Frogs and Toads of Georgia
Georgia is home to a wide variety of frogs from a few different families.
The American Bullfrog is the largest frog in the North America. It looks very similar to the Bronze Frog, but the dorsal ridge wraps around the tympanum while the Bronze Frog’s dorsal ridge is incomplete and does not extend all the way to its rear. The American Bullfrog is also very similar to the Pig Frog, but the Pig Frog has bolder spots / stripes on the back of its thighs while the Bullfrog has light spots.
River Frog does not have a dorsal ridge which is a key identification characteristic. Its skin is also a lot more rough and wrinkly than another true frogs. It is found in the southern part of the state.
The Pickeral Frog has rectangular markings on its back that differ it from the Southern Leopard Frog. It is found only in the northern part of the state.
The Southern Leopard Frog has large spots on its body. The skin is smooth. It is found throughout the state.
Wood Frog (Lithobates sylvaticus) is a very easy to identify because of their mask around their face. Its range barely reaches the northern part of the state.
Carpenter Frog is identifiable because of their brown color and two yellow lines that run down their back. It is found along the eastern coast of the state.
Carolina Gopher Frog is a subspecies of the Gopher frog. The dorsal ridge of the frog is nearly complete. It is found in the southeastern part of the state.
There are three main group of tree frogs in Georgia: Cricket Frogs (Acris), Chorus Frogs (Pseudacris), and Tree Frogs (Hyla).
Cricket Frogs (Acris)
The Cricket Frogs look really similar but there’s a few ways to tell them apart. The Southern Cricket Frog has a more pointed snout while the Northern Cricket Frog has a more blunt snout. The Southern Cricket Frog doesn’t have as much webbing on the back legs as the Northern Cricket Frog. The Northern Cricket Frog is only found in the northern half of the state and the Southern Cricket Frog is found in the southern half.
Tree Frogs (Hyla)
Cope’s Gray Tree Frog (Hyla chrysoscelis) and Gray Tree Frog (Hyla versicolor) are identical besides their calls.
The Gray Tree Frogs, Pinewoods Frog, and the Bird-Voiced Frog look very much a like. The difference is the coloration on the inner thigh. Cope’s Gray Tree Frog has brighter orange color on the thigh while the Bird-Voiced Frog is more greenish-yellow. The Pinewoods Frog has dots / spots on the inner thigh.
The Green Tree Frog, Squirrel Tree Frog, and Barking Tree Frog are all very similar. The Barking Tree Frog has much rougher skin than the others. The Green Tree Frog has a white line down its side.
Pine Barrons Tree Frog is identifiable because of its purple stripe from its eye down its side.
Cricket Frog (Pseudacris)
Spring Peeper and the Mountain Chorus Frog are similar but the markings on their back can be used to tell them apart. The Spring Peeper has an X on its back while the Mountain Chorus Frog has 2 backwards parenthesizes that look like )(. Sometimes they touch that can kinda look like an x but there’s also a dark triangle between its eyes that the Spring Peeper doesn’t have.
The Upland Chorus Frog and the Southern Chorus Frog look extremely alike. The main differences is in their calls and where they are found. The Upland Chorus Frog is found in the Piedmont and Mountain areas while the Southern Chorus Frog is found in the Coastal Plains.
The Ornate Chorus Frog and the Little Grass Frog can appear similar in pictures but the Little Grass Frog is really tiny. Its usually about a half an inch big. Also the dark band that runs down the side of the Little Grass Frog is uninterrupted while the Ornate Chorus Frog has breaks.
Brimley’s Chorus Frog has a black line thru its eye and down its side.
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.
The Oak Toad is found in the southern part of the state. It is the most easily identifiable toad out of the group of four. It is the smallest of the group and has a light line down its back. The Oak Toad also has orange on the bottom of its feet.
The American Toad is found the northern half of the state.
The Fowler’s Toad is found through the state besides the far southern part.
The Southern Toad is found in the southern part of the state (shocking).
To identify the differences, you have to look at the top of the head. The Southern Toad has knobs on the back of its head. The Fowler’s Toad’s parotid gland touches its postorbital ridge around its eye while the American Toads’s, parotid gland does not touch or connected to it by a spur. Here’s an easy figure I found to help.
The Eastern Spadefoot Toad is the only spadefoot toad in the state. They have a spade on their foot that they use for digging which is the identifiable characteristic. It is found throughout the state.
The Eastern Narrow Mouth Toad is the only narrowed mouth toad in the state. The narrow head is the key characteristic to identify them. They spend most of their time underground in burrows so they are hardly seen. It is found throughout the state.
The Green House Frog was accidentally introduced by shipments of plants, hence the name Green House Frog. They can eat native animal species. It has been found along the southeastern coast of the state.