Frogs by State

Frogs and Toads of California

Frogs and Toads of California


True Frog Family – Ranidae

Northern Leopard Frog (Lithobates pipiens)

The Northern Leopard Frog has fairly large spots all over their body. The dorsal ridge is nearly complete. The Northern Leopard Frog have an interesting history in the state. The frog is native to the state but most of the native populations have become extinct while non native populations of the frog have become established.

Lowland Leopard Frog (Lithobates yavapaiensis)

The Lowland Leopard Frog is stockier and paler than the Northern Leopard Frog. It wasfound in the southern part of the state, near the border with Arizona but the frog has probably been extirpated from the state.

Sierra Nevada Yellow-legged Frog (Rana sierrae)


Oregon Spotted Frog
Southern Yellow Legged Frog
Columbia Spotted Frog

Spots that are lighter in the middle

California Red-legged Frog
Cascade’s Frog
Foothill Yellow-legged Frog
Northern Red-legged Frog

Tree Frog Family – Hylidae

California Tree Frog (Pseudacris cadaverina) photo by Will Flaxington

The California Tree Frog is found in the southwestern part of the state. Noticeable difference between it and other tree frogs in the state is that it doesn’t have a stripe through its eyes.

Northern Pacific Tree Frog / Baja California Tree Frog / Sierra Tree Frog

The Pacific Tree Frog was split into three species but not all researchers agree with it. There’s no distinct differences between the calls or physical appears between the species, making them hard to tell apart. The species do live in different areas of the state. The Baja California Tree Frog is found in the southern part of the state, the Sierra Tree Frog is found in the middle part of the state, while the Northern Pacific Tree Frog is found in the northwestern corner of the state.

Tailed Frog Family – Ascaphidae

Coastal Tailed Frog (Ascaphus truei)

The Coastal Tailed Frog is the only tailed frog in California. The males retain a tail that they use for reproduction.


True Toad Family – Bufonidae

The True Toads are your typical toad. They usually have a parotid gland behind their eyes that contain a poison called  It is not advised to let your dog eat these guys.

Western Toad
Great Plains Toad
Yosemite Toad
Arroya Toad
Black Toad
Colorado River Toad
Woodhouse’s Toad (Anaxyrus woodhousii)
Red Spotted Toad
Arizona Toad

Spadefoot Toad Family – Scaphiopodidae

Great Basin Spadefoot Toad (Spea intermontana)

The Great Basin Spadefoot Toad has a glandular bump between its eyes. It is found along the northeastern border of the state.

Couch’s Spadefoot Toad (Scaphiopus couchii)

The Couch’s Spadefoot Toad has a more sickle shaped spade compared to other spadefoot toads. It also does not have a bump between its eyes. The Couch’s Spadefoot Toad is found along the southeastern edge of the state.

Western Spadefoot Toad (Spea hammondii)

The Western Spadefoot Toad does not have a bump between its eyes and it does not have a sickle shaped spade. It is found in the more western part of the state.


Rio Grande Leopard Frog
American Bullfrog (Lithobates catesbeianus)
African Clawed Frog
Southern Leopard Frog
Common Coqui

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