 : 466–471, provided accounts that summarized relevant literature, particularly with reference to the USA population. Elliot, Gerhardt, and Davidson, 2009, Frogs and Toads of N. Am.: 226–227, provided an account, photos, and advertisement call. Altig and McDiarmid, 2015, Handb. Larval Amph. US and Canada: 223–224, provided an account of larval morphology and biology. Lemos-Espinal and Smith, 2015, Check List, 11(1642): 1–11, noted the occurrence of the species in Hidalgo, Mexico, without providing a specific locality.     

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