Skip to Content

Frogs In Arizona

There are 28 different types of frogs in Arizona, some of them being subspecies. Arizona is the only state that has access to the four North American deserts, the Great Basin, Chihuahuan, Sonoran, and Mojave deserts.

Still, it is home to plenty of diverse habitats that make a great home for the frogs living there. Waters and lakes are used by most frogs to breed, but each species will have its own preference of habitat.  

Here you will find all of the 28 species of frogs, some being toads or tree frogs. While many of the frog species can be similar, all are unique and have interesting traits to learn about them. 

Frogs are not only valuable in nature in keeping a balanced environment, but can make good pets. Some are even used in labs to further our knowledge of the world. Many of the frog species face endangerment, but learning about them is the first step in protecting the local wildlife.

For the next time you come across a frog, here are all the species in Arizona:

Frogs in Arizona

1. Arizona Toad

Arizona Toad (Anaxyrus microscaphus) in the grass near Lake Pleasant Regional Park, Morrisontown, Arizona, USA
An Arizona Toad (Anaxyrus microscaphus) in the grass near Lake Pleasant Regional Park, Morrisontown, Arizona, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Bufonidae
  • Scientific Name: Anaxyrus microscaphus
  • Other Names: N/A 
  • Adult Size: 2 to 3 inches
  • Lifespan: 4 to 5 years
  • Average Price Range: N/A 

Arizona Toads are a species found across Arizona but also located in other western states near Arizona. They live in forested areas like woodlands but are more prominent in riparian habitats.

Arizona toads will burrow and live in areas with sandy soil. Near streams, rivers, and banks of water are where they live more often. Mainly this species is found in Arizona and has spread-out populations across their range.

Warts that are red or brown cover this species body. They range in colors from gray to brown.

Their texture and color make it easier to blend into the soil and ground. Parotoid glands also sit on this species neck, which is where their toxin is secreted from. They have a roundish body with short legs optimized for digging.

Predatory birds or reptiles like garter snakes are what preys on the Arizona Toad. The toxin that secretes onto this toad’s skin is what makes them unpalatable to some predators.

Their eggs are also unpalatable to most predators and will not be eaten. This species has a healthy population and is able to successfully breed with the woodhouse toad.

They spend most of their time underground, coming out to breed and hunt for small insects.

2. Great Plains Toad

Great Plains Toad (Anaxyrus cognatus) on dry land with rocks near Whitewater Draw Wildlife Area, Cochise County, Arizona, USA
A Great Plains Toad (Anaxyrus cognatus) on dry land with rocks near Whitewater Draw Wildlife Area, Cochise County, Arizona, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Ranidae
  • Scientific Name: Anaxyrus cognatus
  • Other Names: Rana pipiens
  • Adult Size: 3.5 to 4.5 inches
  • Lifespan: 2 to 4 years
  • Average Price Range: $10 to $15 

Great plains toads live all across Arizona, in many habitats. Grasslands near streams, rivers, and pools are where they prefer to live.

After rainstorms in spring to summer, this species will breed. Breeding occurs in shallow waters, and as many as 20,000 eggs are laid. In winter they hibernate and bury themselves in sandy soil.

Great plains toads are green, brown, or gray. They have light blotches covering their body as well as warts.

A light dorsal stripe runs down the center of their back. White, orange or yellow is their stomach color with no pattern. Round snouts with small heads are defining features of this toad.

Active from spring to summer this species spends most of this time underground when not breeding. They are active mostly at night but sometimes are seen in the day.

Flies, worms, beetles, and moths are common prey of this species. They have a healthy population across the U.S with their biggest risk being habitat loss.

3. Western Green Toad

Western Green Toad (Anaxyrus debilis) on rocks somewhere off Gila National Forest in Arizona, USA
A Western Green Toad (Anaxyrus debilis) on rocks somewhere off Gila National Forest in Arizona, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Beginner to Intermediate 
  • Family: Bufonidae 
  • Scientific Name: Anaxyrus debilis 
  • Other Names: North American Green Toad
  • Adult Size: 1.5 to 2 inches 
  • Lifespan: 8 to 12 years 
  • Average Price Range: $12 

Western green toads are widespread and are a common species of toad. They can be found in Arizona living in dry, semi-arid habitats. March to August this species is active and moves to water sources to breed. In winter this species will hibernate, lasting from November to April.

This species ranges from pale to pale green in its coloring. They are medium-sized species and are covered in black dots.

Yellow spots with a black dot in the center also cover this species. The legs of this toad are small and white like their belly. Western green toads have dry skin covered in bumps.

After the rain, this species will become more active. They can also be seen at night hunting for insects. Western toads can make good pets, and be kept in terrariums with as many as 6 other toads.

