Cheer For Our National Newts & Meet The 13 State Amphibians!

I’ve covered America’s patriotic crustaceans, bats and dinosaurs, but are you aware of the United States’ favorite frogs and toads? I’ve collected the full squishy set of amphibians for you below for today’s history lesson:


Alabama - Red Hills Salamander

The grayish and short-legged red hills salamander is an endangered species that became Alabama’s state amphibian in 2000.

Arizona Tree FrogArizona Tree Frog

Arizona Tree Frog – Arizona

Noted for its signature brown face-stripe, the common mountain tree frog was inducted in 1986.


Western Tiger Salamander – Colorado & Kansas

This chunky striped salamander can grow up to a foot long, and became official state representatives in 2012 and 2005, respectively.

American Green Tree FrogAmerican Green Tree Frog

American Green Tree Frog – Georgia & Louisiana

There are an estimated kerbillion of these little guys in the wild and with no less than 12 stuck to the outside of my windows at a time, I wonder why they aren’t Florida’s state amphibian. Oh, Georgia and Lousiana picked up these cuties in 2005 and 1993.

Eastern Tiger Salamander – Illinois

These are noted for digging burrows to live in up to two feet deep. Eastern tiger salamanders joined the club in 2005.

North American BullfrogNorth American Bullfrog

North American Bullfrog – Missouri & Oklahoma

Native to the eastern United States, the North American bullfrog has become an invasive pest across the continent, South America, Europe and China. Ever wonder where “frog legs” come from? Ick. Bullfrogs were added to the club in 2005 and 1997.

Red-spotted NewtRed-spotted Newt

Red-spotted Newt – New Hampshire

This pretty newt set the standard for state amphibians by becoming the first one in 1985. Apparently, they make for good aquarium pets too!

New Mexico Spadefoot Toad – New Mexico

Easily the visibly cutest state amphibian, the toad loses its cuteness when it emits a noxious scent when held. This smelly toad began representing its home state in 2003.

Spotted Salamander – Ohio & South Carolina

Noted for its symmetrical yellow spots, this common salamander is found all over the northeastern states. It became an official state amphibian in 2010 and 1999.

Tennessee Cave Salamander - Tennessee

This rare, tan-colored salamander lives in caverns and became a state amphibian in 1995.

Texas Toad – Texas

A bumpy little toad that enrolled into the list of state amphibians in 2009.

Northern Leopard FrogNorthern Leopard Frog

Northern Leopard Frog – Vermont

These large, spotty frogs became state amphibians in 1998.

Pacific Tree Frog – Washington

Easily found throughout the northwestern states and parts of Canada, the pacific tree frog entered the ranks in 2007.

Is your state properly represented by a local amphibian? If not, why not? Go pester your state’s representatives and be sure to share how you nominated an amphibian for one of the leftover states in the comments below!


 Sources: Net State, State Symbols USA

Arnold Carreiro
Pet and Animal Blogger

May 22, 2013
by Anonymous
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Nearly all the world's

Nearly all the world's amphibians are at risk of extinction due to the spread of the chytrid fungus (Bd). An estimated 200 species have disappeared in recent years.

One component of the problem is the commercial sale of American bullfrogs, which are captive-bred, then shipped around the world for human consumption. Recent studies have documented that the majority of the bullfrogs ((62% in one study) test positive for the chytrid fungus. The bullfrogs do not succumb to the disease, but they certainly do disperse it when bought and released into the wild (an illegal but common practice, often by religious sects in "animal liberation" ceremonies, or by well-meaning but misinformed "do gooders"). The non-native bullfrogs (native to eastern North America) also prey upon and displace native species, while spreading diseases.

Reportedly, the European Union and Australia both allow the importation of only FROZEN frog parts for human consumption. The rest of the world should quickly follow suit, 'ere we lose an entire group of animals. It's already too late for many.

May 28, 2013
by Arnold Carreiro
Arnold Carreiro's picture
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Thanks for sharing, Anon!

Thanks for sharing, Anon!

Through my own research, I've noticed that many Western places that don't have a native or invasive population of bullfrogs are bent on keeping it that way. For example, I was looking up lists of certain species that are banned from private ownership in the state of Montana, when I noticed that the big frogs were on the (fairly short) list of  banned creatures.

Note that bullfrogs shared the limited space with rhinos, gibbons and green anacondas- I'm going to have to take a closer look about dealing with bullfrogs as a problem species! 

Jun 3, 2013
by Anonymous
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Nevada (Stolen from the

Nevada (Stolen from the state website) -

Desert Tortoise (NRS 235.065)

The Desert Tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) lives in the extreme southern parts of Nevada. This reptile spends much of its life in underground burrows toescape the harsh summer heat and winter cold. It can live to be more than 70 years old.

Jun 3, 2013
by Anonymous
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I feel like Missouri should

I feel like Missouri should be the Hellbender:

Jun 4, 2013
by Anonymous
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Florida don't have a state

Florida don't have a state amfibian???

They do indeed! The Florida

They do indeed! The Florida Senate approved the Barking Tree Frog as the official state amphibian on April 29th, 2011. The bill (SB 502) was passed by a vote of 39-0 after sponsor Steve Oelrich of Gainesville showed a picture of the frog and played a recording of one "barking". A staff analysis says it is one of the largest frogs in the United States, and most live in Florida.

Steve Levenstein
Creature Features

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