Frogs by State

Frogs and Toads of Wisconsin

Frogs and Toads of Wisconsin

    Wisconsin is home to a small variety of frogs and just one toad species. Luckily, most of these frogs and Toads of Wisconsin are easy to find throughout the state.

    If you are looking to identify a specific frogs and toads of Wisconsin and can’t figure it out from the page, you can check my Frog Identification and see how to contact me about helping you out.

    Frogs of Wisconsin

    There are 11 frog species found in Wisconsin. They are from 2 families, Ranidae – true frogs and Hylidae – tree frogs.

    Tree Frog Family – Hylidae

    Not all the members of the tree frog family lives in the trees. You can find many of them on the ground.

    Eastern Gray Tree Frog (Hyla veriscolor) and Copes Gray Tree Frog (Hyla chrysoscelis)

    Common Name: Eastern Gray Tree Frog
    Scientific Name: Hyla veriscolor
    Location: Statewide
    Breeding Season:  End of April to early August

    Common Name: Cope’s Gray Tree Frog
    Scientific Name: Hyla chrysoscelis
    Location: Throughout state
    Breeding Season:  End of April to early August

    The Gray Tree Frogs are nearly identical besides their calls and chromosome numbers. These medium sized frogs can be found perched in trees or on the side of your house. They are not always gray in color and can be green. They have yellow or orange coloration on their back legs.

    Here is my video of some Eastern Gray Tree Frog callin

    Spring Peeper (Pseudacris crucifer)

    Common Name: Spring Peeper
    Scientific Name: Pseudacris crucifer
    Location: Statewide
    Breeding Season: March to early June

    The Spring Peeper is a small chorus frog that can often be found on forest floor or low on trunks of trees. They can be hard to find due to their small size, however, in spring when they come to temporary ponds to breed, they are easier to find. They can be distinguished from Boreal Chorus Frog and Cricket Frog due to their x on their back.

    Boreal Chorus Frog (Pseudacris maculata)

    Common Name: Boreal Chorus Frog
    Scientific Name: Pseudacris maculata
    Location: Throughout state
    Breeding Season: March to August

    The Boreal Chorus Frog is a small sized Chorus Frog, ranging from brown, red, tan, to olive in color. They are very similar to the Spring Peeper but there is no x on its back but three lines that run down its back. It is one of the first frogs to start breeding in the spring, once the ice melts from the ponds, but breeds the longest out of all species.

    Common Name: Blanchard’s Cricket Frog
    Scientific Name: Acris blanchardi
    Location: Southwest corner of the state
    Breeding Season: May to end of July

    The Blanchard’s Cricket Frog is a state endangered species in Wisconsin. They have no x or stripes on their back which separates them for the Spring Peeper and Boreal Chorus Frog.


    True Frog Family – Ranidae

    The True Frogs are your typical frogs that are generally found along the shores of a lake or pond.

    Green Frog (Rana clamitans)

    Common Name: Green Frog
    Scientific Name: Rana clamitans
    Location: Throughout state
    Breeding Season: May to August

    The Green Frog is a medium to large sized frog. They can be commonly found near pretty much any water body such as ponds, lakes, or streams. Once the males of the species reach sexual maturity, their throats turn bright yellow. 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 (Rana catesbeiana)

    Common Name: American Bullfrog
    Scientific Name: Rana catesbeiana
    Location: Statewide
    Breeding Season:  June and July

    The American Bullfrog is the largest frog in the state. They are found near permanent bodies of water such as large ponds, streams, and lakes. Once the males of the species reach sexual maturity, their throats turn bright yellow. 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 (Rana sylvatica)

    Common Name: Wood Frog
    Scientific Name: Rana sylvatica
    Location: Throughout state besides southwest corner
    Breeding Season: March and April

    The Wood Frog is a small to medium sized frog. They vary in color from brown, silver, or red and they have dark “raccoon” eyes. When winter comes, the Wood Frog can freeze completely solid and then unthaw in spring. They start to breed once the ice is off the ponds in late March / early April. After breeding season, they are often found in the woods, far away from any water bodies.

    Mink Frog (Rana septrentionalis)

    Common Name: Mink Frog
    Scientific Name: Rana septrentionalis
    Location: Northern part of the state
    Breeding Season: June to August

    The Mink Frog gets its name after the smell it produces when being handled. They spend most of their time near and in lakes, ponds, and stream. The Mink Frog has a marbled look to it compared to the other frogs. They are listed as a special concern species in Wisconsin.

    Northern Leopard Frog (Rana pipiens)

    Common Name: Northern Leopard Frog
    Scientific Name: Rana pipiens
    Location: Throughout state
    Breeding Season: April to early June

    The Northern Leopard Frog is a medium to large species of semi aquatic species of frog. They vary in color from dark brown to slim green with fairly large spots all over their body. They are still listed as common by the state but have decreased significantly in numbers.

    Common Name: Pickerel Frog
    Scientific Name: Rana palustris
    Location: Throughout state besides the northern border
    Breeding Season: May and June

    The Pickerel Frog is a medium to large sized frog. Their dorsal ridge runs down from their eye to their back and inside there is rectangular boxes. They are listed as a Special Species of Concern by the state of Wisconsin.

    Toads of Wisconsin

    True Toad Family – Bufonidae

    The True Toads are the typical toads that you know. They have warts along their back and parotoid glands behind their eyes. These toads produce toxins so make sure to wash your hands after handling and don’t eat them.

    American Toad (Anaxyrus americanus)

    Common Name: American Toad
    Scientific Name: Anaxyrus americanus
    Location: Statewide
    Breeding Season: May through August

    The American Toad is a medium sized toad with rough warty skin that’s primary brown in color but can have some black, gray, or red coloration. The toads can be found pretty much anywhere including urban areas. They are poisonous but can be held by people without problems. Just wash your hands after. Try not to let your dogs eat them or your dogs could become ill. They are the only toad found in Wisconsin.

    7 thoughts on “Frogs and Toads of Wisconsin”

    1. silver frog with black marks in berlin wi. if the frog had been on an Oakland raiders helmet he would have been invisible, that’s the silver color of this frog. is he a grey tree frog? thank you!

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