Pickerel Frog (Lithobates palustris)
Recognized Subspecies in VA: None
Size: 1.75 - 3 inches
Range: Statewide, rare on the eastern shore
Status: Least Concern
The Pickerel Frog is an early spring breeder that can be found in and around ponds, lakes, streams, and vernal pools. This frog gets its name from Pickerel Weed, which is a plant they will often call from in the water. After breeding, they can venture quite a ways from the water, often residing in moist forest, though they do like wet grass. These frogs can be easy to find on wet nights when road cruising, or by spotlighting water edges in breeding. Young frogs can be spooked out of tall grass or leaf litter near water.
The Pickerel Frogs have thick, often blonde or bronze, and large "square-shaped" blotches. These blotches are in two rows down the back. Their legs have fairly complete bands across the calf, and bright yellow inner thighs. Eggs are laid in baseball-sized masses, with each egg being slightly thicker than a wooden pencil's lead.
Similar Species: This species is often confused for the Southern Leopard Frog, which has smaller spots, a thinner coastal fold, and incomplete leg bands.
Calls are snore-like.
Maps and External Sources
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