4. Red-spotted Toad

Red-spotted Toad (Anaxyrus punctatus) on sand and rocks near Kofa National Wildlife Refuge, La Paz County, Arizona, USA
A Red-spotted Toad (Anaxyrus punctatus) on sand and rocks near Kofa National Wildlife Refuge, La Paz County, Arizona, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Bufonidae
  • Scientific Name: Anaxyrus punctatus
  • Other Names: N/A
  • Adult Size: 1.5 to 3 inches
  • Lifespan: 5 to 10 years
  • Average Price Range: $10 to $20 

Red-spotted toads inhabit most of Arizona but are absent from the mountainous regions. They live near rocky streams in dryer regions.

This species is one of the most common in its region. Heavy rain will trigger breeding since they use puddles of water and temporary pools to mate.

Most of the year it lives underground in burrows. They are also able to crossbreed with the western toad.

This species is best known for the red spots that cover its body. They are a small species with gray, olive, or brown coloring. Along with red, black spots also cover them.

Their bellies are white with a mottled pattern. Their skin is bumpy and covered with warts.

Red-spotted toad predators include foxes, raccoons, and coyotes. They are not able to secrete toxins from their skin, which makes them easy to handle. Their docile nature also makes them easy to pick up.

Bees, ants, beetles, and other small insects are what this species feeds on. Red-spotted toads are insectivores that come out of their burrow at night to breed.

5. Sonoran Green Toad

Sonoran Green Toad (Anaxyrus retiformis) on red sand with rocks somewhere in Anegam, Arizona, USA
A Sonoran Green Toad (Anaxyrus retiformis) on red sand with rocks somewhere in Anegam, Arizona, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Beginner to Intermediate 
  • Family: Bufonidae 
  • Scientific Name: Anaxyrus retiformis 
  • Other Names: N/A
  • Adult Size: 2.5 inches 
  • Lifespan: 15 years
  • Average Price Range: $25

The Sonoran Green toad can be found in Arizona, with it mostly inhabiting the Sonoran Desert regions. Grasslands and creosote bush flats are the habitats they live in. 500 to 1500 feet above sea level is where they are found.

In dry periods they burrow into the ground or take shelter in rodent holes. High rain periods will cause this species to move on land and breed.

Sonoran green toads are green or yellow skin. They are covered in dark black or brown spots and have white bellies and legs.

Their eyes are dark black, and their limbs are short. Covering them are small bumps that give them rough skin.

Sonoran green toads are nocturnal and will come out to hunt insects at night. Occasionally on cool days, they will be active in the day.

In winter and colder temperatures, they are not to be found since they spend their time hibernating underground. 

6. Woodhouse’s Toad

Woodhouse's Toad (Anaxyrus woodhousii) in mud at Canoa Ranch, Arizona, USA
A Woodhouse’s Toad (Anaxyrus woodhousii) in mud at Canoa Ranch, Arizona, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Intermediate 
  • Family: Bufonidae
  • Scientific Name: Anaxyrus woodhousii 
  • Other Names: Western Woodhouse’s toad 
  • Adult Size: 2.5 to 5 inches
  • Lifespan: 12 years
  • Average Price Range: N/A

Woodhouse toads can be found in most of Arizona. They live in wooded areas next to streams, canals, ponds, and riparian habitats.

They are nocturnal and will come out more often from May to June to breed. As many as 25,000 eggs are laid in freshwater typed habits. 

This species is a larger toad and capable of reaching up to 5 inches. They are green to grayish brown with small dark spots covering their body.

A pale dorsal stripe runs down its back. Their bellies are pale with no pattern. When breeding season occurs males will make a call that sounds similar to a sheep’s sound it makes. 

Insects are what this species feeds on when it hunts at night. They can often be seen near light sources since they will attract insects.

Woodhouse toads have a wide range with a large population. They are a common species and listed as “least concern”. 

7. Sonoran Desert Toad

Colorado River Toad (Incilius alvarius) in grass near Sonoita Creek State Natural Area, Arizona, USA
A Colorado River Toad (Incilius alvarius) in grass near Sonoita Creek State Natural Area, Arizona, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Bufonidae
  • Scientific Name: Incilius alvarius (Bufo alvarius)
  • Other Names: The Colorado River Toad
  • Adult Size: 7 inches
  • Lifespan: 10 years
  • Average Price Range: $90

Sonoran desert toads live in Arizona, with a large portion of their range being in the Sonoran desert. They live in grasslands, woodlands, and tropical forest habitats.

This species is active from Spring to Fall, mostly during the rainy season. In winter they will hibernate and remain underground. 

The Sonoran Desert Toad is one of the largest toad species in North America and is capable of reaching up to 7 inches large. They give green to greenish-gray skin and a white belly.

Warts can be seen around their jaw, as well as a parotoid gland. Their skin is mostly smooth with minimal warts covering them.

