Dryophytes arenicolor (Cope, 1866)

Class: Amphibia > Order: Anura > Family: Hylidae > Subfamily: Hylinae > Genus: Dryophytes > Species: Dryophytes arenicolor

Hyla affinis Baird, 1854, Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia, 7: 61. Syntypes: not stated; USNM 11410 (five specimens, formerly numbered 3261) according to Cochran, 1961, Bull. U.S. Natl. Mus., 220: 50; USNM 11410a considered holotype by implication (and in error) by Cochran, 1961, Bull. U.S. Natl. Mus., 220: 51; formal lectotype designation of this same specimen by Gorman, 1960, Herpetologica, 16: 218; note that Yarrow, 1882, Bull. U.S. Natl. Mus., 24: 175, also regarded a single specimen under USNM 11410 as "type" and presumably intended a lectotype designation. Type locality: "Northern Sonora", Mexico, or likely in the Gadsden Purchase region in what is now Arizona, USA, south of the Gila River; restricted to "Santa Rita Mts.", Pima and Santa Cruz counties, Arizona, USA, by Smith and Taylor, 1950, Univ. Kansas Sci. Bull., 33: 354; restricted to Peña Blanca Springs, 10 miles northwest of Nogales, Santa Cruz County, Arizona, USA, by Gorman, 1960, Herpetologica, 16: 218. Neither of these restrictions based on disclosed evidence and therefore invalid according to Fouquette and Dubois, 2014, Checklist N.A. Amph. Rept.: 333. Preoccupied by Hyla affinis Spix, 1824. Fouquette and Dubois, 2014, Checklist N.A. Amph. Rept.: 326, regarded the original publication date to be 1856, but see Fox, 1913, Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia, Index, 1812–1912: vii–xiv.

Hylarana fusca Baird, 1859, Rep. U.S-Mex. Bound. Surv., 2(Pt. 2-Rept.): 35 (caption), and Pl. 37, fig. 10–13. Holotype: Animal figured in the original publication, presumably originally deposited in the USNM or ANSP; not known to still exist. Type locality: Not stated, but presumably from the United States–Mexico boundary region. Nomen oblitum, tentatively placed in this synonymy by DRF and R.W. McDiarmid on the basis of the illustration and the presumption that the specimen actually came from the United States/Mexico boundary region. Junior secondary homonym of Hyla fusca Laurenti, 1768. 

Hyla arenicolor Cope, 1866, J. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia, Ser. 2, 6: 84. Replacement name for Hyla affinis Baird, 1854.

Hyla copii Boulenger, 1887, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., Ser. 5, 20: 53. Syntypes: BMNH 1947.2.23.26–27 (formerly–49) according to Condit, 1964, J. Ohio Herpetol. Soc., 4: 89. Type locality: "El Paso, Texas", USA. Synonymy by Cope, 1888, Am. Nat., 20: 80; Kellogg, 1932, Bull. U.S. Natl. Mus., 160: 156. See comments by Boulenger, 1888, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., Ser. 6, 1: 187–189, regarding distinctiveness of this form.

Hyla coperCope, 1888, Am. Nat., 20: 80. Error for Hyla copii.

Hyliola digueti Mocquard, 1899, Bull. Soc. Philomath., Paris, Ser. 9, 1: 165. Syntypes: MNHNP 1898.257–258, 1901.343–345, according to Kellogg, 1932, Bull. U.S. Natl. Mus., 160: 158; Guibé, 1950 "1948", Cat. Types Amph. Mus. Natl. Hist. Nat.: 19, noted only 2 syntypes (1898.257–258); this was further discussed by Fouquette and Dubois, 2014, Checklist N.A. Amph. Rept.: 334, and who concurred with Guibé. Type locality: "territoire de Tepic" (= Nayarit), Mexico. Synonymy by Kellogg, 1932, Bull. U.S. Natl. Mus., 160: 152.

Hyla (Dryophytes) arenicolor — Fouquette and Dubois, 2014, Checklist N.A. Amph. Rept.: 333. 

Dryophytes arenicolor — Duellman, Marion, and Hedges, 2016, Zootaxa, 4104: 23. 

English Names

Cope's Hyla (Yarrow, 1882, Bull. U.S. Natl. Mus., 24: 24).

