New Mexico Frogs and Toads

***This post is a part of my series where this year I will be highlighting all of the different states native frogs and toads.  Check out this page to see all of the United State’s native frogs broken down by state. ***

All Maps are created by the New Mexico Herpetological Society. If local, visit them here to learn more!

Here are the frogs  and Toads that can be found in New Mexico:

American Bullfrog (Lithobates catesbeianus)

5676671377_ed026cb2f4_b.jpg
photo 1

The American Bullfrog is the largest frog in New Mexico.  They are typically green or gray-brown with brown spots. They can grow up to 8″ in length and weigh up to a 1 pound.  The bullfrog can be found near large permanent bodies of water with vegetation near the shorelines. In New Mexico, they can be found in almost every permanent water source in the state. They were introduced as a food source for humans.

Bullfrogs will eat almost anything that will fit in their mouths.  They have been known to eat spiders, fish, birds and even small mammals.  It has a very deep call which resembles the mooing of a cow.  Watch the video below to hear!  Both genders of the bullfrog croak.  Their calls may be heard day or night between May and August.

Arizona Toad (Anaxyrus microscaphus)

photo 2

The Arizona toad is typically 3″ in length and can range in color from a brown to a greenish grey with a light stripe across its head. They can typically be found in streams, reservoirs and uplands adjacent to water. In New Mexico, they are found in the southwestern corner.

The Arizona toad will lay its eggs on the bottom of shallow, slow moving streams. It is unique that the adult toads are nocturnal, however the young are active during daylight. This toad will hybridize with the Woodhouse’s toads. It’s call is a trill that will last between 8-10 seconds. Males will not typically create a chorus, but instead will be spread out singly along the stream edge.

Arizona Treefrog (Hyla wrightorum)

photo 3

The Arizona Treefrog is a relatively small green and coppery brown frog. It typically has a dark brown eyestripe that will extend onto the side of its body behind its legs. The throat will often be dusky green or tank color. This frog can be found in streams, wet meadows, roadside ditches and livestock tanks in forests. Within the state of New Mexico, they may be found in 2 southwestern counties.

These frogs breed at the beginning of summer monsoon season with the choruses lasting only 2-3 days, however occasionally they can be heard during the summer. The call is a metallic clink repeated 1-3 times per second. I think it sounds similar to a duck quack, but listen to the call below to hear for yourself.

Balcones Barking frog (Craugastor augusti latrons)

Photo 4

The barking frog is a toad-like frog which can be olive-gray to rusty-gray coloring with irregular blotches on its back and leads. It’s toes are not webbed and they have rounded outgrowth on their feet. They are typically found in caves on rocky slopes or in woodlands between 4,200 – 6,200 ft. Within New Mexico, they can be found in a couple southeastern counties.

These frogs are very difficult to find and are located by their distinctive call which sounds like “Walk! Walk!”. They will call for 2-3 nights following the first monsoon of the season, but may be heard sporadically for the next 2-4 weeks. The female frog will stay with the eggs until they hatch and continue to provide moisture to them as needed. Unlike most frogs and toads, this species young will hatch straight from the eggs in about 20-35 days. Listen below to hear the males call.

Boreal Chorus Frog (Pseudacris maculata)

4669446198_2357389358_b.jpg
photo 5

The Boreal Chorus frog is brown with 3 dark lateral stripes or spots down its back with a white upper lip and measures up to 1-1/2″ long. These frogs are typically found near heavily vegetated bodies of water, but also need a shallow open area for breeding.  These frogs may be found in the northern half of New Mexico.

The boreal chorus frog sounds similar to the spring peeper in that it sounds like fingers running over a comb, however the boreal chorus frog’s call is more tinny and mechanical opposed to the musical whistle of the spring peeper.  Females lay 500-1,500 eggs in groups of 5-300.  Listen to the call below.

Boreal Toad (Anaxyrus boreas boreas)

photo 6

The boreal toad is a subspecies of the western toad. It is a chunky toad, with short legs and numerous warts (it is a toad after all).  They can vary in color from brown to green or gray with white and dark mottling on its tummy.  There is a conspicuous light colored stripe running down the middle of its back.  Their back feet have 2 large rubbery knobs on the heel which they use for digging.  The boreal toad is found in one northern most county within New Mexico.

Their call is a soft birdlike clucking call similar to the Western toad.  Listen to it in the video below.  When handled, the toad may emit a twittery sound, puff up and urinate.  These toads are active during daylight hours and are much more active during damp weather. 

Canyon Tree Frog (Hyla arenicolor)

4416938097_f6a70623d4_o.jpg
photo 7

The Canyon tree frog measures an average of 2″ in length.  They only occur along the rocky stream courses within canyons.  They can be seen basking on rocks or hiding in crevices.  The canyon tree frog may be found in the western half of New Mexico along with some northern counties.