Insects like beetles are what this species feeds on mostly.

They have a potent toxin that they are capable of releasing from their parotoid gland. This toxin is strong enough to kill a full-grown dog and other small animals and wards off predators and can be administered to an enemy through its eyes, mouth, or nose. 

8. Western Narrow-mouthed Toad

Western Narrow-mouthed Toad (Gastrophryne olivacea) on a fuzzy leaf somewhere in Ectonville, Missouri, USA
A Western Narrow-mouthed Toad (Gastrophryne olivacea) on a fuzzy leaf somewhere in Ectonville, Missouri, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Beginner 
  • Family: Microhylidae
  • Scientific Name: Gastrophryne olivacea
  • Other Names: Great plains narrow-mouthed toad
  • Adult Size: 1.5 inches 
  • Lifespan: 6 years 
  • Average Price Range: $10 

Western Narrow-mouthed toads can be found in Arizona. They live in woodlands, grasslands, marshes, and rocky areas. This species will hide in loose soil and under natural debris.

They are active from Spring to Fall and will mate in early spring. Their eggs are laid on the water surface and will float along the surface.

This species is small with smooth skin. They have green coloring with a mottled pattern and long toes. Their heads and mouths are small and narrow. The underside is a pale white coloring. 

Ants are what the western narrow-mouthed toad eats. They have toxic skin to protect them from predators or red ant bites. This species is good at controlling pest populations and keeping them populated. 

9. American Bullfrog

American Bullfrog (Lithobates catesbeianus) on a log in water somewhere in Tubac, Arizona, USA
An American Bullfrog (Lithobates catesbeianus) on a log in water somewhere in Tubac, Arizona, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Intermediate to Advanced 
  • Family: Ranidae
  • Scientific Name: Lithobates catesbeianus
  • Other Names: lithobates catesbeianus
  • Adult Size: 3.5 to 8 inches 
  • Lifespan: 7 to 15 years 
  • Average Price Range: $20

American bullfrogs are the largest frog species in North America and are found all over the U.S. They are highly invasive and are found in a variety of freshwater habitats. Rivers, swamps, ponds, and other freshwater sources are where they can be found. They are a dominant species and not a native species in Arizona.

American Bullfrogs are the largest species and capable of reaching up to 8 inches. They have greenish to brown skin and a mottled pattern along their back.

They are highly aquatic and have webbed feet to help live their lifestyle. An exposed eardrum can be seen on the side of their face, which is larger in males.

Bullfrogs will eat other frogs, snakes, birds, insects, and anything they can find that will fit into their mouths.

Their invasive nature causes other people to lose resources like suitable habitat and food. They will also feed on native species, reducing their population.

10. Barking Frog

Barking Frog (Eleutherodactylus augusti) on dry ground at Reserve de la Biosfera Barranca de Metztitlan, Hidalgo, Mexico
A Barking Frog (Eleutherodactylus augusti) on dry ground at Reserve de la Biosfera Barranca de Metztitlan, Hidalgo, Mexico. – Source
  • Experience Level: Intermediate 
  • Family: Craugastoridae 
  • Scientific Name: Eleutherodactylus augusti 
  • Other Names: N/A 
  • Adult Size: 1.9 to 3.7 inches 
  • Lifespan: 7 to 11 years
  • Average Price Range: N/A 

Barking frogs can be found in Arizona living in mountainous forests. They spend their time high in trees but can also be seen on the ground. Some may burrow or hide under natural debris.

They get their name from the sound that they make, which sounds like a barking dog.

Female barking frogs will be bigger than males. Their skin ranges from tan, green or gray and is covered in dark blotches.

They have flat bodies and light stripes running down their sides. This species does not have any warts but has granular skin.

This species is rare to find in the U.S but may be seen on rainy nights. They feed on insects like earthworms and crickets. They use their camouflage to avoid predators but are consumed by snakes, lizards, and birds.

11. Chiricahua Leopard Frog

Chiricahua Leopard Frog (Lithobates chiricahuensis) in grassy sand somewhere near Sierra Vista Southeast, Arizona, USA
A Chiricahua Leopard Frog (Lithobates chiricahuensis) in grassy sand somewhere near Sierra Vista Southeast, Arizona, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Intermediate 
  • Family: Ranidae 
  • Scientific Name: Lithobates chiricahuensis 
  • Other Names: N/A 
  • Adult Size: 4.3 inches 
  • Lifespan: 18 years 
  • Average Price Range: N/A 

Chiricahua leopard frogs can be found in Arizona and parts of Mexico. Rivers, swamps, forests, and other freshwater habitats are whether they can be found.

Breeding occurs in freshwaters from March to August. Eggs are laid underwater and attached to vegetation.