Arizona Tree Frog (as "Hyla chrysoscelis": Strecker, 1915, Baylor Univ. Bull., 18: 50).

Sonoran Tree-toad (Slevin, 1928, Occas. Pap. California Acad. Sci., 16: 110).

Cañon Tree Toad (Storer, 1925, Univ. California Publ. Zool., 27: 43; Kellogg, 1932, Bull. U.S. Natl. Mus., 160: 156).

Canyon Tree Toad (Stebbins, 1951, Amph. W. North Am.: 313).

Canyon Tree Frog (Wright and Wright, 1933, Handb. Frogs Toads U.S. Canada: x; Schmidt, 1953, Check List N. Am. Amph. Rept., Ed. 6: 69).

Canyon Treefrog (Conant, Cagle, Goin, Lowe, Neill, Netting, Schmidt, Shaw, Stebbins, and Bogert, 1956, Copeia, 1956: 176; Stebbins, 1966, Field Guide W. North Am. Rept. Amph.: 67; Collins, Huheey, Knight, and Smith, 1978, Herpetol. Circ., 7: 11; Liner, 1994, Herpetol. Circ., 23: 22; Frank and Ramus, 1995, Compl. Guide Scient. Common Names Amph. Rept. World: 54; Collins, 1997, Herpetol. Circ., 25: 12; Crother, Boundy, Campbell, de Queiroz, Frost, Highton, Iverson, Meylan, Reeder, Seidel, Sites, Taggart, Tilley, and Wake, 2001 "2000", Herpetol. Circ., 29: 10; Stebbins, 2003, Field Guide W. Rept. Amph., Ed. 3: 221; Frost, McDiarmid, and Mendelson, 2008, in Crother (ed.), Herpetol. Circ., 37:6; Liner and Casas-Andreu, 2008, Herpetol. Circ., 38: 14; Collins and Taggart, 2009, Standard Common Curr. Sci. Names N. Am. Amph. Turtles Rept. Crocodil., ed. 6: 7; Frost, McDiarmid, Mendelson, and Green, 2012, in Crother (ed.), Herpetol. Circ., 39: 15; Frost, Lemmon, McDiarmid, and Mendelson, 2017, in Crother (ed.), Herpetol. Circ., 43: 11).


Mountains and plateau areas of USA (southern Utah and southern Colorado southward through eastern Arizona, western and northern New Mexico (east to about Las Vegas), and Trans-Pecos Texas); southward in Mexico to Michoacán, Colima, México, Queretaro, Guerrero, Hidalgo, and Oaxaca.

Geographic Occurrence

Natural Resident: Mexico, United States of America, United States of America - Arizona, United States of America - Colorado, United States of America - Nevada, United States of America - New Mexico, United States of America - Texas, United States of America - Utah


