Frogs and Toads of Minnesota
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.
The Northern Leopard Frog has large black dots down its back. It also has a dorsal ridge down its side.
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.
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.
Mink Frog (Rana septrentionalis) has a black marbled body. It is found in the 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).
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.
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. It is found throughout 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
Blanchard’s Cricket Frog (Acris blanchardi) 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.
The Canadian Toad (Anaxyrus hemiophrys) is found in the western part of the state. The cranial crest of the Canadian Toad is fused and it touches the parotid gland.
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.
The American Toad is found throughout the state. It differs from the other toads because its parotid gland and cranial crest don’t touch.