Frogs by State

Frogs and Toads of Arkansas

Frogs and Toads of Arkansas

Frogs

True Frog Family – Ranidae

Crawfish Frog (Lithobates areolatus)

The Crawfish Frog gets its name from living in crawfish holes. Its has skin folds on the side and a small typanum. It also has a pair of vocal sacs for calling.

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American Bullfrog (Lithobates catesbeianus)

The American Bullfrog is the largest native frog in the United States. There is no dorsal ridge that runs down its back on the American Bullfrog. This is the distinguishable characteristics of the frog.

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Green Frog / Bronze (Lithobates clamitans)

The Green Frog looks very much like the American Bullfrog but it’s a tad smaller. It has a dorsal ridge that runs down its back but they are incomplete and do not reach all the way.

Plains Leopard Frog (Lithobates blairi)
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Southern Leopard Frog (Lithobates sphenocephalus) photo by Bob Warrick

The Southern Leopard Frog and Plains Leopard Frog appear identical. They both have large spots all over their body. The difference between the frogs lies in their dorsal ridge. The Southern Leopard Frog’s ridge runs straight down the side while the Plains Leopard Frog’s ridge indents near the butt.

Pickeral Frog (Lithobates palustris)  photo by Brian Gratwicke

Pickeral Frog looks like the leopard frogs but its spots are more rectangular than the leopard frogs.

The Wood Frog (Lithobates sylvaticus) is one of the easiest frogs to identify because of its dark mask around its eyes.

Tree Frog Family – Hylidae

Tree Frogs – Hyla

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Eastern Gray Tree Frog (Hyla veriscolor) and Copes Gray Tree Frog (Hyla chrysoscelis)

These two frogs are identical besides their calls and chromosome numbers. Note that Gray Tree Frogs are not always gray and can be green. They have yellow or orange coloration on their back legs which is nice to identify them.

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Bird-voiced Tree Frog (Hyla avivoca)

The Cope’s Gray Tree Frog, the Eastern Gray Tree Frog and the Bird-Voiced Frog look very much a like. The difference is the coloration on the inner thigh. Cope’s Gray Tree Frog and Gray Tree Frog has brighter orange color on the thigh while the Bird-Voiced Frog is more greenish-yellow.

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Green Tree Frog  (Hyla cinerea)
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Squirrel Tree Frog (Hyla squirella)

The Green and Squirrel Tree Frog are very similar. The Green Tree Frog has a stripe that goes down its side while the Squirrel Tree Frog doesn’t. The Squirrel Tree Frog is rarer than the Green Tree Frog and is only found on the southern border of the state.

Cricket Frogs – Acris

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Northern Cricket Frog (Acris crepitans)

The Northern Cricket Frog is the only frog in the state. Its skin is relatively more rough than the other tree frogs in the state. It also has no distinct markings.

Chorus Frogs – Pseudacris

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Upland Chorus Frog (Pseudacris feriarum)
Cajun Chorus Frog (Pseudacris fouquettei)

The Upland and Cajun Chorus Frogs look very much alike. Best way to tell them apart is through genetic tests, call, or by location. The Upland Chorus Frog appears only in the northeastern corner in the state while the Cajun appears everywhere.

Boreal Chorus Frog (Pseudacris maculata)

The Boreal Chorus Frog is rare and only found along the northern border of the state. It has three lines that run done its back that are rarely broken.

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Illinois Chorus Frog (Pseudacris illinoensis)
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Streckler’s Chorus frog (Pseudacris streckeri)

The Illinois and Streckler’s Chorus Frog are basically identical so best way to tell them apart is where they are found. The Streckler’s Chorus Frog can be found in the western half of the state. The Illinois Chorus Frog can be found in the Northeastern corner of the state. Both frogs differ from the other chorus frogs because they don’t have a white line that extends off the lips.

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Spring Peeper (Pseudacris crucifer)

The Spring Peeper is a notoriously loud frog and one of the first signs of spring. It has a noticeable X marking on its back.

Toads

True Toad Family – Bufonidae

American Toad  (Anaxyrus americanus)

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The American Toad’s cranial crest and the parotoid gland to not touch or they are connected by a spur.

Fowler’s Toad (Anaxyrus fowleri) photo by Jimpaz
Woodhouse’s Toad (Anaxyrus woodhousii)

The Fowler’s and Woodhouse’s Toads both have cranial crests that form opposing L shapes. The Fowler’s Toad has largest, dark spots on its back that have 3 or more warts in them.

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Coastal Plains Toad (Incilius nebulifer)

The Coastal Plains Toad is notable from the other toads in the family because its in a different genus than them, Incilius instead of Anaxyrus. The genus Incilius has a more defined cranial crest than Anaxyrus.

Narrow Mouthed Toad Family – Microhylidae

Great Plains Narrow Mouth Toad

The Western Narrow Mouthed Toad is found on the western edge of the state. It has a light, unmarked belly and has no patterns and a few spots on its back.

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Eastern Narrow Mouthed Toad (Gastrophryne carolinensis) photo by USGS

The Eastern Narrow Mouthed Frog is found throughout the state. It has a dark belly and often has a broad line down its back.

Spadefoot Toad Family – Scaphiopodidae

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Eastern Spadefoot Toad (Scaphiopus holbrookii) photo by Riechvaugen

The Eastern Toad has a sickle shaped spade on its rear feet. It also doesn’t have a boss (bump) between its eyes.

Hurter’s Spadefoot Toad

The Hurter’s Spadefoot Toad has a sickle-shaped spade on its rear feet but also has a boss (bump) between its eyes.

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Plains Spadefoot Toad (Spea bombifrons)

The Plains Spadefoot Toad has a rounded spade compared to the other two spadefoot toads.

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