Lithobates forreri (Boulenger, 1883)

Class: Amphibia > Order: Anura > Family: Ranidae > Genus: Lithobates > Species: Lithobates forreri

Rana forreri Boulenger, 1883, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., Ser. 5, 11: 343. Holotype: BMNH 1882.12.5.7 according to Kellogg, 1932, Bull. U.S. Natl. Mus., 160: 207; renumbered 1947.2.3.64 according to McCranie and Wilson, 2002, Amph. Honduras: 482. Type locality: "Presidio", Sinaloa, Mexico.

Rana halecina var. forreriBoulenger, 1919, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., Ser. 9, 3: 413.

Rana berlandieri forreriSanders and Smith, 1971, J. Herpetol., 5: 31, 37.

Rana forreriHillis, 1981, Copeia, 1981: 313; Frost, 1982, Syst. Zool., 31: 66.

Rana (Rana) forreriDubois, 1987 "1986", Alytes, 5: 41–42, by implication.

Rana (Pantherana) forreriDubois, 1992, Bull. Mens. Soc. Linn. Lyon, 61: 331; Yuan, Zhou, Chen, Poyarkov, Chen, Jang-Liaw, Chou, Matzke, Iizuka, Min, Kuzmin, Zhang, Cannatella, Hillis, and Che, 2016, Syst. Biol., 65: 835.

Rana (Novirana, Sierrana, Pantherana, Scurrilirana) forreriHillis and Wilcox, 2005, Mol. Phylogenet. Evol., 34: 305. See Dubois, 2006, Mol. Phylogenet. Evol., 42: 317–330, Hillis, 2007, Mol. Phylogenet. Evol., 42: 331–338, and Dubois, 2007, Cladistics, 23: 390–402, for relevant discussion of nomenclature. Invalid name formulation under the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature (1999) as discussed by Dubois, 2007, Cladistics, 23: 395.

Lithobates forreriFrost, Grant, Faivovich, Bain, Haas, Haddad, de Sá, Channing, Wilkinson, Donnellan, Raxworthy, Campbell, Blotto, Moler, Drewes, Nussbaum, Lynch, Green, and Wheeler, 2006, Bull. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist., 297: 369. Che, Pang, Zhao, Wu, Zhao, and Zhang, 2007, Mol. Phylogenet. Evol., 43: 1–13; by implication.

Lithobates (Lithobates) forreriDubois, 2006, C. R. Biol., Paris, 329: 829; Dubois, 2006, Mol. Phylogenet. Evol., 42: 325.

Rana (Scurrilirana) forreriHillis, 2007, Mol. Phylogenet. Evol., 42: 335–336, by implication.

English Names

Forrer's Grass Frog (Liner, 1994, Herpetol. Circ., 23: 27; Frank and Ramus, 1995, Compl. Guide Scient. Common Names Amph. Rept. World: 107).

Forrer's Leopard Frog (Liner and Casas-Andreu, 2008, Herpetol. Circ., 38: 16).


Known with certainty only from the type locality (Presidio, Sinaloa, Mexico) but (see comment) associated with populations in Sonora, Sinaloa, and Nayarit, Mexico. Records from Mexico to Costa Rica of nominal Lithobates forreri currently apply to various named and unnamed species. 

Geographics occurrence

Natural resident: Mexico

Likely/controversial occurrence in political unit: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua

Endemic to the political unit: Mexico


With the publication of Zaldívar-Riverón, León-Regagnon, and Nieto-Montes de Oca, 2004, Mol. Phylogenet. Evol., 30: 38–49, it became clear that nominal Lithobates/Rana forreri was a composite of several species. And, with the naming of Lithobates cora and Lithobates adleri (Pérez-Ramos and Luja-Molina, 2022, Rev. Zool., Mexico, 34: 19–41) and Lithobates adleri and Lithobates hillisi (Pérez-Ramos, 2023, Rev. Zool., Mexico, 35: 1–18) it became crystal that not only was Lithobates forreri as previously understood a composite of several species, most of which are poorly delimited geographically. 

Subgenus Rana, Rana berlandieri subgroup of the Rana pipiens group as defined by Hillis, Frost, and Wright, 1983, Syst. Zool., 32: 132–143. In equivalent Rana (Pantherana) berlandieri group of Dubois, 1992, Bull. Mens. Soc. Linn. Lyon, 61: 331. Elevated from status as a subspecies of Rana berlandieri by Frost, 1982, Syst. Zool., 31: 57–67. Lips and Savage, 1996, Proc. Biol. Soc. Washington, 109: 17–26, included this species (as Rana forreri) in a key to the tadpoles found in Costa Rica. See accounts by Savage, 2002, Amph. Rept. Costa Rica: 399–400, and McCranie and Wilson, 2002, Amph. Honduras: 482–485, who noted a hybrid zone with "Rana berlandieri" (now Rana brownorum). Grismer, 2002, Amph. Rept. Baja California: 81–82, provided an account for the introduced Baja California, Mexico, population. Zaldívar-Riverón, León-Regagnon, and Nieto-Montes de Oca, 2004, Mol. Phylogenet. Evol., 30: 38–49, provided a molecular phylogenetic analysis of this species and near relatives, including several undescribed relatives: "Pagapayo" (central Guerrero), "Arcelia" (Balsas-Tepalcatepec valley) and "Colima" (southern Jalisco to central Oaxaca). Köhler, Veselý, and Greenbaum, 2005 "2006", Amph. Rept. El Salvador: 66–68, provided an account (as Rana forreri, and for El Salvador) and a color photograph. McCranie, 2007, Herpetol. Rev., 38: 38, summarized the departmental distribution in Honduras. Lemos-Espinal, 2007, Anf. Rept. Chihuahua Mexico: 58–59, provided an account for Chihuahua, Mexico. Köhler, 2011, Amph. Cent. Am.: 291–295, provided a brief summary of natural history and identification key for the species of Lithobates in Central America and provided a range map and photograph for this species. Valdéz-Villavicencio, Peralta-García, and Hollingsworth, 2015, Herpetol. Rev., 46: 379, provided a record in the Río Sonora drainage at the municipality of Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico. Rendón Suárez, Mercado-Silva, Palomera García, and Iñiguez Dávalos, 2016, Southwest. Nat., 61: 241–273 provided records from the Marabasco Basin of the Jalisco–Colima border region. See comments by McCranie, Sunyer, and Martínez-Fonseca, 2019, Rev. Nicaraguense Biodiversidad, 52: 11, regarding systematics in Honduras. Ahumada-Carrillo, Grünwald, López Cuellar, and Jones, 2020, Herpetol. Rev., 51: 277–278, reported the species from the municipality of Villa de Guerrero, northern Jalisco, Mexico.

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