Frog ID

Frogs in Greater Sudbury

Green Frog        Bull Frog           Mink Frog         Wood Frog 
Leopard Frog    Gray Treefrog    Spring Peeper    American Toad

Green Frog

sound symbol Like a loose banjo string

Identification:

Though usually green, as the name suggests, Green frogs can vary from bright green to brownish. They can be mostly solid in colour or have darker mottling toward the lower back. A lighter patch above the upper lip is usually quite obvious. Spots along their hind legs appear to line up when the frog is sitting still. Males can be identified by the yellow colouration on their throats and the larger eardrum. Eardrum (tympanum) on males is larger than the eye but same size of the eye on females.
• A fold of skin on both sides of the back
• Yellow throat on males
• Underbelly (venter) is usually white with dark spots

Natural History:

Green frogs are commonly found in shallow, marshy ponds or pools, but can also be found in still or slow-moving sections of lakes and rivers. If near a large enough food source, they could make their way into backyard water features. Green frogs begin calling in June/July, and can be heard calling into September, if the weather is warm. Though they call mostly at night to attract mates, they can be heard calling during the day as well.

Frog Fact:

When male frogs are calling for mates, they are competing with other nearby males. If two male Green frogs cannot settle a dispute through warning calls, they will often splash at, or wrestle with each other until one moves to a different spot.

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Bullfrog

sound symbol"Rum, Rum, Jug-o-rum"

Identification:

The largest frogs in Ontario, Bullfrogs are usually olive green to brown, and can have  darker mottles on their backs. They usually have a light green patch above their upper lip. Bullfrogs can be distinguished from Green frogs in that the folds of skin that extend down a Green frog’s back are not present on a Bullfrog; a small fold may be present from the head, around the tympanum (= eardrum, the large circular spot behind each eye), and down to the shoulder.
• Yellow throat on males
• Folds of skin around eardrums but not on the back
• Underbelly (venter) whitish, often mottled with grey

Natural History:

Bullfrogs are found in large, still or slow-moving water bodies. Grassy edges of lakes, large ponds, rivers, and streams are all potential Bullfrog habitat. Bullfrogs are usually the last species to begin calling, not looking for mates until late June, or even July. They usually call into September if the weather stays warm.

Frog Fact:

Bullfrogs have a huge appetite, and will eat almost anything they can fit into their mouths. They have been recorded devouring young birds and bats that had fallen from the nest or roost, mice, snakes, and even smaller frogs of their own and other species.

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Mink Frog

sound symbol Like hammering a nail in wood

Identification:

Mink frogs are olive green to brown, usually with distinct round mottles on their backs (not to be mistaken with the obvious spots of a Leopard frog) and a bright green upper lip. The folds of skin along their backs do not extend to their hind quarters.
• Folds of skin on the back may be absent, partially developed or prominent
• Mink-like odour (or rotten onions) when handled

Natural History:

Mink frogs prefer habitat with thicker vegetation than most other species in Sudbury. They can be found in marshy bays or inlets, along very slow moving, densely vegetated river shorelines, and in bogs. They begin calling in June, and can be heard calling into August in some areas.

Frog Fact:

Mink frogs get their name from their excellent defence tactic: when handled, they give off a very musky scent, like that of a mink or weasel. This odour smells similar to rotten onions, and makes them undesirable to many predators.

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Wood Frog

sound symbolLike ducks quacking

Identification:

Wood frogs are light to dark brown, with very little or no mottling or further colouration on their backs. They can be easily identified by the dark brown to black “mask” around each eye, and their distinctive white upper lip. They have ridges extending along the length of their backs to their hind quarters.
• A fold of skin on both sides of the back
• Has a “robber’s mask”
• Blends in with the forest floor

Natural History:

Wood frogs are the first species to be heard in the spring, often call¬ing from ice covered ephemeral (= non-permanent) pools. They are found near small pools in wooded areas, rather than in marshes and ponds like other frog species. Wood frogs are the first species to begin calling in the spring, usually in April. The development of the eggs into tadpoles and then froglets occurs before many predators have even emerged for the season. Wood frogs, like many other frog species, eat huge quantities of mosquitoes.

Frog Fact:

Wood frogs have a sugar-based chemical within their cells which allows them to hibernate above ground and essentially freeze solid in the winter. hey have ridges extending along the length of their backs to their hind quarters.

