The Plains Leopard Frog (Lithobates blairi) is the Leopard Frog of the American Plains from Nebraska and Iowa southwest through Kansas and Oklahoma into the northern half of Texas and eastern New Mexico. Across the edges of its broad range, it overlaps with the Northern, Southern and Rio Grande Leopard Frogs.
Here is its known county range in Texas. Obviously it would be expected to occur in those missing panhandle counties.
Unlike the Southern and Northern Leopard Frogs, the Plains Leopard Frog lives in an area with little permanent water and so is adapted to breeding seasonally in flooded playas and other sorts of temporary water sources.
The Plains Leopard Frog looks like any other leopard frog with a gray/brown/green background color and darker spots on the back. Like other Leopard Frogs it has a dorsolateral white stripe on a ridge along the edge of its body. This species can be told from similar species by the presence of a broken dorsolateral stripe and a white line on the lip from behind the eye to almost the snout.
Although the Leopard Frog species look very similar superficially, their calls are noticeably different. The call of the Plains Leopard Frog is an almost "cluck-like" chuckle. Here is a chorus of them calling from a flooded playa near the town of Post in the Texas Panhandle.
© Chris Harrison 2015