Lithobates virgatipes - (Cope, 1891)
Carpenter Frog
Other English Common Names: carpenter frog
Synonym(s): Rana virgatipes Cope, 1891
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Lithobates virgatipes (Cope, 1891) (TSN 775123)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.105956
Element Code: AAABH01230
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Vertebrates - Amphibians - Frogs and Toads
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Craniata Amphibia Anura Ranidae Lithobates
Genus Size: D - Medium to large genus (21+ species)
Check this box to expand all report sections:
Concept Reference
Help
Concept Reference: Frost, D. R. 1985. Amphibian species of the world. A taxonomic and geographical reference. Allen Press, Inc., and The Association of Systematics Collections, Lawrence, Kansas. v + 732 pp.
Concept Reference Code: B85FRO01HQUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Rana virgatipes
Conservation Status
Help

NatureServe Status

Global Status: G4
Global Status Last Reviewed: 19Feb2014
Global Status Last Changed: 08May2011
Rounded Global Status: G4 - Apparently Secure
Nation: United States
National Status: N4 (08May2011)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
United States Delaware (S1), Florida (S1), Georgia (S3), Maryland (S3), New Jersey (S3), North Carolina (S4), South Carolina (SNR), Virginia (S3)

Other Statuses

IUCN Red List Category: LC - Least concern

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent: 20,000-200,000 square km (about 8000-80,000 square miles)
Range Extent Comments: Range includes the Coastal Plain from New Jersey to southeastern Georgia and extreme northern Florida (Conant and Collins 1991). Spotty distribution.

Number of Occurrences: 21 - 300
Number of Occurrences Comments: Gosner and Black (1968) mapped 33 sites in New Jersey and 31 locations elsewhere throughout the range; not all of these necessarily represent distinct occurrences. Tobey (1985) mapped only about a half dozen locations in Virginia (about the same as Gosner and Black 1968).

Population Size: 10,000 - 100,000 individuals
Population Size Comments: Total adult population size is unknown but presumably exceeds 10,000. This species has a localized distribution, but it may be common where it does occur (Gosner and Black 1968). It is uncommon at the southern extent of the range in northern Florida (Bartlett and Bartlett 1999). In Georgia, its status is poorly known, and large choruses are never encountered (R. A. Moulis, in Jensen et al. 2008).

Overall Threat Impact: Medium
Overall Threat Impact Comments: Threatened by loss or degradation of habitat (e.g., through ditching) at the periphery of the range in Virginia (Mitchell 1991).

Short-term Trend: Decline of <30% to relatively stable
Short-term Trend Comments: Trend over the past 10 years or three generations probably is stable or slowly declining.

Long-term Trend: Decline of <50% to Relatively Stable
Long-term Trend Comments: Long-term trend is poorly documented but range extent, area of occupancy, population size, and habitat quality have undergone a small to moderate decline.

Intrinsic Vulnerability: Moderately vulnerable

Environmental Specificity: Moderate to broad.

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
Help
Global Range: (20,000-200,000 square km (about 8000-80,000 square miles)) Range includes the Coastal Plain from New Jersey to southeastern Georgia and extreme northern Florida (Conant and Collins 1991). Spotty distribution.

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
Color legend for Distribution Map
Endemism: endemic to a single nation

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States DE, FL, GA, MD, NC, NJ, SC, VA

Range Map
Note: Range depicted for New World only. The scale of the maps may cause narrow coastal ranges or ranges on small islands not to appear. Not all vagrant or small disjunct occurrences are depicted. For migratory birds, some individuals occur outside of the passage migrant range depicted. For information on how to obtain shapefiles of species ranges see our Species Mapping pages at www.natureserve.org/conservation-tools/data-maps-tools.

