Frog of the Week

Wood Frog (Rana sylvatica)


Common Name: Wood Frog
Scientific Name: Rana sylvatica
Family: Ranidae – True Frog family
Location: United States and Canada
US Locations: Alaska, Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, Vermont, Wisconsin, West Virginia, and Wyoming
Size: 3.2 inches (83 mm)

Wood Frogs are distinguishable by the raccoon-like mask on their face. They vary in color from brown, brownish red, and silver. Females are typically larger than the males. They are the most wide-spread North American amphibian species. They are even found in the Arctic circle. Wood Frog adults are more terrestrial than other members of the true frog family, Ranidae. They are often found chilling in the leaf litter or under logs in the woods, not next to lakes or ponds.

These frogs are amazing at surviving the coldness of winter. They are able to freeze and thaw out with their surroundings with little damage to their body. Researchers are studying how they can use this technique for organ transplants to preserve human organs for longer time without damage.

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List classifies the Wood Frog as Least Concern for Extinction. The frog has a wide range and is thought to be abundant throughout it.

Wood Frog Mating

Wood Frogs are one of the first frogs to start reproducing after the snow melts and warm rains come. Due to their large range, the breeding season varies depending on where they are. Breeding in Alabama can take place between January to February while breeding in Wisconsin takes place in April and early May. Breeding for the Wood Frog is pretty average. They typically breed in fish free, ephemeral ponds. Males call out to attract females. Their call kinda sounds like quacking or rocks bumping into each other. Then, the females select a mate and then they do the dirty. Next, the male grasps the female around the waist from behind in the amplexus position. Then, the female lays her eggs and the male fertilizes them. The female lays around a thousand eggs in a clutch. No parent provides anymore care for the offspring.

Wood Frog

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