The canyon tree frog will breed in pools alongside of the streams primarily in spring, but have been known to breed after heavy summer rains as well.  This frogs call sounds like a machine gun, engine turning or a woodpecker drumming.  It is a loud, nasal, rapidly stuttering ah-ah-ah.  This usually lasts 1-2 seconds.

Chihuahuan Desert Spadefoot (Spea multiplicata stagnalis)

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 33756570602_8cfc6e45ae_b.jpg
photo 8

The Chihuahuan Desert Spadefoot is a subspecies of the Mexican Spadefoot and are brown, grayish green or grayish brown with dark spots on its back. Red-tipped tubercles are scattered on the head and back. Like other spadefoots, the Chihuahuan Desert spadefoot has a horny tubercle on the bottom of each hind foot which is used to dig. They can be found in grasslands and woodlands throughout New Mexico.

The males call from the middle of the pond and it sounds like a fingernail running over the teeth of a comb. Have a listen below.

Chiricahua Leopard Frog (Lithobates chiricahuensis)

photo 9

The Chiricahua leopard frog can reach 4.25″ in length. They are green or brown with numerous small dark spots. Historically the Chiricahua leopard frog could be found in a variety of wetland habitats, but now it can be found in stock tanks and man-made waters in the southwestern corner of New Mexico.

They will breed April through October. The males call consists of a 1-2 second snore.

Couch’s Spadefoot (Scaphiopus couchii)

photo 10

The couch’s spadefoot has a dull yellow to greenish yellow coloring with brown-black spots and can reach up to 3″ in length.  They can be found in areas with prairie grassland and breed in pools and ponds filled by heavy rain.  In New Mexico, they can be found in a few populations within central New Mexico, but mainly in the southern half of the state.

Couch’s spadefoot has a yeow croaking call.

Eastern Cricket Frog (Acris crepitans)

photo 11

The Eastern Cricket frog measures an average of 1″ in length with the females being slightly larger.  These frogs can jump a surprisingly long way (5-6′) for their small size.  They can range a combination of black, yellow orange or red on a base of brown or green.  They may be found near permanent water sources like slow moving streams, margins of lakes and ponds or around marshy areas. In New Mexico, the eastern cricket frog is common within the southeastern corner of the state.

This frog was named for its breeding call which sounds very much like a chirp or trill of a cricket repeated for about 20 beats or like 2 pebbles clicked together.  Listen to its call below.

Great Plains Toad (Anaxyrus cognatus)

photo 12

The great plains toad has numerous warts and prominent ridges on its head.  The females will typically reach 3″ with males being less.  The great plains toad can be found throughout New Mexico except for the northwestern corner of the state.  They burrow well in loose soil and are found at night roadside or in ditches where insects are bountiful.

A female great plains toad will lay up to 20,000 eggs.  The male great plains toad has a long trill call that lasts 20-50 seconds long and can vary depending on the size of the male and the temperature.  Some people have compared this toad’s call to a jackhammer, but go ahead and listen to it for yourself below:

Lowland Leopard Frog (Lithobates yavapaiensis)

photo 13

The lowland leopard frog is similar to the other leopard frogs, but the relict leopard frog is the closest. This species is typically brown although some are green on the head. They can be found in rivers and streams. Within the state of New Mexico, they can be found in the northwestern most 3 counties.

The males will call a series of chuckles that are similar to the plains and relict leopard frog call.

Northern Leopard Frog (Rana pipiens)

photo 14

The Northern Leopard frog has 2-3 unevenly spaced rows of irregular oval shaped dots on its back.  It needs 3 different habitats to match its lifestyle – permanent water for overwintering, floodplains & marshes for breeding & meadows and fields for foraging. Within New Mexico, the northern leopard frog can be found in the central and northwestern part of the state.

These frogs are opportunistic feeders, meaning that they will eat anything that fits in their mouth including beetles, ants, smaller frogs – including their own species, birds and even garter snakes.  It’s call is like a low and rumbling snore and grunt sound.  It has also been known to scream loudly when grasped or frightened by a predator.  Listen below to their call.

Plains Leopard Frog (Lithobates blairi)

10117863785_7ff75f956a_o.jpg
photo 15

This frog is brown with large rounded dark spots with light borders.  As you can see from the photo above, the ear drum is very distinct.  The Plains leopard frog is known for its distinctively broken and displaced skin ridges along the back and can reach 3-3/4″.  They can be found near streams, ponds, creeks and ditches.  In wet, mild weather, they may be found far away from water.  The range of the Plain’s leopard frog is limited to the eastern half of New Mexico.

