Taxonomy Helper

Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS)


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

Species Spotlight

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Fowler's Toad
Bufo Fowleri

Description: Usually measures 5-10 cm from vent to snout. Generally gray, brown, or brown-olive in color with dark spots along its back and a light dorsal stripe. It has a white belly with a single black spot.

Life History: Reproduction usually occurs in the warmer spring months of May and June, in shallow ponds and the shores of lakes and marshes. Eggs are fertilized in the water, and hatch within 7 days. Tadpoles undergo metamorphosis at 1-1 1/2 months of age.

Habitat: Open woodlands and meadows, as well as beaches. Will often burrow into the ground during periods of high heat and drought, as well as during the winter.

Distribution: Atlantic Coastal Plain, from New Hampshire to Texas, as well as the central states of Arkansas, Missouri, Iowa, Michigan, and Ohio.

Status: Common, although populations have declined in some areas.

Amphibian Species Information

What are Amphibians?
Amphibians 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.

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.

Species Mashup
NatureServe 2007 U.S. Amphibian Range Maps [Configure]

This Web application provides data about amphibian species from diverse information sources. Click "Configure" on the title bar above to customize displayed data sources by selecting or de-selecting check boxes next to each data source. Your selections will load following selection of a species from the list below.

The interface below displays 268 amphibian species from a dataset 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
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Salamanders (Order Caudata): 167 (62%)
Family Ambystomatidae: 19 (7.09%)
Family Amphiumidae: 3 (1.12%)
Family Cryptobranchidae: 1 (0.37%)
Family Plethodontidae: 126 (47.01%)
Family Proteidae: 4 (1.49%)
Family Rhyacotritonidae: 4 (1.49%)
Family Salamandridae: 6 (2.24%)
Family Sirenidae: 4 (1.49%)
Frogs and Toads (Order Anura): 101 (38%)
Family Bufonidae: 22 (8.21%)
Family Craugastoridae: 1 (0.37%)
Family Eleutherodactylidae: 5 (1.86%)
Family Hylidae: 29 (10.82%)
Family Leiopelmatidae: 2 (0.74%)
Family Leptodactylidae: 1 (0.37%)
Family Microhylidae: 3 (10.82%)
Family Pipidae: 1 (0.37%)
Family Ranidae: 29 (10.82%)
Family Rhinophrynidae: 1 (0.37%)
Family Scaphiopodidae: 7 (2.61%)

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