Frogs and Toads of North Dakota
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.
North Dakota doesn’t have a great variety of frogs and toads but they are some great species.
True Frog Family – Ranidae
There are only two true frog species in the state, which makes it easy to identify them.
Northern Leopard Frog (Rana pipiens)
Common Name: Northern Leopard Frog
Scientific Name: Rana pipiens
The Northern Leopard Frog has spots all over it’s body which is how it gets it’s name. They are often found in or on the shore of bodies of water.
Common Name: Wood Frog
Scientific Name: Rana sylvatica
Location: Southeastern corner diagonally up to the northwestern corner
The Wood Frog is more of a land frog than the Northern Leopard Frog. It has a distinct mask around it’s eyes. They are a variety of different colors, from red, brown, and bronze.
Tree Frog Family – Hylidae
Cope’s Gray Tree Frog (Hyla chrysoscelis)
Common Name: Cope’s Gray Tree Frog
Scientific Name: Hyla chrysoscelis
Location: Western half of the state
Boreal Chorus Frog (Pseudacris maculata)
Common Name: Boreal Chorus Frog
Scientific Name: Pseudacris maculata
The Boreal Chorus frog have three lines that run down their back.
True Toad Family – Bufonidae
American Toad (Anaxyrus americanus)
Common Name: American Toad
Scientific Name: Anaxyrus americanus
Location: Eastern edge
The American Toad’s cranial crest and the parotoid gland of the toad do not touch or they connect with a spur.
Common Name: Canadian Toad
Scientific Name: Anaxyrus hemiophrys
Location: Eastern half
The Canadian Toad’s cranial crest form a boss (bump) in between its eyes.
Common Name: Woodhouse’s Toad
Scientific Name: Anaxyrus woodhousii
The Woodhouse’s Toad cranial crest forms opposing L shapes.
Common Name: Great Plains Toad
Scientific Name: Anaxyrus cognatus
Location: Throughout the state
Great Plains Toad’s cranial crest forms a V shape.
Video of a male Great Plains Toad calling by Annika Enloe
Spadefoot Toad Family – Scaphiopodidae
Common Name: Plains Spadefoot Toad
Scientific Name: Spea bombifrons
Location: Western half
The Plains Spadefoot toad is the only spadefoot toad in the state. Look at the rear foot of the toad and you will find a keratinized spade on it which no other toad or frog in the state has.