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.

Frogs

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.

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

The 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.

Here is my video of some Eastern Gray Tree Frog callin

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

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

Spring Peeper is a frog that most people have heard during the early spring. They can be distinguished from Boreal Chorus Frog and Cricket Frog due to their x on their back.

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

Boreal Chorus Frog is 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 Northern Cricket Frog 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.

True Frog Family – Ranidae

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Green Frog (Rana clamitans)

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

The Green Frog 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. Males of the species have a bright yellow throat while female’s throats are boring white.

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American Bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana)

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

American Bullfrog 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. The males of the species have bright yellow colored throats while the females just have white throats. 

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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 the easiest true frog to identify in Wisconsin. They vary in color from brown, silver, or red and they have dark “raccoon” eyes. They start to breed once the ice is off the ponds in late March / early April.

mink_frog
Mink Frog (Rana septrentionalis)

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

Mink Frog has a marbled look to it compared to the other frogs. They are listed as a special concern species in Wisconsin.

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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 varies in color from dark brown to slim green. They are still listed as common by the state but have decreased significantly in numbers.

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

The Pickeral Frog and Northern Leopard Frog look very similar to each other because of the spots but the Pickeral frog’s spots are more rectangular than the Northern Leopard Frog. They are listed as a Special Species of Concern by the state of Wisconsin.

True Toad Family – Bufonidae

American Toad (Anaxyrus americanus)

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

The American Toad is the only toad found in Wisconsin. 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.

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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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