Female plains leopard frogs will lay a mass of eggs which can hold up to 6,500 eggs.  Tadpoles will become frogs in midsummer or may even transform the following spring.  The plains leopard frog’s call includes a few low grunting sounds along with a series of short clucks.  Listen to their call below:

Plains Spadefoot (Spea bombifrons)

photo 16

The Plains spadefoot is known for its vertically elongated pupil and markings similar to a hourglass on its upper sides.  The plains spadefoot spends most of its life buried in the soil, but will emerge to breed after heavy rains in spring or summer.  They can be found in sandhills, grassland and the plains across New Mexico.

The call of the plains spadefoot is a brief snoring sound.  Take a listen below.

Red Spotted Toad (Anaxyrus punctatus)

photo 17

The red-spotted toad is unique due to its gray or brown coloring and red/orange warts.  They can reach 3″ in length and can be found in rocky canyons and streams or burrowing under rocks.  Typically found across New Mexico except for the scattered counties shown below.

The red-spotted toad has an unusually high pitched trill which can last 3-12 seconds.  During the breeding season, the males throat color may darken.

Rio Grande Leopard Frog (Lithobates berlandieri)

photo 18

The Rio Grande leopard frog has smooth pale brown or green skin with several rows of irregular placed dark spots and a light line along the upper jaw. During the day, they will burrow into the ground to avoid the heat of the sun. It can be found in moist environments in Eddy County.

Breeding will take place year-round on days with ample rainfall. Egg masses are laid in the water, attached to vegetation.

Sonoran Desert Toad (Incilius alvarius)

photo 19

The Sonoran Desert toad can grow up to 7.5″ in length and typically have smooth olive-green/brown skin. This toad prefers semi-desert grasslands and woodlands up to 5,800 feet. Within New Mexico, it can be found in Hidalgo county.

Breeding will take place on 1 night within 2-3 days of a 1″ rainfall event. They will use ponds, cattle tanks or backwaters to breed within. The males call is similar to a short ferry boat whistle. Listen to it below!

Southwestern Woodhouse’s Toad (Anaxyrus woodhousii australis)

photo 20

The Southwestern Woodhouse’s toad can vary in color from yellowish brown to greenish grey with a light stripe down the middle of its back.  They can reach up to 4″ in length!  These toads can be found throughout New Mexico. They burrow into soil to escape drought and cold.  Woodhouse’s toads are named after a 19th century explorer and naturalist Samuel Woodhouse ( Formally called the Rocky Mountain toads).

These toads breed from late March to mid-May in marshes, rain pools and other areas lacking strong current.  This toad’s call is a loud wahhhhhh lasting between 1-4 seconds and emitted several times a minute. This call is similar to the Fowler’s toad, but with a slightly lower pitch.

Texas Toad (Anaxyrus speciosus)

photo 21

The Texas Toad is brown with yellow-green spots and can reach up to 3.5″ in length. It can be found in the Chaves, Lea and Eddy county within New Mexico.

The call of the Texas toad is an explosive trill that lasts for 1-1.5 seconds each. Listen to its call below:

Western Chorus Frog (Pseudacris triseriata)

photo 22

The western chorus frog is known for its dark stripe on the side of the body which extends from snout to groin.  The sides of its body can range between green – brown – reddish.  These frogs can be found throughout Carton, Grant and Hidalgo counties in New Mexico. 

Breeding will take place in spring often while snow and ice is still present. Female will lay up to 1,500 eggs in packets of 100. The packets are attached to submerged sticks and grass. The western chorus frog makes a preeeeep sound that will ascend in pitch.  Listen to the call below!

Western Green Toad (Anaxyrus debilis insidior)

Photo 23

The Western green toad is a small toad that is green with yellow-green and black spots. They can reach up to 2″ in length. This toad is primarily nocturnal and lives in rodent burrows. Within New Mexico, it can be found in the southern half of the state.

Males may be heard calling during the day at peak summer breeding season. Females will lay eggs in a string that will be attached to submerged vegetation. Listen to their call below.

Western narrow mouth toad (Gastrophryne olivacea)**

**Although it bears the name of “toad” it is actually considered to be a frog.

photo 24

This frog is typically 1.5″ in length, with females being slightly larger.  One defining characteristic of this frog is the fold of skin on the back of the frogs head.  The great plain narrow mouth toad is grey or brown in color with smooth thick skin.  It can be found in grassy areas on rocky slopes and in rock filled canyons.  They will hide under rocks and can sometimes be found with tarantulas.  Within New Mexico, they can be found within Luna County.

The great plains narrow mouth toad’s call is a nasal buzz lasting only 1-4 seconds.  Several calling frogs together sound like bees or a bunch of toy airplanes.  I was very surprised by the pitch of their call.

Thanks for reading! Check out all of the United State’s native frogs and toads here.

frogs-found-in21

Photo Credits:

Cover photo used by the creative commons license.  Text was added.  See Original photo by U.S. Geological Survey  here.

