PICKEREL FROG
Lithobates palustris (LeConte 1825)
lĭth-ō-bā'-tēz — pŭh-lŭs-trĭs


Conservation Status:

State: None

Federal: None
NatureServe State: SX - Presumed Extirpated
NatureServe National: N5 - Secure
NatureServe Global: G5 - Secure
CITES: None

Image © Suzanne L. Collins, CNAH.
A tadpole of Rana palustris. Image © Altig et al. (2006).

Description:
Length in Kansas up to 2 2/3 inches. This frog has paired, light-edged, squarish, brown blotches down its back on a tan to light brown background, and irregular brown blotches along the sides. The belly is cream-colored and mottled under the chin and upper chest. The lower inner thigh and groin area are washed with bright yellow that may extend to the lower legs. They have an unbroken light-colored ridge of raised skin from the eye to the legs.
Adults normally 44-75 mm (1¾-3 inches) in SVL. The largest Kansas specimen is a female (KU 17471) from Cherokee County with a total length of 71 mm (2 7/8 inches) that was collected by Edward H. Taylor and Hobart M. Smith on 25 March 1932. The maximum length throughout the range is 3 7/16 inches (Conant and Collins, 1998).

Distribution:
Known from the Spring River drainage in Crawford and Cherokee counties.
(, Museum Voucher) (, Observation) (, Literature Record)
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  • Occurrence Summary:  
  • 4
    Records 
  • 4
    Museum Vouchers 
  • 0
    Other Observations 
Some county occurrences indicated below may be too imprecise to map above.
County Breakdown: County Name (# occurrences):
Cherokee (2); Crawford (2);

Natural History:
The only three specimens of this frog known from Kansas were collected prior to 1933, although they do persist in nearby southwest Missouri.
The call is a low-pitched snore that lasts 2-3 seconds.

Occurrence Activity:
The blue dates denote chorusing actity. The red dates are other occurrences. The darker a date is, the greater the relative number of observations for that date.
Chorusing:

Audio recording by Keith Coleman.

Chorusing Phenology: The black outlined dots denote the Julian date (day of the year; 1 January = 1 to 31 December = 365) an observation was made. The thin red line depicts the range of dates between the beginning of the first, and end of the fourth quartile (excluding outliers; Tukey method). The thick light blue bar represents the second and third quartile (interquartile range; the middle 50% of all observations). Only one observation per Julian date is included in the graphs; so a date with multiple observations carries the same weight as a date with only one observation. The vertical bars correspond to the 12 months of the year; January through December.
# Unique Obervations: ; Range: ; Interquartile range: ;

Observation Type: (of recorded types)
Remarks:
Historically known from three specimens in Kansas (KU 17470-1, Cherokee County, 4 mi N Baxter Springs, 1932, and KU 9488, Crawford County, Cow Creek, Pittsburg, date unknown). Due to the paucity of records, and the great intervening time period since their capture prompted this taxon to be placed on the state's Threatened species list (Platt et al., 1974).
Loraine (1983) surveyed unsuccessfully for this species in the Ozark Plateau of Cherokee County. Collins (1993) questioned its existence and continued recognition in the state.
Kirk (2001) attempted the repatriation (with adults and large numbers of eggs) of this taxon into two areas along Shoal Creek in Cherokee County. Ad hoc attempts by parties following-up on the status of this repatriation effort have failed to turn up any Pickerel Frogs, but a sustained effort may discover them once again living in the state.

