Sheep Frog
Hypopachus variolosus

The Sheep Frog (Hypopachus variolosus) is a microhylid frog related to our North American Narrowmouthed Toads (genus Gastrophryne).  Like Narrowmouthed Toads, Sheep Frogs are generally found buried underground or under cover objects on moist ground.

The Sheep Frog has a wide range through Mexico and Central America but is only found in the United States in the southern counties of Texas.  In this area it is generally only seen or heard after periods of heavy rainfall.

Sheep Frog (Hypopachus variolosus)
Chiapas, Mexico

As the name implies, the call of the Sheep Frog is a loud "sheep-like" "baaaahh".  It is similar to the bleating of the Narrowmouthed Toads but is louder and lower in pitch.

These Sheep Frogs were recorded in McMullen County, Texas after Hurricane Alex dumped over 10 inches of rain in less than 36 hours in the area.  You can hear two Sheep Frogs calling over the caucophanous background din of the higher pitched nasal "meeeeh" of the Great Plains Narrowmouthed Toad (Gastrophryne olivacea).  A Rio Grande Leopard Frog (Lithobates berlandieri) also makes its croaking call right as the Sheep Frog calls the second time.

© Chris Harrison 2010

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