Overview

Comprehensive Description

Description

R. grylio reaches a length of up to 165 mm. It has a green to dark brown dorsum scattered with irregular dark markings. The throat and ventral and posterior surfaces of the hind legs can be heavily mottled, or the venter may be immaculate. It has no dorsolateral folds, but it does have a pointed snout, fully webbed toes, and a fourth toe which is only slightly longer than the adjacent toes. The young have dorsolateral stripes like Rana virgatipes.

  • Altig, R. and Lohoefener, R. (1963). ''Rana grylio.'' Catalogue of American Amphibians and Reptiles. American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, 286.1-286.2.
  • Eason, G.W., Fauth, J.E. (2001). ''Ecological correlates of anuran species richness in temporary pools: A field study in South Carolina, USA.'' Israel Journa of Zoology, 47, 347â€"365.
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Distribution

Southeastern US, ranging from eastern Texas to south central South Carolina, extending south into peninsular Florida (npwrc 1999)

Biogeographic Regions: nearctic (Native )

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Range Description

This species is known from southern South Carolina to southern Florida, west to southeastern Texas, United States (Conant and Collins 1991). It is introduced on the Great Bahamas Bank (Schwartz and Henderson 1991), in northern Puerto Rico where it is well established (Rios-Lopez and Joglar 2000).
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endemic to a single nation

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Global Range: (200,000-2,500,000 square km (about 80,000-1,000,000 square miles)) Southern South Carolina to southern Florida, west to southeastern Texas (Conant and Collins 1991). Introduced on Great Bahama Bank (Schwartz and Henderson 1991). Introduced and well established in northern Puerto Rico (Rios-Lopez and Joglar 2000).

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Distribution and Habitat

Its range is comprised of the Coastal Plain from the Santee River, South Carolina to Galveston Bay Texas, and includes all of Florida.
R. grylio occurs in standing water.

  • Altig, R. and Lohoefener, R. (1963). ''Rana grylio.'' Catalogue of American Amphibians and Reptiles. American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, 286.1-286.2.
  • Eason, G.W., Fauth, J.E. (2001). ''Ecological correlates of anuran species richness in temporary pools: A field study in South Carolina, USA.'' Israel Journa of Zoology, 47, 347â€"365.
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Physical Description

Morphology

The pig frog ranges in length from 3.25 to 5.5 inches. Their appearance is that of a "bullfrog" with a rather narrow and pointed head and fully webbed hind feet. The fourth toe is webbed nearly to its tip. Pig frog coloration is olive to blackish brown with scattered dark spots. Its venter is white or pale yellow with a pattern that is the colors brown, dark gray and black woven into a net on the thighs. The thighs also have a light line or a row of light spots running across their rear. The Pig frog has no dorsalateral ridges (Conant and Collins 1998). In this frog, the tibia is the same length as the femur. Their eyes are greatly elevated and unusually large, with only a narrow space between them. Nostrils are prominent in Lithobates grylio. They have an elevated fold of skin over the ear that runs to the shoulder, and the ear is orange-brown in color with a green center. The middle and posterior back may have four longitudinal bands of bright orange-brown, alternating with bands of olive (Dickerson 1931).

Pig frogs are sexually dimorphic in size and coloration. Males and females have similar growth rates until the snout-vent length reaches about 100mm. After that, the females grow faster and will eventually reach a larger size than the males (Wood 1998). The male's ear is greatly larger than its eye, whereas the female's ear is equal in size to the eye. Perhaps the most distinguishing characteristic is that males have a bright yellow throat (Dickerson 1931).

Mature tadpoles are very colorful. They have a yellow belly with prominent reticulation on brownish black. Their sides have yellow spots that are encircled by a pinkish color. From the throat region to the pectoral region is clear black and across the pectoral region is green. The yellow spots surrounded by pink continue down the tail in various patterns (Wright 1932).