Range Map Compilers: IUCN, Conservation International, NatureServe, and collaborators, 2004


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
DE Kent (10001), Sussex (10005)
FL Baker (12003), Columbia (12023)*
GA Brantley (13025), Bryan (13029), Charlton (13049)*, Chatham (13051)*, Clinch (13065)*, Effingham (13103), Jenkins (13165)*, Liberty (13179)*, Long (13183)*, Mcintosh (13191)*, Richmond (13245)*, Screven (13251), Ware (13299)*
MD Caroline (24011), Charles (24017)*, Dorchester (24019), Queen Annes (24035), Talbot (24041)*, Worcester (24047)
NJ Atlantic (34001), Burlington (34005), Camden (34007), Cape May (34009), Cumberland (34011), Gloucester (34015), Ocean (34029)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
02 Crosswicks-Neshaminy (02040201)+, Lower Delaware (02040202)+, Cohansey-Maurice (02040206)+, Broadkill-Smyrna (02040207)+, Mullica-Toms (02040301)+, Great Egg Harbor (02040302)+, Chincoteague (02040303)+, Chester-Sassafras (02060002)+, Choptank (02060005)+, Lower Potomac (02070011)+*, Western Lower Delmarva (02080109)+, Eastern Lower Delmarva (02080110)+, Pokomoke-Western Lower Delmarva (02080111)+
03 Middle Savannah (03060106)+*, Brier (03060108)+, Lower Savannah (03060109)+*, Upper Ogeechee (03060201)+*, Lower Ogeechee (03060202)+, Canoochee (03060203)+, Ogeechee Coastal (03060204)+*, Altamaha (03070106)+*, Satilla (03070201)+, St. Marys (03070204)+*, Upper Suwannee (03110201)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
Help
General Description: A frog with two golden-brown stripes on each side, dark spots and blotches scattered on the dorsum and legs, and no dorsolateral ridges; snout-vent length generally is 4.1-6.7 cm (Conant and Collins 1991).
Diagnostic Characteristics: Differs from the pig frog (RANA GRYLIO) in having the 4th toe extending well beyond the web (vs. 4th toe webbed virtually to the tip) (Conant and Collins 1991).
Reproduction Comments: Calling may begin in March; full choruses occur from late April through late June (Mitchell 1991). Lays clusters of 200-600 eggs, April to August or September (Ashton and Ashton 1988). Mating pairs were observed from late April to late July in southern New Jersey (Given 1988). Eggs hatch in 1-2 weeks. Aquatic larval stage lasts about 1 year.
Ecology Comments: See Given (1988) for information on territorial behavior. Mortality rate apparently high in adult males (Given 1988).
Habitat Type: Freshwater
Non-Migrant: Y
Locally Migrant: N
Long Distance Migrant: N
Riverine Habitat(s): CREEK, Low gradient, Pool
Lacustrine Habitat(s): Shallow water
Palustrine Habitat(s): Bog/fen, FORESTED WETLAND, Riparian, SCRUB-SHRUB WETLAND
Special Habitat Factors: Benthic
Habitat Comments: Sphagnum bogs and swamps and sphagnum borders of lakes and ponds; tea-colored, slow-moving water with abundant emergent or floating vegetation. Active adults occur at the water's edge or on partly submerged logs or among vegetation. Often in same habitats as HYLA ANDERSONII. Eggs are laid and larvae develop in pools in adult year-around habitat (see HABCOMM); globular egg masses are attached to underwater vegetation. In southern New Jersey, calling sites had more submerged shrubs than did control sites (Given 1988).
Adult Food Habits: Invertivore
Immature Food Habits: Herbivore
Food Comments: Metamorphosed frogs probably eat various small invertebrates; forages in shallow water and on or among vegetation and objects in the water. Larvae probably eat algae, plant tissue, organic debris, and possibly some small invertebrates.
Adult Phenology: Nocturnal
Immature Phenology: Nocturnal
Phenology Comments: Most active from dusk to dawn; calling peaks around midnight.
Length: 7 centimeters
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
Help
Management Summary Not yet assessed
Help
Population/Occurrence Delineation
Help
Group Name: Ranid Frogs