Chiricahua leopard frogs have a greenish tan color. Their eyes are large, and they have circular eardrums.

Dark spots and bands are painted across their back, hands, and legs. Their bellies are all white and their skin is granular.

In Arizona, lowland leopard frogs are considered a vulnerable species. Pollution and disease are what cause this species population to decline the most.

They are also used as food by predatory birds and mammals.

12. Lowland Leopard Frog

Lowland Leopard Frog (Lithobates yavapaiensis) on a rock near water somewhere near Castle Well Airport, Arizona, USA
A Lowland Leopard Frog (Lithobates yavapaiensis) on a rock near water somewhere near Castle Well Airport, Arizona, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Beginner 
  • Family: Ranidae
  • Scientific Name: Lithobates yavapaiensis
  • Other Names: San Felipe leopard frog
  • Adult Size: 1 to 3 inches
  • Lifespan: 3 years
  • Average Price Range: $15 

Lowland leopard frogs can be found in canyon watershed habitats in Arizona. They will also live in streams, grasslands, ponds, and woodland habitats.

They will stay close to the water and use nearby vegetation as shelter. In winter they will become inactive, and hibernate.

This frog ranges in colors from tan to green. They have dark spots covering their body and leg that are similar to a leopard pattern. Two dorsolateral folds run down their back, and their legs are long. Their belly has a yellow underside.

Small invertebrates, fish, and birds are what the lowland leopard frog eats. Predators like hawks and snakes will prey on this species. The lowland leopard frog is smaller than other leopard frog species.

You will likely see them in spring and early summer.

13. Northern Leopard Frog

Norhtern Leopard Frog (Lithobates pipiens) in grassy rocks at Coconino National Forest, Arizona, USA
A Norhtern Leopard Frog (Lithobates pipiens) in grassy rocks at Coconino National Forest, Arizona, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Ranidae
  • Scientific Name: Lithobates pipiens
  • Other Names: Rana pipiens
  • Adult Size: 3.5 to 4.5 inches
  • Lifespan: 2 to 4 years
  • Average Price Range: $10 to $15 

Northern Leopard frogs can be found in Northern Arizona, but are a rare species to find. They live in swamps, marshes, ponds, and slow-moving waters within forests.

They will often move on land in summer and will hibernate during the winter. Thye is often used in labs for experiments, and classrooms for dissecting.

 Northern Leopard frogs can be brown, light brown, green, or olive in color. They have dark spots covering their body and legs.

Some frog colorations will have no large spots on their back, and others may be all dark in color. They have long legs which help them swim and jump away from predators.

Snakes, raccoons, and larger frog species are the Northern Leopard Frog’s main predators. This frog will eat anything it can find but survives mostly on insects.

They are listed as a species of least concern but have seen a population decline due to habitat loss and pollution. 

14. Plains Leopard Frog

Plains Leopard Frog (Lithobates blairi) on rocks and some leaves near Clinton Lake at Baker Wetlands, Kansas, USA
A Plains Leopard Frog (Lithobates blairi) on rocks and some leaves near Clinton Lake at Baker Wetlands, Kansas, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Ranidae
  • Scientific Name: Lithobates blairi
  • Other Names: Blair’s leopard frog
  • Adult Size: 2 to 4.25 inch
  • Lifespan: 2 to 4 years
  • Average Price Range: $10 to $30

Plains leopard frogs have a small population within Arizona. They are aquatic and live in grasslands, parries, and other habitats near a water source. Highly vegetated places are their preferred living area, which they use for hiding.

Some frogs of this species will move away from water and spend more time on land in Summer. In winter they are inactive and will hibernate and bury themselves in mud.

This frog is brown, olive, or green. Their back is covered in dark spots, and two dorsolateral folds run down their sides. They are medium-sized and have pale bellies.

Plains leopard frogs feed on small insects, birds, snakes, and even other leopard frogs. They will also get preyed on by larger birds, snakes, and fish. They have a healthy population but have a small range within Arizona.

15. Relict Leopard Frog

Relict Leopard Frog (Lithobates onca) in moss in water near Gold Butte National Monument, Clark County, Nevada, USA
A Relict Leopard Frog (Lithobates onca) in moss in water near Gold Butte National Monument, Clark County, Nevada, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Beginner to Intermediate 
  • Family: Ranidae 
  • Scientific Name: Lithobates onca 
  • Other Names: N/A 
  • Adult Size: 1.75 to 3.5 inches 
  • Lifespan: 3 years 
  • Average Price Range: N/A

The relict leopard frog was thought to be extinct but has been found in certain regions within the United States. In Arizona, they are found in the extreme northwestern regions.

This species lives in creeks, springs, and other freshwater sources. Breeding for this species breeds in January from March, and their eggs are attached to vegetation.

