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.
There are only two true frog species in the state, which makes it easy to identify them.
Common Name: Northern Leopard Frog
Scientific Name: Rana pipiens
The Northern Leopard Frog is a medium to large species of semi aquatic species of frog. They vary in color from dark brown to slim green with fairly large spots all over their body.
Common Name: Wood Frog
Scientific Name: Rana sylvatica
Location: Southeastern corner diagonally up to the northwestern corner
The Wood Frog is a small to medium sized frog. They vary in color from brown, silver, or red and they have dark “raccoon” eyes. When winter comes, the Wood Frog can freeze completely solid and then unthaw in spring. They start to breed once the ice is off the ponds in late March / early April. After breeding season, they are often found in the woods, far away from any water bodies.
Common Name: Cope’s Gray Tree Frog
Scientific Name: Hyla chrysoscelis
Location: Western half of the state
The Cope’s Gray Tree Frog is a medium sized frog that can be found perched in trees or on the side of your house. They are not always gray in color and can be green. They have yellow or orange coloration on their back legs.
Common Name: Boreal Chorus Frog
Scientific Name: Pseudacris maculata
The Boreal Chorus Frog is a small sized Chorus Frog, ranging from brown, red, tan, to olive in color that has three lines that run down their back.
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
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.