Use Class: Not applicable
Subtype(s): Breeding Location
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Occurrences are based on evidence of historical presence, or current and likely recurring presence, at a given location. Such evidence minimally includes collection or reliable observation and documentation of one or more individuals (including larvae or eggs) in or near appropriate habitat where the species is presumed to be established and breeding.
Separation Barriers: Busy major highway, especially at night, such that frogs rarely if ever cross successfully; urban development dominated by buildings and pavement; habitat in which site-specific data indicate the frogs virtually never occur.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 1 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Justification: BARRIERS/UNSUITABLE HABITAT: Rivers may or may not be effective barriers, depending on stream width and flow dynamics; identification of streams as barriers is a subjective determination. Ranid frog species vary in habitat use, but even the most aquatic species may traverse upland habitat when conditions are suitable (Pope and Matthews 2001); natural and seminatural upland habitat generally does not constitute a barrier. Here, unsuitable habitat refers to upland habitat devoid or nearly devoid of wetlands, streams, ponds, or lakes. Bodies of water dominated by predatory fishes may be barriers to some species but suitable habitat for others; in most cases, such waters probably should be regarded as unsuitable habitat.

SUITABLE HABITAT: Suitable habitat includes riparian/riverine corridors, wetlands, and wetland/upland mosaics in which wetland patches are separated by less than 1 km of upland habitat; it also includes any upland habitat regularly used for feeding or wintering (e.g., mesic forest for wood frogs).

MOVEMENTS: Available information indicates that individual ranids occasionally move distances of several km (R. luteiventris: Reaser 1996, cited by Koch et al. 1997; R. blairi: Gillis 1975) but most individuals stay within a few kilometers of their breeding sites (R. aurora draytonii: USFWS, Federal Register, 11 September 2000; R. capito: Franz et al. 1988; R. clamitans: Lamoureux and Madison 1999; R. luteiventris: Turner 1960, Hollenbeck 1974, Bull and Hayes 2001). Similarly, maximum distance between capture points generally is a few kilometers or less (R. aurora: Hayes et al. 2001; USFWS, Federal Register, 11 September 2000; R. catesbeiana: Willis et al. 1956; R. luteiventris: Reaser and Pilliod, in press; Engle 2000; R. muscosa: Pope and Matthews 2001). Dispersal data for juveniles are lacking for most species.

Adult and juvenile R. sylvatica readily traveled in excess of 300 m from their pools of origin (Vasconcelos and Calhoun 2004). Bellis (1965) determined that adult and juvenile R. sylvatica in a peat bog had traveled at least 410 m from the nearest breeding pool. Berven and Grudzien (1990) found that dispersing R. sylvatica juveniles traveled an average of 1,208 m from their natal pools. In the Shenandoah Mountains, data for R. sylvatica indicated that ponds separated by a distance greater than 1,000 m should experience little gene flow (Berven and Grudzien 1991). In contrast, populations in Minnesota were very similar in allelic frequencies, even at distances greater than several kilometers (Squire and Newman 2002). However, sample sizes and number of loci examined were small, and genetic patterns do not necessarily reflect movement distances.

The preponderance of data for ranids indicate that a separation distance of several kilometers may be appropriate for suitable habitat and practical for occurrence delineation, despite occasional movements that are longer and that may allow some genetic interchange between distant populations. The movement data for ranids are here regarded as consistent enough to allow the same separation distance to be used for different species; much of the apparent variation in movements doubtless reflects differences in study methods and in the ability to detect long-distance movements.

Date: 01Apr2005
Author: Hammerson, G.
Population/Occurrence Viability
Help
U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
Help
Authors/Contributors
Help
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 08May2011
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Hammerson, G.
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 25Apr1995
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): Hammerson, G.