This species is medium-sized and has green to tan skin. Their back is covered with leopard-like spots, and their skin is smooth. Leopard frogs are highly aquatic and have webbed feet to fit their lifestyle. Tow dorsolateral stripes run down their sides, and their legs are large. 

Bullfrogs are one of the main reasons this species has become extinct in certain areas. Bullfrogs will feed on this species and hunt for prey that they need.

Rio Grande leopard frogs have a diet of insects and arthropods. Pollution and disease also affect this species.

16. Rio Grande Leopard Frog

Rio Grande Leopard Frog (Lithobates berlandieri) on moist dirt somewhere in Yuma County, Arizona, USA
A Rio Grande Leopard Frog (Lithobates berlandieri) on moist dirt somewhere in Yuma County, Arizona, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Ranidae
  • Scientific Name: Lithobates berlandieri
  • Other Names: Rana berlandieri
  • Adult Size: 2.25 to 4.5 inches
  • Lifespan: 2 to 4 years
  • Average Price Range: $10 to $20 

Rio Grande Leopard frogs are an aquatic species that can be found in the southern United States and Arizona. They live in freshwater habitats like streams, creeks, and ponds.

Since they live in arid regions they will stay in the water to keep moist. Mating happens in rainy seasons and males will make a loud rattling call to attract females.

Rio Grande leopard frogs are known for the leopard-like pattern covering their backs. They are brown to green in color and their spots are dark brown. Doraleraltera stripes run down their sides. They have webbed feet and large legs to help them swim.

This frog is nocturnal and hunts insects it finds at night to survive. They will also eat anything small enough to fit in their mouth being opportunistic feeders. Rio Grande leopard frogs are common in their range and are used as food by foxes, owls, snakes, and other predators. 

17. Tarahumara Frog

Tarahumara Frog (Lithobates tarahumarae) hidden in the rocks by mossy water at Kofa National Wildlife Refuge, La Paz County, Arizona, USA
A Tarahumara Frog (Lithobates tarahumarae) hidden in the rocks by mossy water at Kofa National Wildlife Refuge, La Paz County, Arizona, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Intermediate 
  • Family: Ranidae 
  • Scientific Name: Lithobates tarahumarae 
  • Other Names: N/A 
  • Adult Size: 2.5 to 4.5 inches 
  • Lifespan: N/A 
  • Average Price Range: N/A 

Tarahumara frogs are a rare species to see but can be found in the canyons of southern Arizona and mountainous regions. They were previously reported extinct but their population has been reestablished within the Arizona canyons.

Permanent water is needed, and they enjoy forests, woodlands, and coastal tropical areas.

This frog is medium-sized with dark green skin. They have dark-colored spots on their body and a cross band pattern on their legs. Their body is colored in bumps and their belly is lightly colored white or yellow.

Tarahumara frogs have a declining population and have been listed as extinct in most of their range in the U.S. Cold temperatures, habitat loss, and invasive species competing with them have caused their population to decline.

This species is also susceptible to disease and pollution that runs into needed water sources. 

18. Couch’s Spadefoot Toad

Couch's Spadefoot (Scaphiopus couchii) on sand near someone's hand somewhere around Cave Buttes Recreation Area, Phoenix, Arizona, USA
A Couch’s Spadefoot (Scaphiopus couchii) on sand near someone’s hand somewhere around Cave Buttes Recreation Area, Phoenix, Arizona, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Scaphiopodidae
  • Scientific Name: Scaphiopus couchii
  • Other Names: N/A
  • Adult Size: 2.5 to 3 inches
  • Lifespan: 10 to 15 years
  • Average Price Range: $30

Couch’s spadefoot toad lives in Southern Arizona and can be found throughout the southwestern United States.

They live in areas with sandy soils and can be found in grasslands and desert habitats, spending most of their life underground, only coming out in heavy rainfall and thunderstorms. In rain, they will begin to breed, and males will make a sheep-like call to attract females.

Couch’s spadefoot toads have smooth moist skin. They are yellow, green, or olive in color. Dark blotches cover their body and their belly is white.

Spadefoot toads have a spade-like keratinous spade on their hindfoot which helps dig and also gives them their name.

Ants, spiders, beetles, and other insects are some things they eat. Predators are birds and snakes which they escape by quickly burying themselves underground. 

Spadefoot toads spend most of their life underground and can spend props of time there without coming up to eat. Seeing this species may be rare, as they also go some years without breeding.

19. Great Basin Spadefoot Toad

Great Basin Spadefoot (Spea intermontana) in grass near Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge, Caldwell, Idaho, USA
A Great Basin Spadefoot (Spea intermontana) in grass near Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge, Caldwell, Idaho, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Scaphiopodidae
  • Scientific Name: Spea intermontana
  • Other Names: N/A 
  • Adult Size: 1.4 to 2.4 inches
  • Lifespan: 10 years
  • Average Price Range: $30

Great Basin spadefoot toads can be found in Arizona, living in habitats with sandy soil. They use this soil to burrow and will also inhabit abandoned rodent holes.