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Leopard Frog

sound symbol A long snore

Identification:

Northern leopard frogs are so named because of their large, rounded, prominent spots, which are outlined in green. Though they are usually bright green, they can also be dark brown, with only the green outlines of the spots noticeable. They have a bright green to white upper lip and golden or bronze-coloured ridges on their backs.
• Rounded spots with light borders
• A fold of skin on both sides of the back

Natural History:

Leopard frogs are often found in marshy ponds, wetlands, and flooded fields. They can also be found in backyard water features, and sometimes having fallen into in-ground swimming pools. Leopard frogs begin calling around May, and can often be seen (though rarely heard) during the day.

Frog Fact:

Most species of frogs and toads call from the edges of ponds, or sitting on lily pads or other floating vegetation. Therefore their vocal sacs puff out forward from under their chins. Leopard frogs, however, call from the centre of ponds or pools while floating on their bellies, legs splayed out behind them. Because of this, their vocal sacs puff out to either side, rather than straight in front of them.

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Gray Treefrog

sound symbol A musical trill

Identification:

Gray treefrogs can be difficult to identify, because of their camouflage abilities; though often mostly grey in colour, they change their colours to better match their backgrounds. This means they can be very light grey if clinging to the trunk of a birch tree, brownish if on a log, bright green if seated on grasses, or a variant of these colours, to best blend in. Gray treefrogs have large rounded toe discs which act as suction cups, allowing them to climb many objects found in their habitat. Regardless of their camouflage, they have a bright yellow to orange inner thigh, which acts as a warning of potential toxins to predators.
• A camouflage expert: colour can change from grey to green depending on background
• Toes with adhesive discs allows it to climb

Natural History:

Gray treefrogs are the only species in Greater Sudbury that might be found high above the ground. They are exceptional climbers, often curling up in corners of window sills, or even under or behind eavestroughs. When calling, they remain hidden in tall grass or on the trunks of trees surrounding ponds or deep marshy pools. Pairs then journey down to the water to breed. Gray treefrogs show an attraction to willow and dogwood trees.

Frog Fact:

Gray treefrogs use their sticky toe discs to climb just about anything. From clinging to bricks, trees, plants, wood, even windows, to climbing up the legs of unsuspecting observers, their toe discs help make them the geckos of the marshes!

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Spring Peeper

sound symbol "Peep, peep, peep"

Identification:

Spring peepers are the smallest frog found in the Sudbury area, with full-grown adults small enough to sit on a human thumbnail. They are light brown or tan in colour, with an ‘X’ pattern usually distinguishable on their backs. They also have a darker, triangular patch on the top of their heads between their eyes. Like Gray treefrogs, Spring peepers also have toe discs, but they are less obvious than those of the Gray treefrog.
• Has an ‘X’ marking on the back
• Tiny adhesive discs on the end of their toes

Natural History:

Spring peepers are usually found around small, temporary pools in wooded areas, or around the edges of tree-lined ponds or bays. Their toe discs allow them to climb to the tops of tall grasses, but not as high as the Gray treefrog. They are commonly heard calling in the early spring through early summer, and begin to call again on warm nights in the fall.

Frog Fact:

Though Spring peepers are one of the smallest frog species in Ontario, their calls pack the biggest punch! The call of one adult male Peeper can be heard for a 1km radius around him – attracting females from far and wide. A chorus of Peepers is a beautiful sound, but can be deafening to human ears! Listening to Spring peepers calling for only a few minutes can leave one’s ears ringing long after!

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American Toad

sound symbol A long trill

Identification:

The American toad can be distinguished by its dry, warty skin, short hind legs, and squat body. Two large, kidney-shaped lumps on the back of its neck called paratoid glands produce toxins that taste extremely unpleasant to most predators. American toads are usually medium brown in colour, but can vary from dark brown to light brown, to even reddish brown. Toadlets (those which have recently undergone metamorphosis) are often black. The venter (=belly) is creamy-white with black specks.
• Two paratoid glands on back of the neck
• Touching a toad will not give you warts
• Toads hop – frogs leap
• Venter (belly) is creamy-white with black specks
• His loud trill vibrates the water surface

Natural History:

American toads are commonly found in backyard gardens, often hiding in flowerpots or underneath large leaves. Their drier skin allows them to venture further away from water sources than frogs, but they still remain in somewhat moist areas. Toads call in the spring, usually beginning in May. Males call from the grassy edges of ponds, or from almost any bit of water they can find, including roadside ditches and puddles.

Frog Fact:

Whereas the frogs found in Sudbury lay their eggs in clumped masses, toads lay their eggs in strings, attaching them to submerged vegetation or to the substrate of shallow pools. Masses of toad eggs can sometimes look like discarded string or yarn in the water.

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