Zoological data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs) and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
Help
  • Ashton, R. E., Jr., and P. S. Ashton. 1988. Handbook of reptiles and amphibians of Florida. Part Three. The amphibians. Windward Publ. Co., Miami.

  • Bartlett, R. D., and P. P. Bartlett. 1999b. A field guide to Florida reptiles and amphibians. Gulf Publishing Company, Houston, Texas. xvi + 278 pp.

  • Behler, J. L., and F. W. King. 1979. The Audubon Society field guide to North American reptiles and amphibians. Alfred A. Knopf, New York. 719 pp.

  • Blackburn, L., P. Nanjappa, and M. J. Lannoo. 2001. An Atlas of the Distribution of U.S. Amphibians. Copyright, Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana, USA.

  • CONANT, R. 1947. THE CARPENTER FROG IN MARYLAND. MARYLAND, A JOURNAL OF NATURAL HISTORY XVII(4): 72-73. REPRINTED IN BULL. MD. HERP. SOC. 3(2): 42-43.

  • CONANT, R., AND J.T. COLLINS. 1991. A FIELD GUIDE TO REPTILES AND AMPHIBIANS, EASTERN AND CENTRAL NORTH AMERICA, THIRD ED. HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY, BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS. 450 PP.

  • COOPER, J.E. 1948. MARYLAND FROGS AND TOADS. NAT. HIST. SOC. MD., MD. NATURE LEAFLET NO. 4.

  • Conant, R. and J. T. Collins. 1991. A field guide to reptiles and amphibians: eastern and central North America. Third edition. Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, Massachusetts. 450 pp.

  • Cromartie, W. J., editor. 1982. New Jersey's endangered and threatened plants and animals. Stockton State College, Center for Environmental Research, Pomona, New Jersey. 385 pp.

  • Frost, D. R. 1985. Amphibian species of the world. A taxonomic and geographical reference. Allen Press, Inc., and The Association of Systematics Collections, Lawrence, Kansas. v + 732 pp.

  • Frost, D. R. 2010. Amphibian Species of the World: an Online Reference. Version 5.4 (8 April 2010). Electronic Database accessible at http://research.amnh.org/herpetology/amphibia/index.php. American Museum of Natural History, New York, USA.

  • GIVEN, M.F. 1985. VARIATION IN MALE MATING STRATEGIES OF THE CARPENTER FROG, RANA VIRGATIPES. AM. ZOOLOGIST 25(4):3A

  • GIVEN, M.F. 1987. VOCALIZATIONS AND ACOUSTIC INTERACTIONS OF THE CARPENTER FROG, RANA VIRGATIPES. HERPETOLOGICA. 43(4):467-481.

  • GIVEN, M.F. 1988. TERRITORIALITY AND AGGRESSIVE INTERACTIONS OF MALE CARPENTER FROGS, RANA VIRGATIPES. COPEIA 1988(2):411-421.

  • GIVEN, M.F. 1990. SPATIAL DISTRIBUTION AND VOCAL INTERACTION IN RANA CLAMITANS AND R. VIRGATIPES. JOURNAL OF HERPETOLOGY 24(4):377-382.

  • Given, M. F. 1988. Territoriality and aggressive interactions of male carpenter frogs, RANA VIRGATIPES. Copeia 1988:411-421.

  • Gosner, K.L. and Black, I.H. 1968. Rana virgatipes. Catalogue of American Amphibians and Reptiles. 67:1-2.

  • HILLIS, D. 1975. GENUS: RANA. MARYLAND HERPETIFAUNA, NO. 16 MHS. BALTIMORE, MD. 2 P.

  • Krysko, K. L., K. M. Enge, and P. E. Moler. 2011. Atlas of amphibians and reptiles in Florida. Final report to Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Tallahassee, Florida. Submitted 15 December 2011.

  • MEANLEY, B. 1951. THE CARPENTER FROG, RANA VIRGATIPES, ON THE COASTAL PLAIN OF MARYLAND. PROC. BIOL. SOC. WASH. : 59.