A water source is usually near where they live which is used for breeding. Wet meadows, ponds, and other areas with slow-moving water are used for breeding. Unless breeding they prefer to stay underground to avoid losing moisture.

Great Basin spadefoot toads are medium-sized with round bodies. They have similar traits when compared with other spadefoot toads like larger elliptical eyes and a black spade-like tool on their hindfoot. Great Basin spadefoot toads also have an upturned pug-like nose.

A diet of insects and arthropods is what these species survive on. Owls, snakes, and coyotes are some of the predators of this species.

The Great Basin Spadefoot toad has a healthy population and is listed as least concerned in its conservation status. 

20. Mexican Spadefoot Toad

Mexican Spadefoot (Spea multiplicata) in pebbles and leaves near Miracle Valley in Cochise County, Arizona, USA
A Mexican Spadefoot (Spea multiplicata) in pebbles and leaves near Miracle Valley in Cochise County, Arizona, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: scaphiopodidae
  • Scientific Name: Spea multiplicata
  • Other Names: New mexican spadefoot
  • Adult Size: 1.5 to 2.5 inches
  • Lifespan: 5 to 10 years
  • Average Price Range: $5 to $10 

Mexican Spadefoot toads live in the southwestern United States and Mexico. They can be found in Arizona within the Sonoran and Chihuahuan desert.

This toad inhabits grasslands, woodlands, foothills, and semi-desert areas with sandy soil used for burrowing. This species spends most of its life underground but will come out to breed in heavy rainfall.

As much as 1,000 eggs can be laid in temporary pools which are attached to vegetation in the water.

Mexican spadefoot toads are mediums mixed with colors ranging from gray to brown. They have large round eyes with vertical pupils.

On their head is a cranial crest, and near it is a parotoid gland. On their back foot is a black protrusion used for digging. Their body is covered in dark blotches and warts.

Adults will stay underground during the day but will come out at night to hunt. Ants, beetles, grasshoppers, and arthropods are what they will feed on. In Arizona, they have a healthy population and can be found all over the state.

21. Plains Spadefoot Toad 

Plains Spadefoot (Spea bombifrons) on a cactus leaf near Chricahua Peak, Arizona, USA
A Plains Spadefoot (Spea bombifrons) on a cactus leaf near Chricahua Peak, Arizona, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Scaphiopodidae
  • Scientific Name: Spea bombifrons
  • Other Names: N/A
  • Adult Size: 1.5 to 2.5 inches
  • Lifespan: 5 to 10 years
  • Average Price Range: $10 

Plains Spadefoot toad is a medium-sized species found in Arizona. They spend most of their time underground but will come out in heavy rain.

Since they are fossorial they live in areas with sandy soil suitable for burrowing. In dry seasons they will stay underground, but breeding occurs during heavy rainfall.

Plains spadefoot toads spend a majority of their time on land and are poor swimmers.

This toad is medium size with a round body. They are named after their black spade-like feet which helps them dig. Plains spadefoot toads have brown or tan bodies with a mottled pattern on their body.

Their eyes are large with elliptical pupils. This species is very similar to the Mexican Spadefoot toad, but the Plains spadefoot toad smells like peanuts when handled.

Being nocturnal they will come out at night to eat things like flies, worms, ants, and grasshoppers. Birds are this species’ main predators, such as burrowing owls or hawks.

This species has a wide range with a large population in it and is listed as a species of least concern. 

22. African Clawed Frog

African Clawed Frog (Xenopus laevis) on a piece of thin wood near Vaalkop Dam Nature Reserve, Madibeng, South Africa
An African Clawed Frog (Xenopus laevis) on a piece of thin wood near Vaalkop Dam Nature Reserve, Madibeng, South Africa. – Source
  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Pipidae
  • Scientific Name: Xenopus laevis
  • Other Names: Xenopus
  • Adult Size: 4 to 5 inches
  • Lifespan: 20 to 30 years
  • Average Price Range: $20

The African Clawed frog is an invasive species that has managed to find its way into Arizona. It is thought that they traveled through pet trading and lab research.

African clawed frogs are aquatic and live in freshwater habitats. They are originally from the sub-Saharan of Africa, living in both stagnant and fast-moving water. They will sometimes move out of the water to find a new source.

This species gets its name from its clawed back feet. African clawed frogs have flat bodies and moist skin.

Green to tan is their coloring with a dark mottled pattern. As a member of the Pipidae family, they have no tongues or teeth. They have small hands with sensitive fingers to help them track prey.

