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Texas Amphibians

Texas Amphibians
A Field Guide

This is the only field guide focused exclusively on Texas’s seventy-two species of frogs, toads, and salamanders, compiled by a team of experts who collectively have over a century of experience in field herpetology.

Series: Texas Natural History Guides™

September 2012
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330 pages | 4.5 x 7.25 | 176 color photos, 72 maps, 4 illus. |

With a wide variety of habitats ranging from southeastern swamps to western deserts, Texas is home to numerous species of frogs, toads, and salamanders. Each area of Texas has a particular set of species that has evolved there over thousands of years. Indeed, most amphibians are not very mobile, and many live their entire lives within a few square meters. This makes them particularly vulnerable to environmental degradation and habitat destruction.

Texas Amphibians is the only field guide focused exclusively on the state’s frogs, toads, and salamanders. It presents brief, general accounts of the two orders and fifteen families. Then it identifies each of the seventy-two species in detail, including size, description, voice (if applicable), similar species, distribution (with maps), natural history, reproduction, subspecies (if applicable), and comments and conservation information. Color photographs illustrate the species.

The book also includes a general introduction to amphibian natural history, conservation, observation and collection, maintenance in captivity, museum and preserved specimens, and scientific and common names, as well as scientific keys to Texas salamanders and frogs and a generic key to amphibian larvae. This wealth of information, compiled by a team of experts who collectively have over a century of experience in field herpetology, will increase our appreciation for amphibians and the vital role they play as an early indicator of threats to the quality of the environment that we all share.

