Frogs by State

Frogs and Toads of Colorado

Frogs and Toads of Colorado

Colorado is blessed to have a great variety of frogs and toads from a few different families.


True Frog Family – Ranidae

Wood Frog (Lithobates sylvaticus)

The Wood Frog is easy to identify because of the dark mask on its face. Its found in the north center part of the state.

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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. It is naturally found in the eastern part of the state but has spread to the western half.

Plains Leopard Frog (Lithobates blairi)

The Plains Leopard Frog is found in the eastern part of the state.

Northern Leopard Frog (Lithobates pipiens)

The Northern 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 Northern Leopard Frog’s ridge runs straight down the side while the Plains Leopard Frog’s ridge indents near the butt.

Tree Frog Family – Hylidae

Canyon Tree Frog (Hyla arenicolor)

The Canyon Tree Frog has no stripe through eye. Skin is rather rough. It has distinct toe-pads used for climbing

Boreal Chorus Frog (Pseudacris maculata)

The Boreal Chorus Frog has three lines down back that makes it identifiable.

Northern Cricket Frog (Acris crepitans)

The Northern Cricket Frog is the only cricket frog in the state. It has no distinct marks.


True Toad  Family – Bufonidae

Great Plains Toad (Anaxyrus cognatus)

The Great Plains Toad has a V shaped cranial crest on their head that make them identifiable.

Woodhouse’s Toad (Anaxyrus woodhousii)

The Woodhouse’s Toad has opposing L shaped cranial crests that can be used to identify them.

Western Toad (Anaxyrus boreas)

The Western Toad has no cranial crest, but has stripe down the middle of back.

Green Toad (Anaxyrus debilis)

The Green Toad has no cranial crest, no stripe down middle of the back, and has elongated parotoid gland. It is found in the southeast corner of the state.

Red Spotted Toad (Anaxyrus punctatus)

No cranial crest. No stripe down middle of the back. Parotoid gland is also rather small.

Spadefoot Toad Family – Scaphiopodidae

Couch’s Spadefoot Toad (Scaphiopus couchii)

The Couch’s Spadefoot Toad has a sickle-shaped spade on its rear foot that no other spadefoot toad in the state has. It is found in the southeastern corner of the state.

Great Basin Spadefoot Toad (Spea intermontana)

The Great Basin Spadefoot Toad has a round-shape spade on its rear legs.  It has a glandular boss / bump between its eyes, making it identifiable. It is found in the northwestern part of the state.

Mexican Spadefoot Toad (Spea multiplicata)

The Mexican Spadefoot Toad has a round-shape spade on its rear legs. It does not have a boss / bump between its eyes. Its found in the southern part of the state.

Plains Spadefoot Toad (Spea bombifrons)

The Plains Spadefoot Toad has a round-shape spade on its rear leg. It has a bony boss / bump between its eyes.

Narrow Mouthed Toad Family – Microhylidae

Great Plains Narrow Mouthed Toad (Gastrophryne olivacea)

The Great Plains Narrowed Mouth Toad is the only narrowed mouth toad in the state. It’s not a true toad because it lacks a parotoid gland behind its eye and doesn’t have a keratonized spade on its rear feet.


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