Other Physical Features: ectothermic ; bilateral symmetry

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Size

Length: 16 cm

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Type Information

Paratype for Lithobates grylio
Catalog Number: USNM 29007
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Amphibians & Reptiles
Preparation: Ethanol
Year Collected: 1902
Locality: Kissimmee River, Locality In Multiple Counties, Florida, United States, North America
  • Paratype: Stejneger, L. 1901. Proc. U. S. Nat. Mus. 24: 212.
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Paratype for Lithobates grylio
Catalog Number: USNM 29008
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Amphibians & Reptiles
Preparation: Ethanol
Year Collected: 1902
Locality: Kissimmee River, Locality In Multiple Counties, Florida, United States, North America
  • Paratype: Stejneger, L. 1901. Proc. U. S. Nat. Mus. 24: 212.
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Paratype for Lithobates grylio
Catalog Number: USNM 27444
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Amphibians & Reptiles
Preparation: Ethanol
Locality: Bay St. Louis, Hancock, Mississippi, United States, North America
  • Paratype: Stejneger, L. 1901. Proc. U. S. Nat. Mus. 24: 212.
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Paratype for Lithobates grylio
Catalog Number: USNM 29011
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Amphibians & Reptiles
Preparation: Ethanol
Year Collected: 1902
Locality: Kissimmee River, Locality In Multiple Counties, Florida, United States, North America
  • Paratype: Stejneger, L. 1901. Proc. U. S. Nat. Mus. 24: 212.
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Paratype for Lithobates grylio
Catalog Number: USNM 3688
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Amphibians & Reptiles
Preparation: Ethanol
Locality: Pensacola, Escambia, Florida, United States, North America
  • Paratype: Stejneger, L. 1901. Proc. U. S. Nat. Mus. 24: 212.
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Paratype for Lithobates grylio
Catalog Number: USNM 27445
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Amphibians & Reptiles
Preparation: Ethanol
Locality: Bay St. Louis, Hancock, Mississippi, United States, North America
  • Paratype: Stejneger, L. 1901. Proc. U. S. Nat. Mus. 24: 212.
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Paratype for Lithobates grylio
Catalog Number: USNM 27446
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Amphibians & Reptiles
Preparation: Ethanol
Locality: Bay St. Louis, Hancock, Mississippi, United States, North America
  • Paratype: Stejneger, L. 1901. Proc. U. S. Nat. Mus. 24: 212.
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Holotype for Lithobates grylio
Catalog Number: USNM 27443
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Amphibians & Reptiles
Preparation: Ethanol
Locality: Bay St. Louis, Hancock, Mississippi, United States, North America
  • Holotype: Stejneger, L. 1901. Proc. U. S. Nat. Mus. 24: 212.
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Paratype for Lithobates grylio
Catalog Number: USNM 29009
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Amphibians & Reptiles
Preparation: Ethanol
Year Collected: 1902
Locality: Kissimmee River, Locality In Multiple Counties, Florida, United States, North America
  • Paratype: Stejneger, L. 1901. Proc. U. S. Nat. Mus. 24: 212.
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Paratype for Lithobates grylio
Catalog Number: USNM 29010
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Amphibians & Reptiles
Preparation: Ethanol
Year Collected: 1902
Locality: Kissimmee River, Locality In Multiple Counties, Florida, United States, North America
  • Paratype: Stejneger, L. 1901. Proc. U. S. Nat. Mus. 24: 212.
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Paratype for Lithobates grylio
Catalog Number: USNM 563861
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Amphibians & Reptiles
Preparation: Ethanol
Locality: Pensacola, Escambia, Florida, United States, North America
  • Paratype: Stejneger, L. 1901. Proc. U. S. Nat. Mus. 24: 212.
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Ecology

Habitat

Generally, these frogs are distributed in most waterways, such as rivers, streams, lakes, ponds, swamps and marshes (Bartlett 1999). The pig frog inhabits the open centers of cypress ponds, which are an extension to, or separation from the prairies. They prefer ponds with the following vegetation types: waterlilies, hard heads, never wets, wampee, watershield, bladderworts, floating hearts, pickerel weed, saw grass, and maiden cane (Wright 1932).

Aquatic Biomes: lakes and ponds; rivers and streams

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Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
This species occurs in permanent lakes, ponds, swamps, marshes, and streams; especially those with abundant emergent or floating herbaceous vegetation; old rice fields and rice field reservoirs. Occurs in mangroves in the Bahamas (Schwartz and Henderson 1991). Eggs and larvae develop in permanent bodies of water. In South Carolina, males moved from cypress-hardwood zone to grass-herb zone 40-50m asl from shore during breeding period; females in grass-herb zone were ready to ovulate (Lamb 1984). When calling, males float in water.

Systems
  • Terrestrial
  • Freshwater
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Comments: Permanent lakes, ponds, swamps, marshes, and streams; especially those with abundant emergent or floating herbaceous vegetation; old rice fields and rice field reservoirs. Occurs in mangroves in the Bahamas (Schwartz and Henderson 1991). Eggs and larvae develop in permanent bodies of water. In South Carolina, males moved from cypress-hardwood zone to grass-herb zone 40-50 m from shore during breeding period; females in grass-herb zone were ready to ovulate (Lamb 1984). When calling, males float in water.

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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: No. No 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.

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Trophic Strategy

The Pig frog is mainly active at night and does most of its feeding at this time. Its primary diet consists of insects and crustaceans (Capula 1989).

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Comments: Metamorphosed individs. eat various small animals, especially insects and crayfish. Males feed infrequently during breeding season (Lamb 1984). Larvae probably eat suspended matter, organic debris, algae, plant tissue, and small invertebrates.

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Life History and Behavior

Cyclicity

Comments: Chorusing typically is nocturnal (Lamb 1984).

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Life Cycle

Development - Life Cycle: metamorphosis

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Reproduction

Little appears to be known about the reproduction of Pig frogs. Published observations are based on very few cases.