This species is a scavenger and will feed on anything it can find, dead or alive. Arthropods, insects, tadpoles, and crustaceans are common things they eat.

Their legs are and help them swim quickly to catch prey. When not hunting they will lay and float on top of the water. 

23. Boreal Chorus Frog

Boreal Chorus Frog (Pseudacris maculata) on eroded rock near Stoneman Lake, Coconino National Forest, Arizona, USA
A Boreal Chorus Frog (Pseudacris maculata) on eroded rock near Stoneman Lake, Coconino National Forest, Arizona, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Hylidae
  • Scientific Name: Pseudacris maculata
  • Other Names: N/A
  • Adult Size: 0.75 to 1.5 inches
  • Lifespan: 1 to 3 years
  • Average Price Range: N/A

Boreal chorus frogs have a large range across the central U.S stretching their presence into Canada. This species is found in permanent water with dense vegetation.

Active from spring to fall, they will mate early in the year. Males will call from the banks of the water, hiding in dense vegetation.

Their call sounds like a “reek” noise when breeding. In winter they hibernate but are one of the first species to become active. 

Boreal chorus frogs are small with skin in colors of brown to green. They have dorsal stripes running down their back, and a dark band running across the side of their face.

Their bellies have a light color. This species has a similar look when compared with the Western chorus frog, but has shorter legs. 

Boreal chorus frogs rely on a diet of small insects and arthropods to survive. Disease, habitat loss, and collection are what threatens this species the most.

Dry weather causes eggs to dry out and make this species lose moisture. Diseases like Batrachochytirum dendrobatidis will kill these frogs in large numbers and spread quickly.  

24. Western Chorus Frog

Western Chorus Frog (Pseudacris triseriata) on someone's hand near grass at East Fork State Park, Tate Township, Ohio, USA
A Western Chorus Frog (Pseudacris triseriata) on someone’s hand near grass at East Fork State Park, Tate Township, Ohio, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Hylidae
  • Scientific Name: Pseudacris triseriata
  • Other Names: striped chorus frog
  • Adult Size: 0.75 to 1.5 inches
  • Lifespan: 1 to 4 years
  • Average Price Range: N/A

Western Chorus frogs have a population within central Arizona and can be found in a variety of different habitats. Marshes, swamps, meadows, and mountain habitats are where they live.

They prefer temporary waters so their eggs are not preyed on by fish. Western Chorus frogs are more active in moist areas to prevent their skin from drying. In winter they move underground to hibernate.

Gray, olive green, or reddish-brown are the most common colors of Western chorus frogs. They have dorsal stripes dark in color that run down their back.

A white stripe runs across their upper lip, and a dark triangular spot sits on their head. Their underside is white with a mottled pattern and the skin of this species is smooth.

Western chorus frogs are nocturnal and will hunt for small insects at night. They are a small species so are often eaten by larger frogs, snakes, and fish.

Diving in water and hiding in dense vegetation is how they avoid predators. 

25. Canyon Treefrog

Canyon Tree Frog (Hyla arenicolor) on moist bark near Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge, Santa Cruz County, Arizona, USA
A Canyon Tree Frog (Hyla arenicolor) on moist bark near Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge, Santa Cruz County, Arizona, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Intermediate 
  • Family: Hylidae
  • Scientific Name: Hyla arenicolor
  • Other Names: N/A
  • Adult Size: 2 to 2.5 inches
  • Lifespan: 5  to 8 years
  • Average Price Range: $50 to $100

The Canyon tree frog has a large range across the southwestern United States. In Arizona, they live all over the state but are not seen in the western areas.

This species is found along streams with rocky landscapes. Deserts, grasslands, and forests are some of the habitats they live in. This species is active from spring to fall and will go underground in cold temperatures.

Olive-green to brown is the color of their body. Bars, blotches, and dark spots cover their back. On their toes are large pads that help them climb.

Males have dark-colored throats, but females have a light throat that matches this species’ stomach. The canyon tree frog’s body has a pattern to help it blend into rocky locations.

Canyon tree frogs eat mostly insects or small invertebrates. Snakes in their habitat or meat-eating mammals are what will prey on this species.

To protect themselves they rely on their camouflage and run when a predator gets close.

Rain causes canyon tree frogs to be more active and to breed in Summer. Eggs are laid in high numbers and are found floating at the tops of streams. 

26. Lowland Burrowing Treefrog

Lowland Burrowing Treefrog (Smilisca fodiens) climbing onto a log near Tohono O'Odham Nation Reservation, Arizona, USA
A Lowland Burrowing Treefrog (Smilisca fodiens) climbing onto a log near Tohono O’Odham Nation Reservation, Arizona, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Intermediate to Advanced 
  • Family: Hylidae 
  • Scientific Name: Smilisca fodiens 
  • Other Names: Northern casquehead frog 
  • Adult Size: 2 to 2.5 inches 
  • Lifespan: 5 years 
  • Average Price Range: N/A 

The lowland burrowing treefrog lives in Arizona in the south-central region. Unlike other species of tree frogs, the lowland burrowing treefrog is not often found in trees.

