occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations
Global Range: South-central Texas and Chihuahua, Mexico (Lemos-Espinal et al. 2001). M. J. Forstner (in Dixon 2000) suspects that Eleutherodactylus guttilatus from the Big Bend region of western Texas may actually be a variant of E. marnockii.
Length: 4 cm
Habitat and Ecology
Comments: Cracks, caves, and crevices in cliffs and limestone hills in areas of woodland, scrubland, grassland, and desert; also among human-generated debris and on watered lawns (Bartlett and Bartlett 1999). Lays eggs on land in a moist, sheltered site.
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.
Comments: Probably eats various small terrestrial invertebrates.
Life History and Behavior
Lays up to 3 clutches annually; egg-laying peaks in April or May but may occur from late February to early December. Larval stage is passed in egg capsule.
IUCN Red List Assessment
Red List Category
Red List Criteria
- 2004Least Concern
National NatureServe Conservation Status
Rounded National Status Rank: N5 - Secure
NatureServe Conservation Status
Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure
Reasons: Secure populations exist throughout most of the historical range in Texas; recently reported from Chihuahua, Mexico; species is somewhat tolerant of suburbanization.
Cliff chirping frog
Cliff frogs are 0.75 to 1.5 inches in length, and are an olive green or tan in coloration with brown or black mottling, often with banding on the rear legs. They have somewhat flattened bodies which allow them to hide in rock crevices. They have no or little webbing between their toes.
Behavior and habitat
Cliff chirping frogs are nocturnal and live most of their lives on limestone rock faces, often near emerging springs. Like most frogs, they will hop, but they are also capable of crawling, which aids them in hiding in rock crevices. Though primarily found around rocky areas, they are also common in forested regions, any area with a moderate amount of moisture, but is not actually a pool of water or stream. Their primary diets include small insects.
Breeding occurs year round, except at the coldest times of the winter, but generally peaks during the rainy season in April and May. Females can lay up to three clutches of eggs a year, in a moist substrate of leaf litter or soil.
- Hammerson (2004). Eleutherodactylus marnockii. 2006. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN 2006. www.iucnredlist.org. Retrieved on 12 May 2006. Database entry includes a range map and justification for why this species is of least concern
- Herps of Texas: Syrrhophus marnockii
- Yahooligans: Cliff Chirping Frog
Names and Taxonomy
Comments: The taxonomic status of Eleutherodactylus in the Big Bend region of western Texas needs further study (see Dixon 2000).
This species formerly was included in the genus SYRRHOPHUS, which was treated as a subgenus of the genus ELEUTHERODACTYLUS by Hedges (1989). Joglar (1989) questioned the separation of the genera SYRRHOPHUS and TOMODACTYLUS.