Chiricahua Leopard Frog
Life History




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Breeding Pair of Houston Toads Chiricahua leopard frog egg mass. Credit: Jim Rorabaugh/USFWS
Chiricahua Leopard Frogs are highly aquatic habitat generalists (they can be found in a wide variety of habitats.)

Adults become active in February. At lower elevation, warmer localities, the frogs tend to breed from mid-February through June but may continue to breed into the fall if the circumstances are right. At high elevation, breeding occurs late May through August. Male Chiricahua leopard frogs usually call above water, but may also advertise below water. Their distinctive call (a snore of 1 to 2 seconds duration) separates this species from other leopard frogs. Listen to the frog's call.

Females lay anywhere from 300 to nearly 1500 eggs attached to underwater vegetation. The eggs look like a spherical, gelatinous, mass. Eggs hatch in about 14 days and larvae (often referred to as polliwogs or tadpoles) usually metamorphose in 3-9 months. However, larvae will occasionally over-winter and metamorphose the following year.

Once they have metamorphosed, Chiricahua leopard frogs appear to become inactive from November-February, likely over-wintering near breeding sites. A detailed study of wintertime activity and habitat use is still needed. It is not known how old the frogs are when they reach reproductive age or how long they live, although it is thought that they may live up to six years.

Adults eat insects and other invertebrates including such things as snails, spiders, insects, fish, other frogs, and even small birds. Larvae are primarily plant eaters and likely eat algae, organic debris, plant tissue, and minute organisms in the water.

Last updated: October 23, 2008