An Annotated Bibliography of the

Rio Grande Chirping Frog

(Syrrhophus cystignathoides campi Stejneger)

Compiled by Tom Lott [TEL].

[These bibliographies and their annotations are an on-going project. I have many comments on papers that I have not yet posted but I will attempt to attend to this task as time allows. Comments proffered in the annotations are strictly my own opinions and should be taken as such. If you wish to comment or supply additional references that I have overlooked, you may contact me via E-mail. Xerox or PDF copies of papers in more difficult to obtain journals are highly welcomed. To correspond with me, click here.  Thanks for reading, Tom Lott]


Anon. 1978. Species listings for nongame regulations. Tex. Parks Wildl. Dept. Broch. 9000-52: 1-22.   [This taxon was briefly accorded "protected" status in Texas apparently in total ignorance of its true situation--an aggressive, easily introduced species. Most of the other "Lower Rio Grande Valley 'endemics'" (e.g., Similisca baudinii [but oddly not Bufo marinus]) remain in this status. -- TEL]

Ashton, R.E. 1976. Endangered and threatened amphibians and reptiles in the United States. Soc. Stud. Amphib. Rept.; Herp Circular (5): 1-65.

Baldauf, R.J. 1987. Houston invaded by frogs . . . and few people know it. Explorer 29(1): 4-6.

Blair, W.F. 1949. The biotic provinces of Texas. Texas J. Sci. 2(1):93-117.

Brach, V. 1992. Discovery of the Rio Grande chirping frog in Smith County, Texas (Anura: Leptodactylidae). Tex. J. Sci. 44(4): 490. [Smith County record. -- TEL]

Brach, V. 1995.  The Phantom Chirper.  Tex. Parks & Wildl. (Mar 1995) 53(3): 43.  [A popular account of the discovery of these frogs in Tyler, Texas with general background information -- TEL]

Brown, B.C. 1950. An annotated check list of the reptiles and amphibians of Texas. Waco, Tex.:Baylor Univ. Studies.  [Referred to as Syrrhophus campi Stejenger, the "Valley Chirper."  A key is provided, which relies mainly upon distribution of dorsal markings and maximum size (< 27mm in S. campi), to distinguish between Texas' three species. Four locality records, all in Cameron County, are given.  Under "Remarks":  "In southern Texas Syrrhophus campi is rather abundant in damp situations particularly during the breeding season in early spring.  It seems to seek refuge under old boards, bricks, and other damp shelters during the drier part of the year."  Brown was a native of the Lower Rio Grande Valley and should have known this species well. -- TEL]

Cochran, D.M. 1961. Type specimens of reptiles and amphibians in the United States National Museum. Bull. U.S. Natl. Mus. 220:1-291.

Conant, R. 1955.  Notes on three Texas reptiles, including an addition to the fauna of the state.  Amer. Mus. Novit.  1726: 1-6.  [Quotes correspondent Ted Beimler (of Brownsville) as having forced freshly caught specimens of Coniophanes imperialis to regurgitate Syrrhophus and Gastrophryne.  Beimler also states that he was unable to observe definite effects of this snake's venom on these frogs except for a prolonged lethargy when the frogs managed to escape from a snake's grasp. -- TEL]         

Conant, R. 1958. A field guide to the reptiles and amphibians of the United States and Canada east of the 100th meridian. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co.

Conant, R. and J.T. Collins. 1991. A field guide to reptiles and amphibians of eastern-central North America. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co.

Conant, R. and J.T. Collins. 1998. A field guide to reptiles and amphibians of eastern-central North America, 3rd edition (expanded). Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co.

de la Reza, A.G., C. Balcome, and T. Schlenke. 1998. Geographic distribution. Syrrhophus cystignathoides. Herpetol. Rev. 29(2): 108-109.

Dixon, J.R. 1987. Amphibians and reptiles of Texas. College Station: Texas A&M Press.

Dixon, J.R. 1993. Supplement to the literature for the Amphibians and reptiles of Texas, 1987. Smithson. Herpetol. Info. Serv.  94:1-43.

Dixon, J.R. 1996b. Ten year supplement to Texas herpetological county records published in Amphibians and reptiles of Texas, 1987.  Texas Herpetol. Soc. Spec. Publ. (2):1-64.

Dixon, J.R. 2000. Amphibians and reptiles of Texas. (2nd edition). College Station: Texas A&M Press    [Includes literature citations for this species- from which most of these were initially drawn;  declines to follow Hedges' lumping of  Syrrhophus into a subgenus of Eleutherodactylus - TEL]

Edwards, R.J. G. Longley, R. Ross, J. Ward, R. Matthews, and B. Stewart. 1989. A classification of Texas aquatic communities with special consideration toward the conservation of endangered and threatened taxa. Tex. J. Sci. 41(3): 231-240.

Garrett, J.M. and D.G. Barker. 1987. A Field Guide to the Reptiles and Amphibians of Texas. Austin: Texas Monthly Press.