Bibliography:
1825 Le Conte, John E. Remarks on the American species of the genera Hyla and Rana. Annals of the Lyceum of Natural History of New York 1(2):278-282
1932 Smith, Hobart M. A report upon amphibians hitherto unknown from Kansas. Transactions of the Kansas Academy of Science 35():93-96
1933 Smith, Hobart M. The Amphibians of Kansas Thesis. University of Kansas, Lawrence. 383pp.
1941 Mansueti, R. A descriptive catalogue of the amphibians and reptiles found in and around Baltimore City, Maryland, within a radius of twenty miles. Proceedings of the Natural History Society of Maryland 7():1-53
1950 Smith, Hobart M. Handbook of Amphibians and Reptiles of Kansas. University of Kansas, Museum of Natural History, Miscellaneous Publication (2):336
1971 Schaaf, Raymond T., Jr and Philip W. Smith. Rana palustris. Catalogue of American Amphibians and Reptiles (117):1-3
1974 Collins, Joseph T. Amphibians and Reptiles in Kansas University of Kansas Museum of Natural History Public Education Series (1):283 pp
1976 Rundquist, Eric M. Field checklist (of) amphibians and reptiles of Kansas. Kansas Herpetological Society, Lawrence. pp.
1977 Perry, Janice. Kansas herps needed. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (18):2-3
1977 Rundquist, Eric M. and Joseph T. Collins. The amphibians of Cherokee County, Kansas. Kansas Biological Survey, Lawrence. 12pp.
1977 Rundquist, Eric M. and Joseph T. Collins. The amphibians of Cherokee County, Kansas. Kansas Biological Survey, Lawrence. 12pp.
1982 Collins, Joseph T. Amphibians and Reptiles in Kansas. 2nd edition. University of Kansas Museum of Natural History Public Education Series (8):
1988 Busby, William H. The Kansas Natural Heritage Program: Taking stock of Kansas' natural heritage. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (71):9-12
1990 Collins, Joseph T. Maximum size records for Kansas amphibians and reptiles. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (81):13-17
1991 Conant, Roger and Joseph T. Collins. Peterson Field Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians of Eastern and Central North America. 3rd ed. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, Massachusetts. pp.
1993 Collins, Joseph T. and Suzanne L. Collins. Amphibians and Reptiles in Kansas. Third Edition. University Press of Kansas, Lawrence, Lawrence. 397pp.
1994 Rundquist, Eric M. KHS spring field trip a resounding success Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (97):2
1995 Moriarty, Emily C. and Joseph T. Collins. First known occurrence of amphibian species in Kansas. Kansas Herpetological Society Newsletter (100):28-30
1996 Rakestraw, J. Spring herp counts: A Kansas tradition. Reptile & Amphibian Magazine (March-April):75-80
1998 Conant, Roger and Joseph T. Collins. Peterson Field Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians of Eastern and Central North America. 3rd ed, expanded. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, Massachusetts. pp.
2001 Kirk, Jay Reintroduction of the Pickerel Frog (Rana palustris) to Cherokee County, Kansas Thesis. Friends University, Wichita, Kansas. 54pp.
2002 Kingsbury, Bruce and Joanna Gibson. Habitat Management Guidelines for Amphibians and Reptiles of the Midwest. Publication of Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation, Address not given. 152pp.
2005 Hillis, David M. and Thomas P. Wilcox Phylogeny of the New World True Frogs (Rana) Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 34(2):299-314
2006 Altig, Ronald, Roy W. McDiarmid, Kimberly A. Nichols, and Paul C. Ustach Tadpoles of the United States and Canada: A Tutorial and Key Electronic files accessible at http://www.pwrc.usgs.gov/tadpole/. Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, Laurel, MD, USA. ():
2006 Frost, Darrel R, Taran Grant, Julian Faivovich, Raoul H. Bain, Alexander Haas, Celio F. B. Haddad, Rafael O. De Sa, Alan Channing, Mark Wilkinson, Stephen C. Donnellan, Christopher J. Raxworthy, Jonathan A. Campbell, Boris L. Blotto, Paul Moler, Robert C. Drewes, Ronald A. Nussbaum, John D. Lynch, David M. Green, and Ward C. Wheeler. The amphibian tree of life Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History (297):370
2006 Taggart, Travis W. Distribution and status of Kansas herpetofauna in need of information. State Wildlife Grant T7. Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks, Pratt. vii + 106pp.
2009 Collins, Joseph T., Suzanne L. Collins, and Travis W. Taggart. A follow-up evaluation of two anuran repatriations in southeastern and southwestern Kansas. Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks, Pratt. 15pp.
2010 Collins, Joseph T., Suzanne L. Collins, and Travis W. Taggart. Amphibians, Reptiles, and Turtles of Kansas Eagle Mountain Publishing., Provo, Utah. 400pp.
2012 Rohweder, Megan R. Spatial conservation prioritization of Kansas for terrestrial vertebrates. Thesis. Fort Hays State University, Hays, Kansas. 151pp.
2016 Powell, Robert, Roger Conant, and Joseph T. Collins. Peterson Field Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians of Eastern and Central North America. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Boston. 494pp.
2017 Taggart, Travis W. and J. Daren Riedle. A Pocket Guide to Kansas Amphibians, Turtles and Lizards. Great Plains Nature Center, Wichita, Kansas. 69pp.
Account Last Updated:
8/2/2020 10:49:22 PM