An Official Website of the Commonwealth of Kentucky
Cricket Frogs are small, active amphibians that spend most of their time on the open weedy shorelines next to lakes, ponds, and streams. Full-grown adults are less than 1 ½ inches long. The best recognition features (other than size) are the very large hind legs, the moist warty skin, and (if you can catch one to check this!) a pair of distinct white warts bordering the vent (anus). A Cricket Frog can be mostly green, brown, or gray, and there is usually a backward-pointing dark triangle between the eyes. These frogs are in the treefrog family (Hylidae), but they spend all their time on the ground or in shallow water and have tiny toe pads. They are extraordinarily good leapers for their size, but oddly enough, when a Cricket Frog jumps out into the water to get away from you, he often turns around and swims right back to the water’s edge!
Kentucky has two kinds of Cricket Frogs, but the only way to tell them apart is by range or DNA analysis. Northern Cricket Frogs are widespread throughout the state, everywhere south and west of the Kentucky River drainage.
Cricket Frogs call both day and night from late April into August. The call is a long series of clicks that sound like two small stones or marbles tapped against each other. The call starts slowly with single clicks, but soon the clicks come in 2’s and 3’s, followed by a much longer run, finally slowing down at the end.