Frogs and Toads of California
California is home to a many different frogs and toads, with some being only found in the state. Learn more about the different species and how to tell them apart below.
Are you looking to identify a specific frog? Check out my page on Frog Identification.
The True Frogs are your typical frogs that you find along the shores of a lake or pond.
The Northern Leopard Frog has fairly large spots all over their body. The dorsal ridge is nearly complete. The Northern Leopard Frog have an interesting history in the state. The frog is native to the state but most of the native populations have become extinct while non native populations of the frog have become established.
The Lowland Leopard Frog is stockier and paler than the Northern Leopard Frog. It was found in the southern part of the state, near the border with Arizona but the frog has probably been extirpated from the state.
The Southern Mountain Yellow-legged Frog and the Sierra Nevada Yellow-legged Frog look very much alike. So much that they were thought to be the same species. Best way to tell them apart is by where they are at. The Southern Mountain Yellow-legged Frog is found in the southern part of the Sierra Nevada Mountain range in California while the Sierra Nevada Yellow-legged Frog is found in the middle and northern parts.
The Columbia Spotted Frog is found in the northeastern border of the state. It has spots that are lighter in the middle.
The Cascade’s Frog is found in the northern part of the state in the Cascade Mountains. They have a yellow color on their underside.
The Foothill Yellow-legged Frog has yellow on their underside of their legs.
The Northern Red-legged Frog has a red on the backside of their legs. It is found along the northwestern coast.
The California Red-legged Frog has red underside. It is found along the coast.
The Oregon Spotted Frog might not even in the state anymore. They would be found in the way northern part of California in the Warner Mountains. They have red on their underside.
The California Tree Frog is found in the southwestern part of the state. Noticeable difference between it and Pacific Tree Frog is that it doesn’t have a stripe through its eyes.
The Pacific Tree Frog is all around the state. It has a dark stripe from its nose, down the side, to the butt.
The Coastal Tailed Frog is the only tailed frog in California. The males retain a tail that they use for reproduction. They are found in the northern edge of the state.
The True Toads are your typical toad. They usually have a parotid gland behind their eyes that contain a poison called It is not advised to let your dog eat these guys.
The Western Toad is found throughout California besides the southeastern edge of the state.
The Great Plains Toad is found in the southeastern part of California.
The Yosemite Toad (Anaxyrus canorus) is only found in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.in California. It has a light stripe down its back. It is a federally threatened species.
The Arroya Toad is found along the southwestern part of the state.
The Black Toad is found only in the Deep Springs Valley of Inyo County. It has a distinct dark color with a white stripe down its back.
The Woodhouse’s Toad is found in the southeastern part of the state. It has a white stripe down its back.
The Red Spotted Toad is found in the southeastern part of California. It has no stripe down its back.
The Arizona Toad might not even be found in California anymore. They were found in the southeast edge of the state but records of observations are few and old. They have no stripe down its back.
The Colorado River Toad was found along the southeast border with Arizona but there hasn’t been any observations lately. They have enlarged parotoid compared to the other toads in the state.
The Great Basin Spadefoot Toad has a glandular bump between its eyes. It is found along the northeastern border of the state.
The Couch’s Spadefoot Toad has a more sickle shaped spade compared to other spadefoot toads. It also does not have a bump between its eyes. The Couch’s Spadefoot Toad is found along the southeastern edge of the state.
The Western Spadefoot Toad does not have a bump between its eyes and it does not have a sickle shaped spade. It is found in the more western part of the state.
The American Bullfrog is the largest frog naturally found in the United States and comes with a big appetite. It will eat any animal that it can fit in its mouth making it a dangerous predator to native species.