California Red-legged Frog

California Red-Legged Frog

California Red-legged Frog

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The California Red-legged Frog, Rana draytonii, is a moderate to large (4.4–14 cm) species of frog. It is known under the scientific name Rana draytonii, after being long included with the Northern Red-legged Frog (R. aurora) as subspecies of a single species called simply Red-legged Frog.

California red-legged frogs are nearly endemic to California, only leaving the State as they enter extreme northern Baja California. This species occurs most commonly along the Northern and Southern Coast Ranges, and in isolated areas in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The frog is a federally listed threatened species of the United States.


The Rana draytonii back is brown, grey, olive, or reddish color with black flecks and dark, irregular, light-centered blotches, and is coarsely granular. There is a dark mask with a whitish border above the upper jaw, and black and red or yellow mottling in the groin. The lower abdomen and the underside of its hindlegs are normally red. Males can be recognized by their enlarged forelimbs, thumbs, and webbing. Juveniles have more pronounced dorsal spotting, and may have yellow, instead of red markings on the underside of the hindlegs. A characteristic feature of the red-legged frog is its dorsolateral fold, which is visible on both sides of the frog extending roughly from the eye to the "hip."

Ecology and behavior

It is estimated that this species has disappeared from 70% of its...
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