The White-lipped Frog (Leptodactylus fragilis) is a widespread from of the tropical lowlands from Southern Texas down into Panama and northern South America. Although it gets into Southern Texas, it is by no means common there and it may be one of the least often seen frogs in Texas.
Finding it in Texas is partly due to its limited range but also due to its habit of calling from partially flooded grassy areas where it may call from underneath clumps of grass or even clumps of soil.
The taxonomy of this frog has been confused in the literature over the years and it has been listed as Leptodactylus albilabris (which is restricted to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands) and Leptodactylus labialis which is not a valid name. Furthermore there is sometimes confusion with the South American species, Leptodactylus mystaceus.
The call of the White-lipped Frog is a upward slurred "pru-ih" sound repeated many times in a row. The call starts off around 900Hz and slurs quickly up to around 1.6kHz.
This individual was recorded just south of the town of La Palmera, Alajuela, Costa Rica in August 2014. As is typical with calling Leptodactylus species, the frogs were never seen.
White-lipped Frog Call
© Chris Harrison 2014