|Description: These are
large (up to 4"), common frogs that almost everyone has heard but
that almost no one has seen. They are grayish to reddish
brown marked with irregular darker-colored blotches. They are
capable of color changes anywhere in between the two colors pictured
here. Juveniles are marked with a distinct white band around the
middle of their bodies, with a blackish head and rump. They have fold of
skin on the backs of their heads, and a large, disc-shaped fold on their
bellies. Their call from a distance sounds like the barking of a
dog, while up close it sounds like a whirring "chuck". Most people
think that this sound is made by some sort of "barking lizard".
They do not come to water to breed, laying eggs that develop directly
into small froglets. Their entire lives are spent in rock
crevices, except on rainy nights when they come out to feed and move
from crevice to crevice.
This species occurs primarily in rocky limestone canyons. It also
is known to occur in gypsum flats in New Mexico, and recently it has
been located in prairie dog towns at two localities in the Trans-Pecos.
In our area, it occurs in limestone crevices and caves.
Comments: Most inhabitants of the area are familiar with the call of this species, but think of it as a "barking lizard".
|Taxonomically, this frog has recently been shifted from genus to genus, starting in Hylactophryne, then moved to the genus Eleutherodactylus, and currently recognized as a member of the genus Craugaster. Becuase Hylactophryne has been used the longest, we chose to retain the more familiar scientific name.|