Frog Identification Keys - Lithobates formerly Rana (True Frogs)

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  • Bullfrog (Lithobates catesbeianus)

  • Green Frog (Lithobates clamitans)

  • Atlantic Coast Leopard Frog (Lithobates kauffeldi)

  • Pickerel Frog (Lithobates palustris)

  • Coastal Plains Leopard Frog (Lithobates sphenocephalus utricularius)

  • Wood Frog (Lithobates sylvaticus)

  • Carpenter Frog (Lithobates virgatipes)


American Bullfrog (Lithobates catesbeianus)

Our largest frog with a maximum SVL of 203 mm. Usually green near the snout and brownish toward the rear, the ventral surfaces are whitish often mottled with a yellowish to grayish wash. To the casual observer the bullfrog and the green frog look very similar, but can easily be identified by the absence or presence of dorsolateral ridges.

The gender of the bullfrog, green frog and carpenter frog can be determined by the size relationship between the tympanum with respect to the eye. In males the tympanum is larger than the eye and in females the tympanum is the same size as the eye or smaller.


Known distribution of Lithobates catesbeianus in Virginia

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Green Frog (Lithobates clamitans)

Reaching a maximum SVL of 108 mm. Very similar to the bullfrog (see above). The mouth of the green frog is more pointed that that of the bullfrog.

The gender of the bullfrog, green frog and carpenter frog can be determined by the size relationship between the tympanum with respect to the eye. In males the tympanum is larger than the eye and in females the tympanum is the same size as the eye or smaller.


Known distribution of Lithobates clamitans in Virginia

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Pickerel Frog (Lithobates palustris)


Known distribution of Lithobates palustris in Virginia

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Southern Leopard Frog (Lithobates sphenocephalus)

The southern leopard frog reached a maximum SVL of 127 mm. For identification characteristics see the pickerel frog section above.


Known distribution of Lithobates sphenocephalus in Virginia

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Wood Frog (Lithobates sylvaticus)

The wood frog reaches a maximum SVL of 83mm and easily identified by the dark patch extending through the eye.


Known distribution of Lithobates sylvaticus in Virginia

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Carpenter Frog (Lithobates virgatipes)

The carpenter frog reaches a maximum size of 67 mm. The most defining characteristic of the carpenter frog is the two golden -brown lateral stripes on each side, for a total of four stripes. Dorsolateral ridges are absent.

The gender of the bullfrog, green frog and carpenter frog can be determined by the size relationship between the tympanum with respect to the eye. In males the tympanum is larger than the eye and in females the tympanum is the same size as the eye or smaller.



Known distribution of Lithobates virgatipes in Virginia

Click for additional information on Lithobates virgatipes.

FROGS

Virginia is home to 28 species of frogs and toads.

SALAMANDERS

We have a large diversity of salamanders consisting of 56 different species and subspecies.

LIZARDS

Virginia is home to 9 native lizard species and two introduced species, the Mediterranean Gecko and the Italian Wall Lizard.

SNAKES

The Commonwealth is home to 34 species and subspecies of snake. Only 3 species are venomous.

TURTLES

Virginia has 25 species and subspecies of turtle. Five of these species are sea turtle.

BOX TURTLE REPORTING

SPADEFOOT REPORTING

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