Frogs and Toads of Minnesota
If you are looking to identify a specific frog and can’t figure it out from the page, you can check my Frog Identification and see how to contact me about helping you out.
Minnesota is home to a variety of different frogs from the tree frog family and the tree frog family.
Common Name: Wood Frog
Scientific Name: Rana sylvatica
Location: Northern half of state
Breeding Season: early spring when the ice is melting
The Wood Frog is easy to identify because of their raccoon mask around their eyes.
Common Name: Northern Leopard Frog
Scientific Name: Rana pipiens
The Northern Leopard Frog has large black dots down its back. It also has a dorsal ridge down its side.
Common Name: Green Frog
Scientific Name: Rana clamitans
Location: Eastern half of the state
The Green Frog is probably the most common frog in the Eastern United States. Best way to tell them apart from other true frogs below is the dorsal ridge on its back does not go all the way down its back.
Common Name: American Bullfrog
Scientific Name: Rana catesbeiana
Location: Southern part of the state
American Bullfrog is the largest frog in Minnesota. They are very similar to Green Frogs but they don’t have a dorsal ridge down their back. It wraps around their tympanum.
The Mink Frog has a black marbled body.
Common Name: Mink Frog
Scientific Name: Rana septrentionalis
Location: Northern part of the state
Hylidae contains three different genera of frogs, the Tree frogs (Hyla), the Cricket frogs (Acris), and the Chorus frogs (Pseudacris).
Common Name: Spring Peeper
Scientific Name: Pseudacris crucifer
Location: Eastern half
The Spring Peeper has a noticable X on its back that no other frog in Minnesota has. It is incredibly small but loud. Its call is one of the first signs of spring.
Common Name: Boreal Chorus Frog
Scientific Name: Pseudacris maculata
Boreal Chorus Frog is similar to the Spring Peeper in appearance and size but it has lines running down its back instead of an X like the Spring Peeper.
Common Name: Eastern Gray Tree Frog
Scientific Name: Hyla versicolor
Location: Everywhere besides the far western edge of the state
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
Common Name: Cope’s Gray Tree Frog
Scientific Name: Hyla chrysoscelis
Location: Northwestern corner diagonnaly down to the southeastern corner
Common Name: Blanchard’s Cricket Frog
Scientific Name: Acris blanchardi
Location: Southern edge of the state
Blanchard’s Cricket Frog is a similar size of the Chorus frogs but lacks any real pattern on its back.
Minnesota has a few toads but from only the true toad family.
Common Name: Canadian Toad
Scientific Name: Anaxyrus hemiophrys
Location: Western part of the state
The cranial crest of the Canadian Toad is fused and it touches the parotid gland.
Common Name: Great Plains Toad
Scientific Name: Anaxyrus cognatus
Location: Western border
The Great Plains Toad looks a lot like the American Toad and the Canadian Toad but it has a V shaped bump between its eyes. It is only found in the far west side of the state so if you are close to Wisconsin and see a toad, its probably not a Great Plains Toad.
Common Name: American Toad
Scientific Name: Anaxyrus americanus
The American Toad differs from the other toads because its parotid gland and cranial crest don’t touch.