Frogs and Toads of Kentucky
Kentucky is home to a variety of different frogs and toad species.
The American Bullfrog is the largest frog in the state. It lacks a dorsal ridge down its back.
The Green Frog looks identical to the American Bullfrog but it has an incomplete dorsal ridge.
Wood Frog is a very easy to identify because of their mask around their face.
The Crawfish Frog gets its name from living in crawfish holes. Its has skin fold on the side and a small typanum.
The Northern and Southern Leopard Frog look very much alike with their uninterupted dorsal ridges and spots but there are some differences. Southern Leopard Frog has a white spot on the tympanum and has a more pointed snout.
The Plains Leopard Frog looks like the Northern and Southern Leopard Frog but the dorsal ridge is not complete like theirs. It shifts inward near the groin and can be broken.
The Pickerel Frog looks like the Leopard Frogs but the spots on its skin are more rectangular than the Leopard Frog’s.
The Northern Cricket Frog is the only Cricket Frog found in the state. They lack any distinct marks on its back.
The Barking Tree Frog has much rougher skin than the Green Tree Frog. Both species have lines down the sides.
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. These frogs also have orange or yellow markings on their back legs.
Bird-Voiced Tree Frog looks similar to the Gray Tree Frogs but their legs have a more yellow / green color on them while the Gray’s are more orange.
Upland and Midland Chorus Frog both have three stripes down their back. Midland has broader stripes and the stripes also aren’t broken.
The Spring Peeper is a small frog with a distinct X on its back. They are one of the first frogs to start singing in the spring.
The Mountain Chorus Frog has a distinct mark on its back that looks like this )(.
The American Toad and Fowler’s Toad look very much a like. The distinguishing features are found in the head. Below is a good diagram to help.
There is only one Spadefoot Toad in the state.
The Eastern Spadefoot Toad is easy to identify because of the spade on their back legs that are used for digging.
The Eastern Narrow Mouthed Toad is the only narrow mouthed toad in the state. Its head is extremely narrow compared to the other toads.