Frogs and Toads of West Virginia
West Virginia is home to a variety of different frogs from the tree frog and true frog families.
American Bullfrog (Lithobates catesbeianus)
The Green Frog and American Bullfrog looks the same but the Bullfrog can grow larger and they lack a dorsal ridge down their back.
Northern Leopard Frog
Pickeral Frog (Lithobates palustris) and Northern Leopard Frog (Lithobates pipiens) look very similar to each other because of the spots but the Pickeral frog’s spots are more rectangular than the Northern Leopard Frog.
Wood Frog (Lithobates sylvaticus) is the easiest true frog to identify in West Virginia. They are brown and reddish and they have dark “raccoon” eyes.
Eastern Cricket Frog
Eastern Cricket Frog can be distinguished from the other tree frogs because of its size and lack of markings on its back.
Spring Peeper, Pseudacris crucifer
Mountain Chorus Frog
Spring Peeper, Pseudacris crucifer, and the Mountain Chorus Frog, Pseudacris brachyphona, are similar but the markings on their back can be used to tell them apart. The Spring Peeper has an X on its back while the Mountain Chorus Frog has 2 backwards parenthesizes that look like )(. Sometimes they touch that can kinda look like an x but there’s also a dark triangle between its eyes that the Spring Peeper doesn’t have.
Gray Tree Frog (Hyla veriscolor)
Copes 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.
West Virginia doesn’t have many toads – only three from two different families.
Fowler’s Toad (Anaxyrus fowleri)
The difference between the Fowler’s Toad and American Toad involves the head. In the American Toad, the parotoid gland the the crest behind its eye does not touch while the Fowler’s Toad has them touching.
Spadefoot Toad – Spadefoot Toad Family
Eastern Spadefoot Toad, Scaphiopus holbrookii, is the only spadefoot toad in the United States. Just see if they have a spade on their rear feet.