Overview

Distribution

National Distribution

United States

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

Type of Residency: Year-round

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Global Range: (200,000-2,500,000 square km (about 80,000-1,000,000 square miles)) This species is known from south-central United States (north to Kansas, south through Oklahoma and Texas) to extreme northeastern Mexico (Conant and Collins 1991, Collins 1993, Lemmon et al. 2007). In Mexico it is only known from the lower Rio Grande Valley in Tamaulipas, west to Matamoros, in extreme northeastern Tamaulipas. It was reported from Colfax County, northeastern New Mexico, apparently extending range about 325 km west (Herp. Rev. 22:64), but that specimen was later identified as P. triseriata (Degenhardt et al. 1996) [now P. maculata].

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Range Description

This species is known from south-central United States (north to Kansas, south through Oklahoma and Texas) to extreme northeastern Mexico (Conant and Collins 1991, Collins 1993, Lemmon et al. 2007). In Mexico it is only known from the lower Rio Grande Valley in Tamaulipas, west to Matamoros, in extreme northeastern Tamaulipas. It was reported from Colfax County, northeastern New Mexico, apparently extending range about 325 km west (Herp. Rev. 22:64), but that specimen was later identified as P. triseriata (Degenhardt et al. 1996) [now P. maculata].
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Physical Description

Size

Length: 3 cm

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Type Information

Syntype for Pseudacris clarkii
Catalog Number: USNM 3313
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Amphibians & Reptiles
Preparation: Ethanol
Locality: Galveston, Texas, United States, North America
  • Syntype: Baird, S. F. 1854. Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia. 7 (2): 60.
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Ecology

Habitat

Comments: Habitat includes open prairie grasslands, pastures, meadows, shrubby areas, lawns near breeding habitat, and the edges of woodlands (Collins 1993, Bartlett and Bartlett 1999). This frog is most abundant near the edges of shallow semipermanent to permanent ponds, irrigation canals, and cattle tanks (Bartlett and Bartlett 1999). It goes underground when inactive. Eggs and larvae develop in temporary rain pools and sometimes in permanent ponds.

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Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
Habitat includes open prairie grasslands, pastures, meadows, shrubby areas, lawns near breeding habitat, and the edges of woodlands (Collins 1993, Bartlett and Bartlett 1999). This frog is most abundant near the edges of shallow semipermanent to permanent ponds, irrigation canals, and cattle tanks (Bartlett and Bartlett 1999). It goes underground when inactive. Eggs and larvae develop in temporary rain pools and sometimes in permanent ponds.

Systems
  • Terrestrial
  • Freshwater
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Migration

Non-Migrant: Yes. At least some populations of this species do not make significant seasonal migrations. Juvenile dispersal is not considered a migration.

Locally Migrant: Yes. At least some populations of this species make local extended movements (generally less than 200 km) at particular times of the year (e.g., to breeding or wintering grounds, to hibernation sites).

Locally Migrant: No. No populations of this species make annual migrations of over 200 km.

Migrates variable distance between breeding pools and nonbreeding terrestrial habitats.

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Trophic Strategy

Comments: Metamorphosed frogs eat various small invertebrates obtained at or near ground level. Larvae eat suspended matter, organic debris, algae, and plant tissue.

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Population Biology

Global Abundance

10,000 - 1,000,000 individuals

Comments: Total adult population size is unknown but likely exceeds 10,000. This frog is abundant in Texas (Bartlett and Bartlett 1999) and south-central Kansas (Collins 1993).

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Life History and Behavior

Cyclicity

Comments: Inactive during summer dry spells and during cold season in north. Primarily nocturnal but also diurnal when breeding.

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Reproduction

Lays clutch of up to 1000 eggs (deposited in small clusters) usually after rains in spring or summer but in virtually any month in south. Aquatic larvae metamorphose into terrestrial form by late summer.

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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: N5 - Secure

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure

Intrinsic Vulnerability: Moderately vulnerable

Environmental Specificity: Moderate to broad.