Immense choruses of Lithobates grylio erupt at night, when the vast majority of the mating occurs. Rainy, overcast or humid overcast weather seems to provide conditions that make for active mating. Breeding season is thought to begin in late May and continue through to August. They breed when the air is humid with temperatures ranging from 63-78 degrees.

The egg laying process is probably similar to that of the bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana) (Wright 1932).

After mating, approximately 10,000 eggs are laid (Bartlett 1999). The eggs are usually attached to pickerel weed stems in the middle of the pond or on the islands of a cypress pond. They can be found amongst saw grass, maiden cane, and wampee. The eggs, which are small and bead-like, are laid in large masses on the surface of the water. The hatching period is 2-3 days. These eggs appear to have no animal predators; their only threat is the receding water (Wright 1932).

Tadpoles are quite large (100mm), with extremely long tails. Although uncertain, Wright speculates that Lithobates grylio may go through metamorphosis after one year. Bartlett (1999) comments that tadpoles in the northern range of this species reportedly take longer than one year to metamorphose whereas those in the southern part of the range develop in less time. After transformation, the young frogs will remain in the same habitat as adults (Wright 1932).

Key Reproductive Features: gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate)

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Lays clutch of up to about 10,000 eggs, March-September (gravid females found April-July in South Carolina). Eggs hatch in several days. Aquatic larval stage lasts 1-2 years.

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Conservation

Conservation Status

No special status known.

CITES: no special status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: least concern

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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
Hammerson, G.A., Hedges, B. & Joglar, R.

Reviewer/s
Stuart, S.N., Chaves, G., Cox, N.A. & Young, B.E.

Contributor/s

Justification
Listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution, presumed large population, and because it is unlikely to be declining fast enough to qualify for listing in a more threatened category.
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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: Broad. Generalist or community with all key requirements common.

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Population

Population
Bartlett and Bartlett (1999) stated that this species, though still readily found, does not seem to be as common as in the past (Florida). Bartlett and Bartlett (1999) indicated that populations decline during droughts and "erupt" in wet years (Texas).

Population Trend
Decreasing
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Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors

Eason and Fauth (2001) suggest that Rana grylio is not restricted by hydroperiod, indicating they may metamorphose more quickly than previously thought.

  • Altig, R. and Lohoefener, R. (1963). ''Rana grylio.'' Catalogue of American Amphibians and Reptiles. American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, 286.1-286.2.
  • Eason, G.W., Fauth, J.E. (2001). ''Ecological correlates of anuran species richness in temporary pools: A field study in South Carolina, USA.'' Israel Journa of Zoology, 47, 347â€"365.
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Threats

Major Threats
Local populations are presumably impacted by urbanization and other forms of infrastructure development. It is a possible threat to native species in Puerto Rico, and it might be a vector of pathogens.
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
None needed. It occurs in many protected areas.
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Pig frogs are hunted for human consumption, as a source of frog legs.

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Wikipedia

Pig frog

The pig frog (Rana grylio) is a species of aquatic frog found in the Southeastern United States, from South Carolina to Texas. Some sources also refer to it as the lagoon frog or the southern bullfrog.

Physical description[edit source | edit]

The pig frog is green or grey-green in color, with brown or black blotching. It has fully webbed feet, a sharply pointed nose, and a large tympana (eardrums). It is easily mistaken for various other species of the genus Rana, with which it shares geographic range, including the American bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana). They grow to a length of 3.25 to 5.5 in.

Ecology and behavior[edit source | edit]

Almost entirely aquatic, they are found predominantly on the edges of lakes, or in cypress swamps and marshes that are heavy with vegetation. They are nocturnal. Their pig-like grunts can be heard during the warm months of the year.

Diet[edit source | edit]

Their primary diet is crayfish, but like most bullfrogs, they will consume almost anything they can swallow, including insects, fish, and other frogs.

Reproduction[edit source | edit]

Breeding takes place from spring through to summer. Eggs are laid in large masses of up to 10,000 at a time on the surface of the water. This species gets its common name from the call males use to attract females, which sounds somewhat like a pig's grunt.

Conservation status[edit source | edit]

The pig frog holds no particular conservation status and is relatively common in its range. The species has been introduced and established itself in China, Andros Island and New Providence Island in the Bahamas, as well as Puerto Rico.

Pig frogs have been reported to be raised for food by Chinese farmers, along with bullfrogs.[3]

Footnotes[edit source | edit]

  1. ^ Hillis, D. M. 2007. Constraints stuff. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 42:331-338.
  2. ^ Hillis, D. M., and T. P. Wilcox. 2005. Phylogeny of the New World true frogs (Rana). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 34:299-314.
  3. ^ Court receives warning letter from local authorities in frog compensation case, based on June 2010 newspaper articles.

References[edit source | edit]

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