Burrowing Frog
Rhinophrynus dorsalis

The Burrowing Toad or Mexican Burrowing Toad (Rhinophrynus dorsalis) is certainly one of the most unusual anurans found in North America.  They are completely bizarre looking frogs and are rarely seen by most people.

The are medium sized blobs of fleshy frog with a pointy little snout and beady black eyes.  They apparently spend most of their lives underground, only coming to the surface after heavy rains to breed in flooded pools and ponds.

Befitting their bizarre appearance is an equally bizarre call.  Their call is a deep ascending "whooooo" that doesn't even sound like a frog call.

These two Burrowing Toads were recorded in Starr County, Texas after some heavy rains in August, 2014.  They were calling from a flooded pool behind a barbed wire fence and so although I never saw the vocalists, there can be no doubt to their identity.

Rhinophrynus dorsalis call

Looking at the spectrogram for the first two of these calls, you can clearly see the deep ascending "whooooo" call of this species by the upward slurring lines. 

The background "noise" in the spectrogram is the snoring calls of the Rio Grande Leopard Frogs (Lithobates berlandieri) which can be heard in the recording as well.

© Chris Harrison 2014

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