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IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2008

Assessor/s
Georgina Santos-Barrera, Geoffrey Hammerson

Reviewer/s
Global Amphibian Assessment Coordinating Team (Simon Stuart, Janice Chanson, Neil Cox and Bruce Young)

Contributor/s

Justification
Listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution, tolerance of a degree of habitat modification, presumed large population, and because it is unlikely to be declining fast enough to qualify for listing in a more threatened category.

History
  • 2004
    Least Concern
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Global Short Term Trend: Relatively stable to decline of 30%

Comments: Current population trend is unknown but probably stable to slightly declining.

Global Long Term Trend: Relatively stable to decline of 50%

Comments: Over the long term, likley stable in extent of occurrence; unknown degree of decline in population size, area of occurrence, and number/condition of occurrences.

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Population

Population
This species is represented by many and/or large occurrences throughout most of the range (Pierce and Whitehurst 1990). Total adult population size is unknown but likely exceeds 10,000. This frog is abundant in Texas (Bartlett and Bartlett 1999) and south-central Kansas (Collins 1993).

Over the long term, likley stable in extent of occurrence; unknown degree of decline in population size, area of occurrence, and number/condition of occurrences. Current population trend is unknown but probably stable to slightly declining.

Population Trend
Stable
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Threats

Degree of Threat: Medium

Comments: No major threats are known. Various kinds of habitat loss and degradation attributable to human activities (e.g., urbanization, intensive agriculture) undoubtedly have caused localized declines.

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Major Threats
No major threats are known. Various kinds of habitat loss and degradation attributable to human activities (e.g., urbanization, intensive agriculture) undoubtedly have caused localized declines.
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
A survey in Matamoros, Tamaulipas, Mexico and the surrounding areas is needed to determine the presence of this species in its only recorded Mexican locality. This species occurs in many protected areas.
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Wikipedia

Spotted chorus frog

The spotted chorus frog or Clark's tree frog (Pseudacris clarkii) is a small, nocturnal tree frog native to the grasslands and prairies of the central United States and Tamaulipas, Mexico. It is found from central Kansas, Oklahoma, and northeastern New Mexico to the Gulf of Mexico and Rio Grande valley in Texas and Tamaulipas.

Description

Spotted chorus frogs are generally a grey or olive green in color, with lighter green mottling on their backs, and white in color on their undersides. They grow to a maximum of 1.25 inches (about 3–4 cm).

References

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Names and Taxonomy

Taxonomy

Comments: A molecular phylogeny of Pseudacris based on mtDNA data (Moriarty and Cannatella 2004) revealed four strongly supported clades within Pseudacris: (1) A West Coast Clade containing regilla and cadaverina, (2) a Fat Frog Clade including ornata, streckeri, and illinoensis, (3) a Crucifer Clade consisting of crucifer and ocularis, and (4) a Trilling Frog Clade containing all other Pseudacris. Within the Trilling Frog Clade, brimleyi and brachyphona form the sister group to the Nigrita Clade: nigrita, feriarum, triseriata, kalmi, clarkii, and maculata. The Nigrita Clade shows geographic division into three clades: (1) populations of maculata and triseriata west of the Mississippi River and Canadian populations, (2) southeastern United States populations of feriarum and nigrita, and (3) northeastern United States populations of feriarum, kalmi, and triseriata. Moriarty and Cannatella (2004) found that subspecific epithets for crucifer (crucifer and bartramiana) and nigrita (nigrita and verrucosa) are uninformative, and they therefore discouraged recognition of these subspecies. They concluded that further study is needed to determine if illinoensis warrants status as a distinct species. Molecular data were consistent with retention of regilla, cadaverina, ocularis, and crucifer in the genus Pseudacris.

Using mtDNA samples from a large number of localities throughout North America, Lemmon et al. (2007) elucidated the phylogenetic relationships and established the geographic ranges of the trilling chorus frogs (Pseudacris). They redefined the ranges of several taxa, including P. maculata, P. triseriata, and P. feriarum; found strong evidence for recognizing P. kalmi as a distinct species; and discovered a previously undetected species in the south-central United States (to be described in a forthcoming publication). Based on mtDNA data, Pseudacris maculata and P. clarkii did not emerge as distinct, monophyletic lineages but, given the degree of morphological and behavioral divergence between the taxa, Lemmon et al. (2007) chose to recognize them as separate species, until further data suggest otherwise.

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