  • Foreword By James R. Dixon
  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction
    • Natural History
      • Seasonality
      • Habitat
      • Reproduction
      • Loss and Regeneration of Body Parts
      • Glands, Toxins, and Chemical Defenses
    • Conservation
      • Habitat Destruction
      • Pollution
      • Introduced Species
      • Collecting and Trade of Animals as a Cause of Decline
      • Chytridiomycosis
    • Observing and Collecting Amphibians
      • Observing Amphibians
      • Photographing Amphibians
      • Collecting Amphibians
      • Legal Aspects of Collecting Amphibians
      • Permits and Collecting Amphibians in Texas
      • Threatened, Endangered, or Protected Nongame Species
    • Maintenance of Amphibians
      • Maintaining Amphibians in Captivity
      • Creating a Natural Setting
      • Handling Amphibians
    • Museum and Preserved Amphibian Specimens
    • Scientific and Common Names
  • Keys
    • Key to the Salamanders of Texas
    • Key to the Frogs of Texas
    • Generic Key to Amphibian Larvae
  • Systematic Accounts
    • Order Caudata: Salamanders
      • Family Ambystomidae: Mole Salamanders
        • Spotted Salamander (Ambystoma maculatum)
        • Barred Tiger Salamander (Ambystoma mavortium)
        • Marbled Salamander (Ambystoma opacum)
        • Mole Salamander (Ambystoma talpoideum)
        • Small-mouthed Salamander (Ambystoma texanum)
        • Eastern Tiger Salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum)
      • Family Amphiumidae: Amphiumas
        • Three-toed Amphiuma (Amphiuma tridactylum)
      • Family Plethodontidae: Lungless Salamanders
        • Salado Salamander (Eurycea chisholmensis)
        • Cascade Caverns Salamander (Eurycea latitans)
        • San Marcos Salamander (Eurycea nana)
        • Georgetown Salamander (Eurycea naufragia)
        • Texas Salamander (Eurycea neotenes)
        • Fern Bank Salamander (Eurycea pterophila)
        • Dwarf Salamander (Eurycea quadridigitata)
        • Texas Blind Salamander (Eurycea rathbuni)
        • Blanco Blind Salamander (Eurycea robusta)
        • Barton Springs Salamander (Eurycea sosorum)
        • Jollyville Plateau Salamander (Eurycea tonkawae)
        • Comal Blind Salamander (Eurycea tridentifera)
        • Valdina Farms Salamander (Eurycea troglodytes)
        • Austin Blind Salamander (Eurycea waterlooensis)
        • Comal Springs Salamander (Eurycea species #1)
        • Pedernales River Springs Salamander (Eurycea species #2)
        • Southern Dusky Salamander (Desmognathus auriculatus)
        • Western Slimy Salamander (Plethodon albagula)
      • Family Proteidae: Waterdogs, or Mudpuppies
        • Gulf Coast Waterdog (Necturus beyeri)
      • Family Salamandridae: Newts
        • Black-spotted Newt (Notophthalmus meridionalis)
        • Eastern Newt (Notophthalmus viridescens)
      • Family Sirenidae: Sirens
        • Lesser Siren (Siren intermedia)
        • Rio Grande Siren (Siren species "Rio Grande")
    • Order Anura: Frogs
      • Family Bufonidae: True Toads
        • American Toad (Anaxyrus americanus)
        • Great Plains Toad (Anaxyrus cognatus)
        • Green Toad (Anaxyrus debilis)
        • Fowler's Toad (Anaxyrus fowleri)
        • Houston Toad (Anaxyrus houstonensis)
        • Red-spotted Toad (Anaxyrus punctatus)
        • Texas Toad (Anaxyrus speciosus)
        • Woodhouse's Toad (Anaxyrus woodhousii)
        • Gulf Coast Toad (Incilius nebulifer)
        • Cane Toad (Rhinella marina)
      • Family Hylidae: Tree Frogs
        • Northern Cricket Frog (Acris crepitans)
        • Canyon Treefrog (Hyla arenicolor)
        • Cope's Gray Treefrog (Hyla chrysoscelis)
        • Green Treefrog (Hyla cinerea)
        • Squirrel Treefrog (Hyla squirella)
        • Gray Treefrog (Hyla versicolor)
        • Spotted Chorus Frog (Pseudacris clarkii)
        • Spring Peeper (Pseudacris crucifer)
        • Upland Chorus Frog (Pseudacris feriarum)
        • Strecker's Chorus Frog (Pseudacris streckeri)
        • Mexican Treefrog (Smilisca baudinii)
      • Family Craugastoridae: Northern Rain Frogs
        • Barking Frog (Craugastor augusti)
      • Family Eleutherodactylidae: Robber Frogs
        • Rio Grande Chirping Frog (Syrrhophus cystignathoides)
        • Spotted Chirping Frog (Syrrhophus guttilatus)
        • Cliff Chirping Frog (Syrrhophus marnockii)
      • Family Leptodactylidae: Neotropical Grass Frogs
        • Mexican White-lipped Frog (Leptodactylus fragilis)
      • Family Microhylidae: Narrow-mouthed Toads
        • Eastern Narrow-mouthed Toad (Gastrophryne carolinensis)
        • Great Plains Narrow-mouthed Toad (Gastrophryne olivacea)
        • Sheep Frog (Hypopachus variolosus)
      • Family Scaphiopodidae: Spadefoots
        • Couch's Spadefoot (Scaphiopus couchii)
        • Hurter's Spadefoot (Scaphiopus hurterii)
        • Plains Spadefoot (Spea bombifrons)
        • Mexican Spadefoot (Spea multiplicata)
      • Family Ranidae: True Frogs
        • Crawfish Frog (Lithobates areolatus)
        • Rio Grande Leopard Frog (Lithobates berlandieri)
        • Plains Leopard Frog (Lithobates blairi)
        • American Bullfrog (Lithobates catesbeianus)
        • Green Frog (Lithobates clamitans)
        • Pig Frog (Lithobates grylio)
        • Pickerel Frog (Lithobates palustris)
        • Southern Leopard Frog (Lithobates sphenocephalus)
      • Family Rhinophrynidae: Burrowing Toads
        • Mexican Burrowing Toad (Rhinophrynus dorsalis)
  • Appendix A. Possible Additional Species for Texas
  • Appendix B. Learning More About Amphibians: Resources
  • Glossary
  • Bibliography
  • Index of Common Names
  • Index of Scientific Names

The late Bob L. Tipton was a businessman, author, and research associate at the Texas Cooperative Wildlife Collection at Texas A&M University.

Terry L. Hibbitts, a trained biologist, is an Honorary Life Member, past president, and current editor of the Texas Herpetological Society.

Troy D. Hibbitts, a high school science teacher, is also a past president and current member of the Texas Herpetological Society.

Toby J. Hibbitts is Curator of Herpetology at Texas A&M University’s Texas Cooperative Wildlife Collection.

Travis J. LaDuc is Assistant Curator of Herpetology at the Texas Natural Science Center at the University of Texas at Austin.


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