Frogs by State

Frogs and Toads of Michigan

Frogs and Toads of Michigan


True Frog Family – Ranidae

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The American Bull Frog (Lithobates catesbianus) has no dorsal ridge on the side of their body and is larger at maturity than the Green Frog.

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The Green Tree Frog (Lithobates clamitans) has a dorsal ridge down the side of its body which differs from the American Bullfrog.


Mink Frog (Lithobates septrentionalis) has a marbled look to it compared to the other frogs.

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Northern Leopard Frog (Lithobates pipiens) has regular circles around its body. It also has a complete dorsal ridge.

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Wood Frog (Lithobates sylvaticus is easy to tell apart from the other frogs in the state because of its racooon like mask around its eyes.

Tree Frog Family – Hylidae

Northern Cricket Frog (Acris crepitans)

The Northern Cricket Frog is the only cricket frog in the state. It does not have any distinct markings on its back.

Eastern Gray Tree Frog (Hyla veriscolor) 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. They also have a yellow to orange color on their back legs.

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


Spring Peeper (Pseudacris crucifer) is a tiny frog but incredibly loud frog. It has a noticeable X on its back that makes it easy to identify.


Midland Chorus Frog (Pseudacris triseriata) has 3 lines down its back usually which makes it easier to tell apart compared to the Spring Peeper and Cricket Frog.

Boreal Chorus Frog (Pseudacris maculata)

The Boreal Chorus Frog and the Midland Chorus Frog appear very similar. They both have three lines down its back but the Boreal Chorus Frog has shorter hind legs. Also they are found in different areas of the state, Boreal Chorus Frog is found in the Upper Penninsula while the Midland Chorus Frog is found in mainland Michigan.


True Toad Family – Bufonidae

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American Toad (Anaxyrus americanus)

Fowler’s Toad (Anaxyrus fowleri)

Michigan has two species of true toads – the Fowler’s Toad and the American Toad. They look very much a like but there are some differences in the back of the head.


The American Toad’s parotid gland is separated from the craniel crest while the Fowler’s Toad’s touches.


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