Familiar Frogs and a Quotidian Toad

by | Feb 8, 2020 | Fauna

Spotting a frog or toad in the wild, at the Wildflower Center, or in your own yard is an undeniably exciting moment. Something about those big eyes and enchanting calls, that interesting skin and cute way of hopping could charm just about anyone. These four members of the order Anura are common across Central Texas.

ILLUSTRATIONS Samantha N. Peters

GULF COAST TOAD (Bufo nebulifer)

Size: 2 to 4 inches long
Skin: Bumpy, in mottled colors from brown to greenish-tan
Of note: Prominent stripe down the center of the back, noticeable crests between eyes
Listen for: A long, low trill
Find them: In a rural and urban habitats (including backyards) with intermittent water

RIO GRANDE LEOPARD FROG (Rana berlandieri)

Size: 2 to 4 inches long
Skin: Smooth skin is light tan or green in color with leopard-pattern spots
Of note: Long legs and two stripes/ridges extending from eyes to pelvis
Listen for: Call is variable but often features a guttural growl
Find them: Near permanent bodies of water

Rio Grande Leopard frog, Rana berlandieri

Green treefrog, Hyla cinerea

GREEN TREE FROG (Hyla cinerea)

Size: 1 to 1.5 inches long
Skin: Smooth and bright green
Of note: Lateral stripes of white or yellow
Listen for: A sound like quacking ducks or honking geese
Find them: In moist wetland habitats


Size: About 1 inch long
Skin: Various colors from gray-brown to green, can appear iridescent
Of note: Small warts may be outlined in a darker shade
Listen for: Call sounds like an abacus or marbles knocking together
Find them: Near creeks, streams, ponds and lakes

Blanchard's cricket frog, Acris blanchardi