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State amphibians are designated by tradition or the respective state legislatures. New Hampshire has the honor of being the first state to designate an official state amphibian. It did so in 1985. To date, at least seventeen other states have followed New Hampshire's lead.
Amphibian evolution: You wouldn't know it from the small (and rapidly dwindling) population of frogs, toads and salamanders alive today, but for tens of millions of years spanning the late Carboniferous and early Permian periods amphibians were the dominant land animals on earth. Some achieved crocodile-like sizes (up to 15 feet long, which may not seem so big today but was positively huge 300 million years ago) and terrorized smaller animals as the "apex predators" of their swampy ecosystems.
These little animals are generally tied to water, especially to reproduce, and have slimy skin they can breathe through.
Amphibians are more important than you might think. No, not as the sources of warts and princes, but as a barometer of the health of the environments we all share. At an international conference in 1989, scientists all over the world became alarmed at what appeared to be dramatic declines in some amphibian populations. Then, in 1995, a group of school children in Minnesota were the first to notice an alarming rate of malformed limbs in some frog populations. Because amphibians use wetland habitats during at least part of their life cycle and because they have permeable skin, ecologists believe that declines in amphibian populations and malformations may serve as early warning indicators of broader changes in ecosystems.
Reptiles and amphibians have figured prominently in the folklore and superstitions of almost every culture and civilization throughout history. The secretive habits, unusual shapes, and, in some cases, dangerous attributes of these animals have always given them exalted status in the realms of the imagination. According to fossil evidence, reptiles and amphibians have each been the dominant land vertebrates during various periods in the earth's history. Salamander-like amphibians as large as crocodiles once cruised through primeval swamps, and were later supplanted by the scaly-skinned, desiccation-resistant reptiles whose tracks can still be seen in the sedimentary rock strata of the Connecticut River valley. Modern reptiles and amphibians, drastically reduced in size and status from former times, are today in need of public compassion, protection and understanding to survive in an increasingly human-altered environment.
Historically, the scientific community regarded reptiles and amphibians as lesser members of wildlife communities; consequently, comparatively little research was conducted on their ecological roles and requirements until relatively recently. Today they are recognized as important and dynamic elements of biodiversity with essential functions in food webs, soil and wetland ecology, and the energy recycling systems of forests. Research indicates that these two faunal groups, especially the amphibians, may be among the best indicators of environmental quality. Several species have also made important contributions to medical science, providing the basis of many life-saving drugs. As further light is shed on the functioning of their immune systems, skin secretions, venoms, and other physiological and biochemical processes, it seems certain that reptiles and amphibians will yield many other useful discoveries
Find images, descriptions, taxonomic hierarchy, and a history of the State Amphibians. Lists their basic characteristics, including adoption date, picture, state code, description, characteristics, range and habitat, habits, life cycle, status, and taxonomic hierarchy.
Official State Amphibians Designations
Amphibians - Species - Adopted
||Red Hills salamander
Alabama State Amphibian - 2000
|Arizona||Arizona tree frog
Arizona State Amphibian - 1986
|California||California red-legged frog
California State Amphibian - 2014
|Colorado||Western tiger salamander
Colorado State Amphibian - 2012
|Georgia||Green tree frog
Georgia State Amphibian - 2005
|Idaho||Idaho giant salamander
Idaho State Amphibian - 2015
|Illinois||Eastern tiger salamander
Illinois State Amphibian - 2005
|Kansas||Barred tiger salamander
(Ambystoma tigrinum mavortium)
Kansas State Amphibian - 2005
Louisiana State Amphibian - 1993
|Missouri||North American bullfrog
Missouri State Amphibian - 2005
|New Hampshire||Spotted newt
New Hampshire State Amphibian 1985
|New Mexico||New Mexico spadefoot toad
New Mexico State Amphibian - 2003
|North Carolina||Pine barrens tree frog
North Carolina State Frog - 2013
|North Carolina||Marbled salamander
North Carolina State Salamander - 2013
Ohio State Amphibian - 2010
Ohio State Frog - 2010
Oklahoma State Amphibian - 1997
|South Carolina||Spotted salamander
South Carolina State Amphibian - 1999
|Tennessee||Tennessee cave salamander
Tennessee State Amphibian - 1995
Texas State Amphibian - 2009
|Vermont||Northern leopard frog
Vermont State Amphibian - 1998
|Washington||Pacific chorus frog
Washington State Amphibian -2007