Frogs by State

Frogs and Toads of Kansas

Frogs and Toads of Kansas

Frogs

True Frogs – Ranidae

Crawfish Frog (Lithobates areolatus)

The Crawfish Frog gets its name from living in crawfish holes. Its has skin folds on the side and a small typanum. It also has a pair of vocal sacs for calling.

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American Bullfrog (Lithobates catesbeianus)

The American Bullfrog is the largest native frog in the United States. There is no dorsal ridge that runs down its back on the American Bullfrog. This is the distinguishable characteristics of the frog.

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Green Frog / Bronze Frog (Lithobates clamitans)

The Green Frog / Bronze Frog looks very much like the American Bullfrog but it’s a tad smaller. It has a dorsal ridge that runs down its back but they are incomplete and do not reach all the way.

Plains Leopard Frog (Lithobates blairi)
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Southern Leopard Frog (Lithobates sphenocephalus) photo by Bob Warrick

The Southern Leopard Frog and Plains Leopard Frog appear identical. They both have large spots all over their body. The difference between the frogs lies in their dorsal ridge. The Southern Leopard Frog’s ridge runs straight down the side while the Plains Leopard Frog’s ridge indents near the butt.

Tree Frogs – Hylidae

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Northern Cricket Frog (Acris crepitans)

The Northern Cricket Frog is the only cricket frog in the state. Its skin is relatively more rough than the other tree frogs in the state. It also has no distinct markings.

Eastern Gray Tree Frog (Hyla versicolor) and Cope’s 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.

Here is a video of some Eastern Gray Tree Frog males calling that I took

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Spring Peeper (Pseudacris crucifer)

The Spring Peeper is a notoriously loud frog and one of the first signs of spring. It has a noticeable X marking on its back.

Boreal Chorus Frog (Pseudacris maculata)

The Boreal Chorus Frog has three lines that run down its back and are rarely broken up but if they are, its usually only the middle stripe.

Strecker’s Chorus Frog (Pseudacris strecker)

The Strecker’s Chorus Frog lacks doesn’t have any pattern of stripes or dots on its back. It has a line that runs through its eye and down its side though.

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Spotted Chorus Frog (Pseudacris clarkii)

The Spotted Chorus Frog obviously has spots that are green and are bordered by black.

Toads

True Toads – Bufonidae

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American Toad (Anaxyrus americanus)

The American Toad’s cranial crest and the parotoid gland to not touch or they are connected by a spur.

Great Plains Toad (Anaxyrus cognatus)

The Great Plains Toad has a V shaped cranial crest between their eyes.

Woodhouse’s Toad (Anaxyrus woodhousii)
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Fowler’s Toad (Anaxyrus fowleri)

The Fowler’s and Woodhouse’s Toads both have cranial crests that form opposing L shapes. The Fowler’s Toad has largest, dark spots on its back that have 3 or more warts in them.

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Red-Spotted Toad (Anaxyrus punctatus)

The Red-Spotted Toad is found in the western half of the state. Cranial crest are not present or small. Parotoid gland is also rather small.

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Green Toad (Anaxyrus debilis)

The Green Toad is found along the southwestern part of the state. It doesn’t have a prominent cranial crest but has an elongated parotoid gland.

Narrow Mouthed Toad – Microhylidae

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Eastern Narrow Mouthed Toad (Gastrophryne carolinensis) photo by USGS

The Eastern Narrow Mouthed Frog’s range barely reaches the southeastern corner of the stateIt has a dark belly and often has a broad line down its back.

Western Narrow Mouthed Toad / Great Plains Narrow Mouthed Toad (Gastrophryne olivacea)

The Western Narrow Mouthed Toad is found in the middle of the state. It has a light, unmarked belly and has no patterns and a few spots on its back.

Spadefoot Toad – Scaphiopodidae

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Plains Spadefoot Toad (Spea bombifrons)

The Plains Spadefoot Toad is the only spadefoot toad in the state. It has keratonized “spades” on its rear legs that help with digging.

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