  • Martof, B. S., W. M. Palmer, J. R. Bailey, and J. R. Harrison, III. 1980. Amphibians and reptiles of the Carolinas and Virginia. University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill, North Carolina. 264 pp.

  • Mitchell, J. C. 1991. Amphibians and reptiles. Pages 411-76 in K. Terwilliger (coordinator). Virginia's Endangered Species: Proceedings of a Symposium. McDonald and Woodward Publishing Company, Blacksburg, Virginia.

  • Moler, P. E., editor. 1992. Rare and Endangered Biota of Florida. Volume III. Amphibians and Reptiles. University Presses of Florida, Gainesville. xviii + 291 pp.

  • Moler, P. E., editor. 1992. Rare and endangered biota of Florida. Volume III. Amphibians and reptiles. University Press of Florida, Gainesville. xviii + 291 pp.

  • NEILL, W. T. 1952. NEW RECORDS OF RANA VERGATIPES AND RANA GRYLIO IN GEORGIA AND SOUTH CAROLINA. COPEIA 1952(3):194-195

  • REED, C.F. 1957. CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE HERPETOLOGY OF MARYLAND AND DELMARVA, 16. RANA VIRGATIPES IN SOUTHERN MARYLAND, WITH NOTES UPON ITS RANGE FROM NEW JERSEY TO GEORGIA. HERPETOLOGICA 13(2):137-138.

  • REED, C.F. 1958. THE CARPENTER FROG IN WORCESTER CO., MARYLAND. HERPETOLOGICA. 13:276.

  • SEYLE, W., AND G. K. WILLIAMSON. 1988 (IN PREP). REPTILES AND AMPHIBIANS OF GEORGIA: RANGE MAPS

  • SIPPLE, W.S. 1976. THE CARPENTER FROG (RANA VIRGATIPES) IN CAROLINE COUNTY, MARYLAND. BULL. MD. HERP. SOC. 12: 129-130.

  • STEVENSON, H.M. 1970. OCCURRENCE OF THE CARPENTER FROG IN FLORIDA. QUART. J. FLORIDA ACAD. SCI. 32(3):233-235.

  • Tobey, F. J. 1985. Virginia's amphibians and reptiles: a distributional survey. Virginia Herpetological Survey. vi + 114 pp.

Use Guidelines & Citation

Use Guidelines and Citation

The Small Print: Trademark, Copyright, Citation Guidelines, Restrictions on Use, and Information Disclaimer.

Note: All species and ecological community data presented in NatureServe Explorer at http://explorer.natureserve.org were updated to be current with NatureServe's central databases as of March 2019.
Note: This report was printed on

Trademark Notice: "NatureServe", NatureServe Explorer, The NatureServe logo, and all other names of NatureServe programs referenced herein are trademarks of NatureServe. Any other product or company names mentioned herein are the trademarks of their respective owners.

Copyright Notice: Copyright © 2019 NatureServe, 2511 Richmond (Jefferson Davis) Highway, Suite 930, Arlington, VA 22202, U.S.A. All Rights Reserved. Each document delivered from this server or web site may contain other proprietary notices and copyright information relating to that document. The following citation should be used in any published materials which reference the web site.

Citation for data on website including State Distribution, Watershed, and Reptile Range maps:
NatureServe. 2019. NatureServe Explorer: An online encyclopedia of life [web application]. Version 7.1. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia. Available http://explorer.natureserve.org. (Accessed:

Citation for Bird Range Maps of North America:
Ridgely, R.S., T.F. Allnutt, T. Brooks, D.K. McNicol, D.W. Mehlman, B.E. Young, and J.R. Zook. 2003. Digital Distribution Maps of the Birds of the Western Hemisphere, version 1.0. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia, USA.

Acknowledgement Statement for Bird Range Maps of North America:
"Data provided by NatureServe in collaboration with Robert Ridgely, James Zook, The Nature Conservancy - Migratory Bird Program, Conservation International - CABS, World Wildlife Fund - US, and Environment Canada - WILDSPACE."

