What Is The Arizona State Amphibian?

The Arizona tree frog is green is brown and yellow.
The Arizona tree frog is green is brown and yellow.

Arizona is the fourteenth most populous and sixth biggest American state that is in the southwestern parts of the United States. Arizona is considered to be part of the Mountain and Western states. Arizona was the last of the conterminous states to gain statehood in 1912. Just like most American states, Arizona has various official state symbols including an official state amphibian which they designated in 1986. The official Arizona state amphibian is the Hyla eximia (Arizona Tree Frog).

Adopting the Official State Amphibian

Thousands of students in Arizona voted for the state’s official amphibian, fish, mammal, and reptile in 1985 as part of the state’s wildlife awareness program. The Arizona fish and game commission sponsored the election process. The students studied over eight hundred species that can be found in Arizona. The Arizona tree frog emerged the winner after getting 11,622 votes followed by the Colorado River toad with 8,529 votes. Larry Hawke, the Arizona state representative, introduced the bill in the Arizona state legislature. The Hyla eximia became the official state amphibian on August 1, 1986.

Arizona Tree Frog

The Arizona tree frog is one of the two tree frog species found in Arizona (the other is the Hyla arenicolor). The Arizona tree frog is a mountain tree frog species belonging to the Hylidae endemic family. It is a small frog that can attain a maximum length of about 2.25 inches. The dorsal part of this frog is brown or green, but it can also be bronze or gold while their ventral surface is white. The Arizona tree frogs have gold or orange thighs and groin. They have a dark brown or black stripe that runs from their snouts to their backs. The male Arizona tree frogs have a greenish or tan throat. These tree frogs have small pads at the tip of their toes that are quite useful especially when they are climbing trees. Some Arizona tree frogs have bars or spots on their backs.

Behavior and Habitat

The Arizona tree frogs are nocturnal animals, but the males are sometimes heard calling in the rainy days. These frogs can be found in the pine-oak forests, scrub forests, and mesquite grasslands. They are widely distributed, and currently, they are not facing any significant threat. They live on trees, shrubs, and also on the ground. They can also be found near the slow-moving part of the rivers. Only the male Arizona tree frogs produce the nasal clacking sounds, and they can be heard calling from the tree-tops during the rainy season.

Breeding and Feeding

Breeding is triggered by the summer rain, and it starts in June. The males attract females by croaking. The frogs lay their eggs in shallow, grassy pools of water. Adult Arizona tree frogs feed on shrubs, dense grass, and insects, while the tadpoles eat plant tissues, organic debris, and algae.


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