Green Frog (Lithobates clamitans)
Recognized Subspecies in VA: None
Size: 2 - 4 inches
Status: Least Concern
Despite its name, the Green Frog is often not green, but brown. This species frequents several bodies of water such as ponds, lakes, marshes, and streams, where it usually is quick to plunge into the water as soon as it senses one’s presence giving a loud squeak. That said, they can travel quite a ways from water, especially on rainy nights. Their tadpoles are usually brown, and mottled with a dark chin. They can grow nearly quarter-sized before they metamorphosize into froglets. Male Green Frogs have very large tympanums, and yellow throats. Their calls are an emphatic “DOINK” (sometimes in a set of three back to back) almost like plucking an instrument string.
This species is often more or less solid in color, but can have some black pattern. They almost always have green around the lips, and a plain white belly. Green Frogs have very strong coastal folds, or dorsolateral ridges, that run from behind the tympanum, over the shoulder and down the back. Some older individuals may have worn folds, but there should still be evidence of them. Very rarely, this species may be partly or fully blue. This species usually does not have large blotches, but sometimes they can have larger, black spots.
Similar Species: The American Bullfrog is a very similar species, but "Bulls" have very wide heads, more extensive webbing on the hind feet, and no coastal folds. The Wood Frog can be various shades of brown, but always has a darker mask, and a spotted chin. Southern Leopard Frogs have much thinner heads, and usually have a spotted pattern, as well as a sub-coastal fold and both folds tend to be paler than the main body color.
Calls are a sudden "Donk" or "Donk-donk-donk" similar in energy to a string being plucked.
Maps and External Sources
Comments are closed.
This page contains species information and links to external sites.