Comprehensive DescriptionRead full entry
Adult R. Aurora range from 4.4 to 8.4 cm in length, with females significantly larger than males (Stebbins 1985; Hayes and Miyamoto 1984). The abdomen and underside of hind legs is characterized by a red or pinkish color, often set on a yellowish ground color (Stebbins 1985). Back is a brown, gray, olive, or reddish color, often with may small black flecks and irregular dark splotches, in some individuals forming a network of black lines (Stebbins 1985). Dorsolateral folds are prominent. Tadpoles range in length from 14 to 80 mm, and are a dark brown or olive, marked with darker spots (Storer 1925).
R. aurora differs from its close relative, the California red legged frog, R. draytonii in several ways. Adult R. draytonii are 35 to 40 millimeters longer than adult R. aurora (Hayes and Miyamoto 1984). The dorsal spots of R. draytonii are more numerous, and usually have light centers (Stebbins 1985). R. draytonii also has rougher skin, shorter limbs and smaller eyes than R. aurora (Stebbins 1985). R. draytonii has paired vocal sacs and typically calls from the air , while R. aurora lacks vocal sacks ( Hayes and Krempels 1986; Licht 1969). Egg masses in R. draytonii are deposited such that the mass floats at the surface (Hayes and Miyamoto 1984), whereas R. aurora submerge the mass in deeper water (Licht 1969; Storm 1960). R. draytonii breed from November to April (Storer 1925), while R. aurora breeds from January to March (Nussbaum et al 1983).