Frogs and Toads of Wisconsin
There are 11 frog species found in Wisconsin. They are from 2 families, Ranidae – true frogs and Hylidae – tree frogs.
Gray Tree Frog (Hyla veriscolor) and Copes Gray Tree Frog (Hyla chrysoscelis)
These two frogs are identical besides their calls and chromosome numbers. These tree frogs are also larger than the ones below. Also note that Gray Tree Frogs are not always gray and can be green.
Spring Peeper (Pseudacris crucifer) is a frog that most people have heard during the early spring. They can be distinguished from Western Chorus Frog and Cricket Frog with their x on their back.
Boreal Chorus Frog (Pseudacris maculata) is very similar to the Spring Peeper but there is no x on its back but lines.
Northern Cricket Frog (Acris crepitans) is an endangered species in Wisconsin. They have no x or stripes on their back which separates them for the Spring Peeper and Boreal Chorus Frog. They are found in the Southern half of the state.
Green Frog (Lithobates clamitans) is probably the most common frog in Wisconsin. Best way to tell them apart from other true frogs below is the dorsal ridge on its back does not go all the way down its back.
American Bullfrog (Lithobates catesbeianus) is the largest frog in Wisconsin. They are very similar to Green Frogs but they don’t have a dorsal ridge down their back. It wraps around their tympanum.
Wood Frog (Lithobates sylvaticus) is the easiest true frog to identify in Wisconsin. They are brown and reddish and they have dark “raccoon” eyes.
Mink Frog (Lithobates septrentionalis) has a marbled look to it compared to the other frogs. They are listed as a special concern species in Wisconsin. They are also found in Northern Wisconsin.
Pickeral Frog (Lithobates palustris)
Northern Leopard Frog (Lithobates pipiens)
Pickeral Frog (Lithobates palustris) and Northern Leopard Frog (Lithobates pipiens) look very similar to each other because of the spots but the Pickeral frog’s spots are more rectangular than the Northern Leopard Frog.
American Toad (Anaxyrus americanus) is the only toad found in Wisconsin.