  1. Photo from Wikimedia Commons used under the Creative Commons license.  Photo taken by Brian Gratwicke.  Original Photo Here.
  2. Photo from Flickr Wikimedia Commons used under the Creative Commons license.  Photo taken by Kerry Matz.  Original Photo Here.
  3. Photo from Flickr Wikimedia Commons used under the Creative Commons license.  Photo taken by Lon&Queta.  Original Photo Here.
  4. Photo from Flickr Wikimedia Commons used under the Creative Commons license.  Photo taken by J.N. Stuart.  Original Photo Here.
  5. Photo from Flickr Wikimedia Commons used under the Creative Commons license.  Photo taken by J. N. Stuart.  Original Photo Here.
  6. Photo from Wikimedia Commons used under the Creative Commons license.  Photo taken by Chris Brown.  Original Photo Here.
  7. Photo from Flickr Wikimedia Commons used under the Creative Commons license.  Photo taken by Kerry Matz.  Original Photo Here.
  8. Photo from Flickr Wikimedia Commons used under the Creative Commons license.  Photo taken by Andrew DuBois.  Original Photo Here.
  9. Photo from Flickr Wikimedia Commons used under the Creative Commons license.  Photo taken by U.S. Fish & Wildlife Services.  Original Photo Here.
  10. Photo from Wikimedia Commons used under the Creative Commons license.  Photo taken by Clinton & Charles Robertson.  Original Photo Here.
  11. Photo from Wikimedia Commons used under the Creative Commons license.  Photo taken by Andy Reago & Chrissy McClarren.  Original Photo Here.
  12. Photo from Wikimedia Commons used under the Creative Commons license.  Photo taken by Galactor.  Original Photo Here.
  13. Photo from Wikimedia Commons used under the Creative Commons license.  Photo taken by Brian Gratwicke.  Original Photo Here.
  14. Photo from Wikipedia Commons used under the Creative Commons license.  Photo taken by Brian Gratwicke.  Original Photo Here.
  15. Photo from Flickr Wikimedia Commons used under the Creative Commons license.  Photo taken by Andrew Hoffman.  Original Photo Here.
  16. Photo from Flickr Wikimedia Commons used under the Creative Commons license.  Photo taken by Stanley Trauth.  Original Photo Here.
  17. Photo from Flickr Wikimedia Commons used under the Creative Commons license.  Photo taken by Lon & Queta.  Original Photo Here.
  18. Photo from Flickr Wikimedia Commons used under the Creative Commons license.  Photo taken by az3.  Original Photo Here.
  19. Photo from Wikimedia Commons used under the Creative Commons license.  Photo taken by Wildfeuer.  Original Photo Here.
  20. Photo from Flickr Wikimedia Commons used under the Creative Commons license.  Photo taken by J.N. Stuart.  Original Photo Here.
  21. Photo from Wikimedia Commons used under the Creative Commons license.  Photo taken by Dawson.  Original Photo Here.
  22. Photo from Flickr Wikimedia Commons used under the Creative Commons license.  Photo taken by Todd Plerson.  Original Photo Here.
  23. Photo from Flickr Wikimedia Commons used under the Creative Commons license.  Photo taken by Patrick Alexander.  Original Photo Here.
  24. Photo from Wikimedia Commons used under the Creative Commons license.  Photo taken by Fernando Mateos-Gonzalez.  Original Photo Here.

For more information:

  1. http://www.nmherpsociety.org/amphibians/index.html
  2. https://www.cabq.gov/culturalservices/biopark/documents/Native%20Amphibians%20Brochure.pdf

Like “The Frog Lady” on facebook or follow aapanaro on instagram to get some sneak peeks into the frog lady’s frog room!  

thefroglady

Subscribe by email for the latest updates or Join me on facebook and like “The Frog Lady” to get all the latest updates on your newsfeed.

Advertisement

6 thoughts on “New Mexico Frogs and Toads

  1. Thanks so much for providing all this information 🙂 . With the rains of the past couple days, I started hearing a call in my backyard last night and now tonight as well – and it is being answered! So now there are two Couch’s Spadefoots playing ‘Marco Polo’ out there. Your site helped me identify them by their call sounds. 🙂 .

  2. I recently found a frog @ my house. I’m not sure which one of these it is. Maybe you can help me out with that.

  3. Great compilation esp sounds. I observed Hyla wrightorum as a breeding population in north Grant County & alerted Charles Painter, who may have updated the database at the time (about 10 years ago).

  4. Good information. I think you mislabeled the common name for Spea multiplicata stagnalis. It should be Chihuahuan Desert Spadefoot, not Chiricahua. Also, please credit the range maps to the New Mexico Herpetological Society. Thanks

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s