Amphibians & Reptiles


Key to Bay Area frogs and toads:

1a. Does your animal have relatively dry skin with conspicuous warts? It is a toad. Go to 2.
1b. Does your animal have moister skin, lacking warts? It is a frog. Go to 3.

2a. Does your toad have parotoid glands (a big lump behind each eye)? If so, it is a western toad (Anaxyrus boreas)
2b. Does your toad lack parotoid glands, but have a single sharp-edged black "spade" on underside of each hind foot? Its pupil will be vertical (except when greatly dilated). If so, it is a western spadefoot toad (Spea hammondii)

3a. Does your frog have a dark stripe through its eye, and toe pads (like suction cups)? It can be of varying color and pattern (green, brown or grey; plain or blotched), and may change color; no longer than 5 cm. If so, it is a Pacific treefrog (Hyliola regilla)
3b. No dark stripe through eye; no toe pads. Often longer than 5 cm; cannot change color: genus Rana. Go to 4.

4a. No dorsolateral folds (fold running on either side of back from head to rear). Often very large, to 20 cm long. Greenish or dark brownish. Distinctive fold around eardrum. Bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana). INTRODUCED
4b. Dorsolateral folds present, at least partially; not that large. Groin area and underside of legs colored reddish or yellow. Go to 5.

5a. Dorsolateral folds distinctive. Groin and underside of legs reddish. To 13 cm long. California red-legged frog (Rana draytonii). THREATENED
5b. Dorsolateral folds vague. Groin and underside of legs yellow. To 7 cm long. Foothill yellow-legged frog (Rana boylii).


Bay Area frogs and toads:

Anaxyrus boreas (Western Toad)

  • big lump (parotoid gland) behind each eye
  • conspicuous warts
  • relatively dry skin

    See Anaxyrus boreas account on AmphibiaWeb.

  • Spea hammondii (Western Spadefoot Toad)

  • vertical pupil
  • sharp-edged black "spade" on underside of each hind foot
  • no big lump (parotoid gland) behind eyes
  • relatively dry skin
  • warts


    See Spea hammondii account on AmphibiaWeb.

  • Hyliola regilla (Pacific Treefrog)

  • dark stripe through eye
  • toe pads (like suction cups)

    See Hyliola regilla account on AmphibiaWeb.

  • Rana catesbeiana (American Bullfrog)

  • no dorsolateral folds (fold running on either side of back from head to rear)
  • distinctive fold around eardrum

    See Rana catesbeiana account on AmphibiaWeb.

  • Rana draytonii (California Red-legged Frog)

  • dorsolateral folds distinctive
  • groin and underside of legs reddish

    See Rana draytonii account on AmphibiaWeb.

  • Rana boylii (Foothill Yellow-legged Frog)

  • dorsolateral folds vague
  • groin and underside of legs yellow

    See Rana boylii account on AmphibiaWeb.

  •  

     

    University of California, Berkeley    Berkeley Natural History Museums
    Copyright © 1995-2010 UC Regents. All Rights Reserved.
    Last updated: Jan 2, 2017