Order: Anura
(Frogs and Toads)

The following taxonomic list will link you to the individual species.

Family: Ascaphidae

  The family Ascaphidae is a primitive family as evidenced by a higher than normal number of vertebrae (9 presacral), the vertebrae shape, the presence of ribs and a high chromosome number (Nussbaum et al. 1983). The family is represented by a single living species, the Tailed Frog (Ascaphus truei).  This species is endemic to the Pacific Northwest (Pough et al. 1998).

Ascaphus truei
Tailed Frog

Family: Bufonidae
(True Toads)
  This family is nearly cosmopolitan in distribution. In North America the family is represented by a single genus Bufo. Characteristics of the True Toads are the absence of teeth in the upper jaw, a peculiar structure (Bidder's organ) near the testes of males, and heavily ossified skulls (Pough 1998).  The two species present in Idaho have the stereotypical "toad" body form (a relatively squat body with short legs and rough bumpy skin due to poison glands).
Bufo boreas
Western Toad
Bufo woodhouseii
Woodhouse's Toad

Family: Pelobatidae
(Archaic Toads)
 The family Pelobatidae is a fairly primitive family (as the name implies). Primitive features include a distinctive skeletal morphology, inguinal amplexus and vertical pupils (Nussbaum et al. 1983). The species in this family can be distinguished from true toads by the presence of teeth in the upper jaw. The single species found here in Idaho is the Great Basin Spadefoot Toad, Scaphiopus intermontanus ( = Spea intermontana).
Scaphiopus intermontanus
Great Basin
Spadefoot Toad

Family: Hylidae
(True Tree Frogs)
The family Hylidae is found throughout the Americas, Europe and northern Asia and Africa. This family is most diversely represented in tropical South America. The Pacific Northwest is represented by two genera, Hyla and Pseudacris (Nussbaum et al. 1983).  Idaho has two species in this family, Hyla regilla and Pseudacris maculata.  The Pacific Treefrog is referred to by some scientists as the Pacific Chorus Frog (Pseudacris regilla).  There currently seems to be no major consensus as to which name is most appropriate.  The Boreal Chorus Frog (Pseudacris maculata) is a new name, formerly being a subspecies (P. triseriata maculata).
  All members of the family have intercalary cartilage between the ultimate and penultimate phalanges (Nussbaum et al. 1983) which, with arboreal species having developed toe pads, may allow better adhesion . Most species in the family have long slender limbs (which, again may facilitate an arboreal lifestyle).
Pseudacris regilla
Pacific Treefrog



Pseudacris maculata
Boreal Chorus Frog

Family: Ranidae
(True Frogs)
The family Ranidae is a large and diverse family, with representatives on many different continents and from many different habitats.  There are around 45 genera in the family world wide, but there is only one found in North America, the genus Rana. The genus Rana has four representatives in Idaho:  Rana catesbeiana, Rana pipiens, Rana luteiventris and Rana sylvatica.
Rana catesbiana
Rana pipiens
Northern Leopard Frog
Rana luteiventris
Spotted Frog
Rana sylvatica
Wood Frog

Written by John Cossel Jr., 1997
Photos by Charles R. Peterson, Edward Koch, Jonathon M. Beck, Michael E. Dorcas and Larry West