Recognized Subspecies in VA: None
Size: .5 - 1.5 inches
Range: Found in the Eastern 2/3rds of the state
Status: Least Concern
The Northern Cricket Frog is one of the most abundant frogs throughout their range. They are small, yet a versatile species, capable of living in many habitats. They can be found along the edges of ditches, streams, lakes, ponds, rivers, and vernal pools in fields and forests; as well as just randomly in yards and forest away from water. They metamorphose at around .3 inches and can breed the next season. Their tadpole can actually be nearly an inch long, which can be surprising when the adult frog may never grow to an inch. They can jump an incredible distance for their tiny size, yet they rarely stray into deep water, as they are not great swimmers. That said, their tiny size means they can jump using only the water tension as a surface.
Northern Cricket Frogs often have a dark triangle between their eyes, but not always. They are usually brown with a green, blond, orange, or rusty stripe down their back with a few dark blotches, tan with only dark blotches, tan with a green "mossy" pattern (some times with a red stripe), or just solid tan. They are quite bumpy, with small toe pads on each toe. The tadpoles often have the triangle on their heads as well, a stripe down the tail, and a dark tail tip.
Similar Species: By far the easiest mistake is confusing this species with the Southern Cricket Frog. Southern Cricket Frogs have longer, more pointed snouts, longer legs, and clean under eye stripes. Southerns are also only found in the southeast corner of the state. People often misidentify Chorus Frogs (Pseudacris) for these as well as other juvenile frogs.
Calls sound like two stones clacking together.
Maps and External Sources
Herping Virginia encourages all naturalists to practice ethical, safe, and sustainable herping. The use of proper herping methods and techniques is beneficial to both wildlife and herpers. Visit the links below for more information.