In the Hyla eximia group of Faivovich, Haddad, Garcia, Frost, Campbell, and Wheeler, 2005, Bull. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist., 294: 102; this confirmed by Li, Wang, Nian, Litvinchuk, Wang, Li, Rao, and Klaus, 2015, Mol. Phylogenet. Evol., 87: 80–90. For account see Duellman, 1970, Monogr. Mus. Nat. Hist. Univ. Kansas: 514–518. Barber, 1997, in Rocek and Hart (eds.), Abstr. 3rd World Congress Herpetol.: 13, suggested that populations in central Arizona separated by the Mogollon escarpment may be taxonomically distinct. Barber, 1999, Mol. Ecol., 8: 547–562, found that within the USA nominal Hyla arenicolor is composed of three species, yet to be formally recognized, and discussed previously published evidence of a cryptic species in the Balsas Depression of Mexico. Stebbins, 2003, Field Guide W. Rept. Amph., Ed. 3: 221, provided a brief account, figure, and map. Cudia and Painter, 2008, Herpetol. Rev., 39: 478, provided a record for San Miguel Co., northeastern New Mexico. Reyes-Velasco, Hermosillo-López, Grünwald, and Avila-López, 2009, Herpetol. Rev., 40: 117–120, provided a record for Colima, Mexico. Lemos-Espinal, 2007, Anf. Rept. Chihuahua Mexico: 43–44, provided an account for Chihuahua, Mexico. Lemos-Espinal and Smith, 2007, Anf. Rept. Coahuila México: 45–46, provided an account for Coahuila, Mexico. Lemos-Espinal and Dixon, 2013, Amphibians and Reptiles of San Luis Potosí: 52–53, provided an account for San Luis Potosí, Mexico. Valdes-Lares, Martín-Muñoz de Cote, and Muñiz-Martínez, 2013, Herpetol. Rev., 44: 647–648, provided new records for Durango, Mexico. Painter, 2005, in Lannoo (ed.), Amph. Declines: 447–448, and Dodd, 2013, Frogs U.S. and Canada, 1: 239–245, provided accounts that summarized the literature of the species in the USA. Bryson, Nieto-Montes de Oca, Jaeger, and Riddle, 2010, Evolution, 64: 2315–2330, provided a molecular study that suggested that the Balsas Depression population in southern Mexico is an unnamed, deeply divergent species masquerading under the name Hyla arenicolor, outside of a group composed of more northern Hyla arenicolor and the Hyla eximia group. They also suggested evidence of mitochondrial introgression between nominal Hyla arenicolor with more typical members of the Hyla eximia group, notably Hyla wrightorum. They also showed considerable historical structure among northern populations of Hyla arenicolor.  Bryson, Smith, Nieto-Montes de Oca, García-Vázquez, and Riddle, 2014, Zool. J. Linn. Soc., 172: 103–116, reported on the history of mtDNA introgression among members of the Hyla eximia group and noted an unnamed species nominally associated with Hyla arenicolor in the Balsas Basin in southern Mexico.  Elliot, Gerhardt, and Davidson, 2009, Frogs and Toads of N. Am.: 72–75, provided an account for the USA population, photos, and advertisement call. Altig and McDiarmid, 2015, Handb. Larval Amph. US and Canada: 193–194, provided an account of larval morphology and biology.  Li, Wang, Nian, Litvinchuk, Wang, Li, Rao, and Klaus, 2015, Mol. Phylogenet. Evol., 87: 80–90, provided molecular evidence for cryptic species among the populations currently assigned to Hyla arenicolor.  Lemos-Espinal and Smith, 2015, Check List, 11(1642): 1–11, noted the occurrence of the species in Hidalgo, Mexico, without providing a specific locality. Lemos-Espinal, Smith, and Valdes-Lares, 2019, Amph. Rept. Durango: 67–68, provided a brief account for Durango, Mexico. Lemos-Espinal and Dixon, 2016, Amph. Rept. Hidalgo: 371–372, provided a brief account and map for Hidalgo, Mexico. Rorabaugh and Lemos-Espinal, 2016, Field Guide Amph. Rept. Sonora: 156–158, provided a detailed account of natural history, morphology, distribution, and conservation status in Sonora, Mexico. Hernandez, Herr, Stevens, Cork, Medina-Nava, Vialpando, Warfel, Fields, Brodie, and Graham, 2019, Check List, 15: 81, provided a record for Ojinaga municipality, north-eastern Chihuahua, Mexico. Quezada-Hipólito, Smith, Suazo-Ortuño, Alvarado-Díaz, González, Thammachoti, and Smart, 2019, Rev. Mexicana Biodiversidad, 90(e902448): 1–15, commented on the impact of vulcanism in the Trans-Volcanic belt of Mexico on biogeography.  Painter, Stuart, Giermakowski, and Pierce, 2017, Western Wildlife, 4: 35, commented on the status and county range in New Mexico, USA. Ahumada-Carrillo, Grünwald, López Cuellar, and Jones, 2020, Herpetol. Rev., 51: 277–278, reported the species from the municipalities of Mesquitic, Huejuquilla, and Villa de Guerrero,  northern Jalisco, Mexico. Tepos-Ramírez, Garduño-Fonseca, Peralta-Robles, García-Rubio, and Cervantes Jiménez, 2023, Check List, 19: 269–292, discussed the distribution and conservation status of the species in Queretaro, Mexico. Bassett, 2023, Reptiles & Amphibians, 30(e18486): 1–18, provided an updated county distribution map for Texas, USA. Loc-Barragán, Smith, Woolrich-Piña, and Lemos-Espinal, 2024, Herpetozoa, Wien, 37: 30, reported on the distributional and conservation status in the state of Nayarit, Mexico.             

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