Hayes-Odum, L.A. 1990. Observations on reproduction and embryonic development in Syrrhophus cystignathoides campi (Anura: Leptodactylidae). Southwest. Nat. 35(3): 358-361.

Hibbitts, T.J. and D. Laurencio. 2006.    Geographic distribution. Syrrhophus cystignathoides. Herpetol. Rev. 37(4): 491. [Grimes County record -- TEL]

Lutterschmidt, W.I. and M.L. Thies. 1999. Geographic distribution. Syrrhophus cystignathoides.   Herpetol. Rev. 30(1): 51.

Lynch, J.D. 1970. A taxonomic revision of the leptodactylid frog genus Syrrhophus Cope. Univ. Kans. Publ. Mus. Nat. Hist. 20(1): 1-45.   [Revision of genus, placing S. campi into the Mexican species S. cystignathoides as a subspecies. -- TEL]

Mather, C.M., and J.R. Dixon. 1976. Geographic records of some Texas amphibians and reptiles. Herpetol. Rev. 7(3): 127.  [Bexar County record. First reference to the introduced population of this species occurring in San Antonio, Texas. No specific locality is listed. -- TEL]

McAllister, C.T., and P. Freed. 1992. Larval Abbreviata sp. (Spirurida: Physalopteridae) in introduced Rio Grande chirping frogs, Syrrhophus cystignathoides campi (Anura: Leptodactylidae), from Houston, Texas. Tex J. Sci. 44(3): 359-361.

McCord, J.S., and M.E. Dorcas. 1989. New Texas herpetological distribution records from the University of Texas at Arlington collection of vertebrates. Herpetol. Rev. 20(4): 94-96.

McGown, L., M.T. Dixon, and L.K. Ammerman. 1994. Geographic distribution. Syrrhophus cystignathoides. Herpetol. Rev. 25(1): 32.

Merker, Gerald.  1999.   The Lovely Cliff Chirping Frog.  Reptile Hobbyist March, 1999: 44-48.   [Provides field observations, photos of S. marnocki (along with S. c. campi and S. guttilatus; erroneously states that the latter is "protected" by the state of Texas), as well as rare captive management techniques.  States that S. marnocki has not been bred in captivity -- TEL]

Morafka, D.J. 1977. A biogeographical analysis of the Chihuahuan desert through its herpetofauna. Biogeographica 9: 1-313.

Olson, R.E. 1958. An Inquiry Into the Status of the Texas Frogs of the Genus SyrrhophusBull. S.W. Tex. Herp. Soc. 1(1): 4  [Author states that except for "trivial" differences in size, almost no differences exist between S. marnocki and S. campi.   Comparing dorsal markings on thirteen preserved S. campi (collected in 1925 by R.D. Camp himself) in the Witte Memorial Museum collection with preserved S. marnocki, Olson found "no appreciable difference between the marking (such as it could be determined) on the preserved campi and the marnocki."   He also cites his collection of a topotypical S. marnocki with a rerticulate dorsal pattern (supposedly a character of the similar sized S. gaigeae (= S. guttilatus) as an indication that the incidence of the reticulate pattern might increase to the west in marnocki, making gaigeae at best a subspecies of S. marnocki.  Olson provides comparative measurements of a typical marnocki and his reticulate specimen from the same locality.  Line drawings of the dorsum of each specimen are also presented.  He concludes that: "There is much need for collecting aiming for Syrrhophus in the counties between Bexar and Cameron, and Uvalde to Brewster," clearly implying that the three taxa are conspecific. -- TEL]

Owen, J.G. 1989. Patterns of herpetofaunal species richness : Relation to temperature, precipitation, and variance in elevation. J. Biogeogr. 16:141-150.

Owen, J.G. and J.R. Dixon. 1989. An ecogeographic analysis of the herpetofauna of Texas. Southwest Nat. 34(2): 165-180.

Parmley, D. 1988a. Additional Pleistocene amphibians and reptiles from the Seymour Formation, Texas. J. Herpetol. 22(1): 82-87.

Parmley, D. 1988b. Middle Holocene herpetofauna of Klein Cave, Kerr County, Texas. Southwest. Nat. 33(3): 378-382.

Quinn, H. R. 1979b.  The Rio Grande chirping frog, Syrrhophus cystignathoides campi (Amphibia, Leptodactylidae), from Houston, Texas.  Trans. Kans. Acad. Sci. 82(4):209-10. [Harris County record -- TEL]

Reddell, J.R. 1970. A checklist of the cave fauna of Texas. VI. Additional records of Vertebrata. Tex. J. Sci. 22(2-3): 139-158.

Reddell, J.R., and O. Knox. 1962. The caves of Bexar County. J. Tex. Speleol. Soc. 1(4): 1-38.

