Recognized Subspecies in VA: None
Size: 2 - 3.5 inches
Range: Found in the eastern half of the state; Introduced to Smyth Co.
Status: Least Concern
The Southern Leopard Frog easily wins the title of the flightiest frog in the state. At first sight of a human, they quickly, and recklessly dive into any nearby tall grass. This species seems to like marshes or any place where the grass emerges from shallow water. Leopard Frogs are extremely hard to get in hand, yet many people want to see the femoral reticulum on the inner thighs to differentiate from the Kauffeld's Leopard.
Southern Leopard Frogs are the most variable True Frogs we have in Virginia. They are usually a shade of brown or tan; sometimes with some shade green laid randomly on the base color. They normally have dark spots randomly on their dorsal, but rarely they can be patternless. The Southern Leopard is our only True Frog species that can have a silvery speck in the center of the tympanum.
Similar Species: The Kauffeld's Leopard Frog is incredibly similar, with the Kauffeld's Leopard having a shorter, blunter snout, muted patterns, and black femoral reticulums (thigh patches) with starry spots. The Pickerel Frog has larger dorsal blotches, thicker coastal grooves, and complete leg bands across the calf.
Calls are ascending chuckles and/or a deep series of grunts.
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.