They are a burrowing species and spend time underground to stay moist. In dry periods they can create a cocoon around their skin to keep them moist.

Olive, brown, and tan are their most common colors. Dark blotches brown in color can be seen on their back. The lowland burrowing treefrog has granular skin but no warts.

Their eyes are large with dark brown coloring. On their underside is white coloring and their feet are small which helps with burrowing.

This species has a generalist diet, eating ants, beetles, spiders, centipedes,s and most insects they come across.  Ponds found in grassland and tropical forest habitats are used for breeding.

Even though they spend their time in burrows, they will live in high elevations of around 5,000 ft like other tree frogs. 

27. Mountain Tree Frog

Mountain Tree Frog (Dryophytes eximius) in dirt somewhere in El Salto, Jal., Mexico
A Mountain Tree Frog (Dryophytes eximius) in dirt somewhere in El Salto, Jal., Mexico. – Source
  • Experience Level: Intermediate to Advanced 
  • Family: Hylidae 
  • Scientific Name: Dryophytes eximius 
  • Other Names: Madrean Treefrog 
  • Adult Size: 0.7 to 2.2 inches 
  • Lifespan: N/A 
  • Average Price Range: N/A 

The mountain treefrog is one of the species of treefrog that can be found in Arizona. Seeing this frog is rare because of its small size and ability to camouflage into its habitat.

They can be found in oak, pine, and fir forests. In forests, 5,000 ft above sea level is where they can be found. This species is listed as Arizona’s state frog and is found in the state’s central mountain region. They spend their time in the treetops, active mostly at night.

This species is small in size and is bright green. A dark stripe runs down their nose onto their side. They have dark blotches and spots on their back.

A bronze or golden hue is present in some frogs. Their skin is smooth with a moist look. On their underside is a whitish color, and males have a greenish throat. 

Mountain tree frogs are known for their climbing ability, which is done by the use of sticky pads on their feet. At night this species will hunt for food.

Worms, spiders, beetles, flies, and earthworms are some of the things they eat. Mountain frogs help control insect populations and even help get rid of invasive species that can do harm.

28. Pacific Treefrog

Northern Pacific Treefrog (Pseudacris Regilla) on a leaf at Jocelyn Hill Trailhead, British Columbia, Canada
A Northern Pacific Treefrog (Pseudacris Regilla) on a leaf at Jocelyn Hill Trailhead, British Columbia, Canada. – Source
  • Experience Level: Beginner 
  • Family: Hylidae
  • Scientific Name: Pseudacris Regilla
  • Other Names: Pacific chorus frog, Northern Pacific Treefrog
  • Adult Size: 2 inches
  • Lifespan: 7 to 9 years
  • Average Price Range: $11

Pacific Tree Frogs can be found in Arizona, living in mountainous forests near streams. They are found in higher elevations and will stay near the ground around fresh water with plenty of dense vegetation.

Freshwater sources like lakes, ponds, streams, marshes, and wetlands are where they are prominently located. In Arizona, they are found more often with waters abundant with cattails.

This treefrog has small toe pads that are tan to reddish. Their skin is green, red, brown, tan, and sometimes black. Pacific tree frogs are able to change their shade to help them better blend in with their environment.

A black mask mark sits on the eye, and their back is covered with dark blotches. They have light-colored bellies with a mottled pattern.

Insects are the main food of this species, feeding off bugs like flies, gnats, mosquitoes, beetles, and crickets. Hunting occurs mostly at night as they are nocturnal, and they will hide out during the day.

In winter they become inactive and will find shelter in vegetation and other hidden areas.  In spring they mate and have a healthy population across the U.S, being a keystone species in the environments they live in.

Wrapping up

28 different frog species live in Arizona, most of which are an important part of the environment. Some are invasive, such as the African Clawed frog, and bring an imbalance to the local wildlife.

Frogs are often kept as pets, and make a good companion. If you are thinking about getting an amphibian as a pet you should do your research to be able to properly care for it and provide the right environment. 

Each species has its own needs and lifestyle. Figuring out one species from the next can be done by looking at a frog’s features, habitat, and call that it makes.

This list has useful information to help you identify a species you come across in the wild, or even in your own backyard. Frogs have been a victim of pollution and habitat loss, making some species go on the path of endangerment.

Beautiful and fun to learn about, each species also helps maintain the natural balance of nature. The 28 species in Arizona represent a small portion of the frogs in the world, but give a view of how special they can be.

Click to rate this post!
[Total: 1 Average: 5]

Sharing is caring!