Schmidt, F. J.  2004.   Geographic distribution.  Syrrhophus cystignathoides campi.   Herpetol. Rev. 35 (4): 407  [Wilson County record (Eagle Creek Ranch subdivision).  Adult collected from under a board 29 JUN 2004, others heard calling during MAY 2004 at same location. -- TEL]

Schmidt, K.P. 1953. A checklist of North American amphibians and reptiles. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Sinclair, T. A., J. T. Williams and Wahlberg, S. A.  2007.  Geographic distribution.  Syrrhophus cystignathoides.  Herpetol. Rev. 38 (2): 216.  [Austin Co. record.  Specimen found in torpid condition under a log with Eumeces fasciatus in Stephen F. Austin State Park on 3 JAN 2007-- TEL]

Smith, H.M. and H.K. Buechner. 1947. The influence of the Balcones Escarpment on the distribution of amphibians and reptiles in Texas. Bull. Chi. Acad. Sci. 8(1): 1-16.

Smith, H.M., and D Chiszar. 1997. New records for amphibians and reptiles from Texas. Herpetol. Rev. 28(2): 99-100.

Smith, H.M., and J.R. Dixon. 1987. The amphibians and reptiles of Texas: A guide to records needed from Mexico. Bull. Md. Herpetol. Soc. 23(4): 154-157.

Smith, H.M., and O. Sanders. 1952a. Distributional data on Texas amphibians and reptiles. Tex. J. Sci. 4(2): 204-219.

Stejneger, L. 1915.  A new species of tailless batrachian from North America.  Proc. Biol. Soc. Wash. 28:131. [The original description of S. campi -- TEL]

Strecker, J.K. 1908b. A preliminary annotated list of the Batrachia of Texas. Proc. Biol. Soc. Wash. 21: 53-62.

Strecker, J.K. 1915.  Reptiles and amphibians of Texas.  Baylor Univ. Bull. 18(4): 1-82  [Published the same year as Stejneger's description of S. campi, this taxon was not included in this work but was added in an addendum issued later, "150a. Syrrhophus campi Stejneger.  Camp's Frog.  Described from Brownsville in the Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, Vol. 28, pages 131, 132, June 29, 1915." -- TEL]

Strecker, J.K. 1930. A catalogue of the amphibians and reptiles of Travis County, Texas. Contr. Baylor Univ. Mus. 23:1-16.

Strecker, J.K. 1933. Collecting at Helotes, Bexar County, Texas. Copeia 1933(2): 77-79.

Strecker, J.K. and W.J. Williams. 1927. Herpetological records from the vicinity of San Marcos, Texas, with distributional data on the amphibians and reptiles of the Edwards Plateau region and central Texas. Contr. Baylor Univ. Mus. 12:1-16.

Taggart, T. W. 1997.   Geographical distributionSyrrhophus cystignathoides.   Herpetol. Rev. 28(2): 94  [Nueces County record.  Waldron Naval Air Landing Field, 1 SEP 1995.  Three adults by day under plywood, 14 adults chorusing at night "from laurel oaks, cattails, and from the tops of 1 m tall grass clumps." -- TEL]

Tihen, J.A. 1960. Notes on late Cenozoic hylid and leptodactylid frogs from Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas. Southwest. Nat. 5(2): 66-70.

Turner, F.B. 1960. Post metamorphic growth in anurans. Am. Midl. Nat. 64(2): 327-238.

Turner, F.B. 1962. The demography of frogs and toads. Q. Rev. Biol. 37(4): 303-314.

Wauer, R. 1980. Naturalist's Big Bend. An introduction to the trees and shrubs, wildflowers, cacti, mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians, fish, and insects. College Station: Texas A&M University Press.

Wright, A.H., and A.A. Wright. 1938. Amphibians of Texas. Proc. Trans. Tex. Acad. Sci. 21(2): 5-44.

Wright, A.H., and A.A. Wright. 1949. Handbook of frogs and toads of the United States and Canada. Ithaca, N.Y.: Comstock Publishing Co.    [Perhaps the best (and wonderfully anecdotal) account of this species yet published, from notes made more than seventy years ago - TEL ]

Internet Resources

Rio Grande Chirping Frog page   [Excellent site maintained by a group at the University of Houston.  Includes the following:
                           Natural history
                            Current research at the University of Houston
                                    Molecular tool development
                                    Developmental analysis
                                    Evolutionary aspects
                                    Captive breeding project
                            Related web sites
                            Sound bite of call
                            Numerous photos
                            Photographic sequence of morphological development from egg to hatching - TEL]

Frost, Darrel R. 2004. Amphibian Species of the World: an Online Reference. Version 3.0 (22 August, 2004). Electronic Database accessible at American Museum of Natural History, New York, USA.  [Under Eleutherodactylus, provides synonomy, English names, distribution, contained taxa, incertae sedis, and comments -- TEL]


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All text, images, sound bites, etc., are Tom Lott (2007) unless indicated otherwise.