California Red-legged Frog

California Red-Legged Frog

The California red-legged frog (Rana draytonii) is a rare amphibian species that can be found almost exclusively in California. It is one of the largest native frogs in the western United States and can grow up to five and a half inches long. One of its characteristic features is the presence of a dorsolateral fold, a ridge that runs along either side of the frog’s back from its eyes to its hips.

California red-legged frogs primarily consume worms, beetles, flies and other arthropods.

Sadly, the California red-legged frog has disappeared from an estimated 70% of its original range. It is now listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act and has been identified as a California species of special concern. One cause of this decline is habitat loss, however introduced and invasive species like the American bullfrog have also contributed.

On the San Mateo County Coast, the California red-legged frog serves as an important prey species for the endangered San Francisco Garter Snake. Conservation of red-legged frogs and their habitat is important not only for the frogs, but also to save another endangered species.

California red-legged frog (Leigh Ann Gessner)
California red-legged frog (Leigh Ann Gessner)

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