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True Frogs

Adults are medium-sized to large frogs with long hind legs and pointed snouts; all except the American Bullfrog have a pair of low ridges (dorsolateral folds) extending from behind the eye toward the groin on each side of the back. The 3 Leopard Frogs and their relatives (Northern Crawfish Frog, Pickerel Frog) are always distinctly spotted and lay eggs in tight grape-like clusters. Wood Frogs are plain-colored and lay eggs in looser clusters. American Bullfrogs and Green Frogs are variable in color and lay eggs that float on the surface of the water in a single large thin layer.

Click on each frog/toad for more detailed information.

 
Wood frog
 
  • Dorsolateral folds present
  • Color tan to dark brown or reddish-brown
  • Dark brown area (“mask”) disguising the eardrum on each side of face behind the eye
  • Medium-sized (adult size about 3 inches)
  • Breeding choruses can be heard just about any time from mid-January into early March, day or night, during early season warm weather fronts
  • Often completes all breeding for the year at a given pond in just one 24-hour period but sometimes additional frogs will show up there to mate & lay eggs during the next sudden warm spell
  • Groups of males will sometimes call late in the year (September through November) from beneath the leaf litter in the woods near breeding ponds
 
Northern Crawfish Frog
 
  • Dorsolateral folds present
  • Color light brown to grayish with many light-edged brownish round spots on back & sides
  • eavy-bodied and fairly large (adults size about 4 inches). eavy-bodied and fairly large (adults size about 4 inches)
  • Occurs in Jackson Purchase and Western Coal Field
  • Breeding choruses can be heard mostly from mid-February through early April
  • The adults travel to the breeding ponds at night during early season warm fronts accompanied by moderate to heavy rain
  • These frogs also may call singly from their home burrows throughout most of the year at any time during the day or night
 
Southern Leopard Frog
 
  • Dorsolateral folds present
  • Color tan to brown or green with several to many rounded to elongated brown spots on back & sides
  • Snout usually without any dark spots in front of the eyes
  • Usually a white dot in the center of each tympanum (eardrum)
  • Medium-sized to fairly large (adult size is 3-4 inches)
  • Wide-ranging but absent from Blue Grass Region and much of Eastern Coal Field
  • Breeding choruses can be heard from late February through early November
  • Most breeding takes place in March and April but fresh eggs have been found in Kentucky in every month except December 
 
Plains Leopard Frog
 
  • Dorsolateral folds present but interrupted and set inward near the groin
  • Color tan to brown with several to many rounded to elongated brown spots on back & sides
  • Snout usually with a central dark spot in front of the eyes
  • Usually a white dot in the center of each tympanum (eardrum)
  • Medium-sized (adults to about 3 inches)
  • Known only from Lower Hickman Bottoms in western Fulton County
  • Breeding choruses can be heard in March and April
  • Very little breeding data is available for Kentucky
 
Northern Leopard Frog
 
  • Dorsolateral folds present
  • Color tan to brown or green with several to many rounded to elongated brown spots on back & sides
  • Snout sometimes with a central dark spot in front of the eyes
  • No white dot in the center of each tympanum (eardrum)
  • Medium-sized to fairly large (3-4 inches)
  • Found in Blue Grass Region and northeastern Kentucky
  • Calls from mid-March through mid-April
  • Occasional males will give single calls from fields and meadows during late spring and summer
 
Pickerel Frog
 
  • Dorsolateral folds present (usually broad, low, and bronze-colored
  • ody color tan to brown (never green) with 2 rows of rounded to rectangular brown spots down the center of the backody color tan to brown (never green) with 2 rows of rounded to rectangular brown spots down the center of the back
  • Snout usually with a dark spot in front of the eyes
  • No white dot in the center of each tympanum (eardrum)
  • Groin area in adults is usually bright yellow to orange
  • Wide-ranging in eastern, central, and southern Kentucky
  • Breeding choruses can be heard from mid-March through April
  • Occasional males will give single calls from late spring through late fall
 
Green Frog
 
  • Dorsolateral folds present but they break up and disappear towards the groin
  • Body color gray to tan, brown, or dull green
  • Plain-colored above or variously marked with dark spots
  • Sides of face often green in front of eyes
  • Size medium to fairly large (adults reach 3-4 inches)
  • Breeding choruses can be heard from late April through early September but things often begin slowing down for the year around the middle of August
 
American Bullfrog
 
  • Dorsolateral folds absent
  • Body color light brown to olive green
  • May be plain-colored or marked with brown dots, spots, or a dark reticulated pattern
  • Face and head often bright green
  • Size large (adults are 4-8 inches long)
  • Breeding choruses can be heard from late April through August but activity usually slows down by the middle of August