Taxonomy Helper

Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS)


    Kingdom: Animalia
    Division: Chordata
    Subdivision: Vertebrata
    Class: Amphibia

NBII Amphibians Site

For more information about Amphibians nationwide, visit the NBII Amphibians Web site. There you can find further Web resources on amphibians and the diverse factors affecting amphibian populations globally.

Through the NBII's North American Reporting Center for Amphibian Malformations, citizen scientists can contribute their observations of local amphibian populations to help scientists better understand amphibian populations worldwide.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Abnormal Amphibian Surveys

Northern leopard frog (Rana pipiens) with polymelia (extra limb).
[Photo: Laura Eaton-Poole, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service]

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Division of Environmental Quality is actively involved in studying amphibian declines and abnormalities. To better study amphibians and the concerns facing them, the Fish and Wildlife Service has developed standard operating procedures (SOPs) for abnormal amphibian surveys on U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service wildlife refuges. The Fish and Wildlife Service's Amphibian Declines and Deformities Web page provides more information about how the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service works to conserve threatened and endangered amphibians.

Amphibians (class Amphibia)

What are Amphibians?
Amphibians of the southeastern U.S. are vertebrates of the taxonomic class Amphibia including animals such as Frogs and Toads (order Anura), Salamanders (order Caudata), and Caecilians (order Gymnophiona). Thought of as cold-blooded, amphibians are ectotherms, meaning they are unable to regulate their own body temperature independently of the temperature of their surroundings. Amphibians are generally small with thin skin permeable to air and water. With few exceptions, amphibians do not actively care for their young. In general, amphibian reproduction strategy consists of egg-laying and external fertilization of a large number of eggs in a moist or fully aquatic environment. Fertilized eggs develop into amphibian larvae that live part of their lives dependent on an aquatic environment requiring gills and specialized feeding habits. Following a pattern of development unique to amphibians, amphibian larvae undergo marked changes and metamorphose into a terrestrial form that lives on land. Typically, this metamorphosis is demonstrated by loss of gills, changes in overall appearance, and changes in diet. In the southeastern United States, amphibians are represented by several taxonomic families within the two orders below.  

Squirrel Treefrog [Photo: U.S. Geological Survey Florida Integrated Science Center]

Frogs and Toads (order Anura)
This order includes amphibians with strong hindlimbs such as treefrogs, riparian frogs, and toads.

Thumbnail image of Ocoee salamander (Desmognathus ocoee). [Image modified from USGS ARMI photo by J.D. Willson, Savannah River Ecology Lab, retrieved from April 7, 2008]

Salamanders (order Caudata)
This order includes tailed amphibians such as newts, salamanders, and sirens.

Ecological Importance of Amphibians
Amphibians live in diverse habitats, often in large numbers, and play several important ecological roles. As consumers, amphibians help regulate populations of the organisms they consume, chiefly invertebrates. As prey items, amphibians are consumed by a variety of larger predators such as reptiles, birds, mammals, fish, predatory invertebrates, and other amphibians. When consumed by larger predators, amphibians transfer the energy and nutrients from amphibian prey items such as small invertebrates to larger predators.

For details with references from the University of Georgia's Savannah River Ecology Lab about amphibians in the Southeast, click "more..." below.

Species Mashup
Southeast United States Amphibian Species [Configure]

The interface below lists 128 amphibian species inhabiting the southeastern United States. The list and digital distribution maps reflect data supplied to NBII-SEIN by NatureServe as part of an October, 2007 data product projecting U.S. amphibian species' geographic distributions in the United States. For the most recent data (October, 2009), visit

Filter Species List by Taxa Group
Click on any taxa group to view associated species list.
Salamanders (Order Caudata): 84 (65.62%)
Family Ambystomatidae: 10 (7.81%)
Family Amphiumidae: 3 (2.34%)
Family Cryptobranchidae: 1 (0.78%)
Family Plethodontidae: 60 (46.87 %)
Family Proteidae: 4 (3.12%)
Family Salamandridae: 2 (1.56%)
Family Sirenidae: 4 (3.12%)
Frogs and Toads (Order Anura): 44 (34.37%)
Family Bufonidae: 6 (34.37%)
Family Eleutherodactylidae: 2 (1.56%)
Family Hylidae: 21 (16.41%)
Family Microhylidae: 1 (0.78%)
Family Ranidae: 13 (10.16%)
Family Scaphiopodidae: 1 (0.78%)

Filter Species List by U.S. State
Click on a state or select from the drop-down menu to refine the species list.
Southeast U.S. map South Carolina North Carolina Kentucky Tennessee Georgia Alabama Florida Mississippi
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