Citation for Mammal Range Maps of North America:
Patterson, B.D., G. Ceballos, W. Sechrest, M.F. Tognelli, T. Brooks, L. Luna, P. Ortega, I. Salazar, and B.E. Young. 2003. Digital Distribution Maps of the Mammals of the Western Hemisphere, version 1.0. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia, USA.

Acknowledgement Statement for Mammal Range Maps of North America:
"Data provided by NatureServe in collaboration with Bruce Patterson, Wes Sechrest, Marcelo Tognelli, Gerardo Ceballos, The Nature Conservancy-Migratory Bird Program, Conservation International-CABS, World Wildlife Fund-US, and Environment Canada-WILDSPACE."

Citation for Amphibian Range Maps of the Western Hemisphere:
IUCN, Conservation International, and NatureServe. 2004. Global Amphibian Assessment. IUCN, Conservation International, and NatureServe, Washington, DC and Arlington, Virginia, USA.

Acknowledgement Statement for Amphibian Range Maps of the Western Hemisphere:
"Data developed as part of the Global Amphibian Assessment and provided by IUCN-World Conservation Union, Conservation International and NatureServe."

NOTE: Full metadata for the Bird Range Maps of North America is available at:
http://www.natureserve.org/library/birdDistributionmapsmetadatav1.pdf.

Full metadata for the Mammal Range Maps of North America is available at:
http://www.natureserve.org/library/mammalsDistributionmetadatav1.pdf.

Restrictions on Use: Permission to use, copy and distribute documents delivered from this server is hereby granted under the following conditions:
  1. The above copyright notice must appear in all copies;
  2. Any use of the documents available from this server must be for informational purposes only and in no instance for commercial purposes;
  3. Some data may be downloaded to files and altered in format for analytical purposes, however the data should still be referenced using the citation above;
  4. No graphics available from this server can be used, copied or distributed separate from the accompanying text. Any rights not expressly granted herein are reserved by NatureServe. Nothing contained herein shall be construed as conferring by implication, estoppel, or otherwise any license or right under any trademark of NatureServe. No trademark owned by NatureServe may be used in advertising or promotion pertaining to the distribution of documents delivered from this server without specific advance permission from NatureServe. Except as expressly provided above, nothing contained herein shall be construed as conferring any license or right under any NatureServe copyright.
Information Warranty Disclaimer: All documents and related graphics provided by this server and any other documents which are referenced by or linked to this server are provided "as is" without warranty as to the currentness, completeness, or accuracy of any specific data. NatureServe hereby disclaims all warranties and conditions with regard to any documents provided by this server or any other documents which are referenced by or linked to this server, including but not limited to all implied warranties and conditions of merchantibility, fitness for a particular purpose, and non-infringement. NatureServe makes no representations about the suitability of the information delivered from this server or any other documents that are referenced to or linked to this server. In no event shall NatureServe be liable for any special, indirect, incidental, consequential damages, or for damages of any kind arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information contained in any documents provided by this server or in any other documents which are referenced by or linked to this server, under any theory of liability used. NatureServe may update or make changes to the documents provided by this server at any time without notice; however, NatureServe makes no commitment to update the information contained herein. Since the data in the central databases are continually being updated, it is advisable to refresh data retrieved at least once a year after its receipt. The data provided is for planning, assessment, and informational purposes. Site specific projects or activities should be reviewed for potential environmental impacts with appropriate regulatory agencies. If ground-disturbing activities are proposed on a site, the appropriate state natural heritage program(s) or conservation data center can be contacted for a site-specific review of the project area (see Visit Local Programs).

Feedback Request: NatureServe encourages users to let us know of any errors or significant omissions that you find in the data through (see Contact Us). Your comments will be very valuable in improving the overall quality of our databases for the benefit of all users.