Frogs and Toads of Indiana
Indiana has a great mix of different species of frogs and toads.
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.
The True Frogs are your typical frogs that are generally found along the shores of a lake or pond.
Common Name: Wood Frog
Scientific Name: Rana sylatica
Breeding Season: March / early April
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: American Bullfrog
Scientific Name: Rana catesbeiana
The American Bullfrog is the largest frog in the state. They are found near permanent bodies of water such as large ponds, streams, and lakes. Once the males of the species reach sexual maturity, their throats turn bright yellow. They are very similar to Green Frogs but they don’t have a dorsal ridge down their back. It wraps around their tympanum.
Common Name: Green Frog
Scientific Name: Rana clamitans
The Green Frog is a medium to large sized frog. They can be commonly found near pretty much any water body such as ponds, lakes, or streams. Once the males of the species reach sexual maturity, their throats turn bright yellow. Best way to tell them apart from other true frogs below is the dorsal ridge on its back does not go all the way down its back.
Common Name: Crawfish Frog
Scientific Name: Rana areolatus
Location: Western border of the state
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.
Common Name: Northern Leopard Frog
Scientific Name: Rana pipiens
Location: Eastern half
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: Plains Leopard Frog
Scientific Name: Rana blairi
Location: Eastern border
Common Name: Southern Leopard Frog
Scientific Name: Rana sphenocephalus
Location: Southern half
The Southern Leopard Frog has a white spot on its tympanum which can help differentiate the species from the other two. The Plains Leopard Frog is different from the Southern and Northern Leopard Frog because of its dorsal ridge. The Plains Leopard Frogs has a break and an indent near its butt while the North and South Leopard Frog just has a straight line.
Common Name: Pickeral Frog
Scientific Name: Rana palustris
Location: Eastern side of the state
The Pickerel Frog is a medium to large sized frog. Their dorsal ridge runs down from their eye to their back and inside there is rectangular boxes.
Common Name: Bird-Voiced Tree Frog
Scientific Name: Hyla avivoca
Location: Southern tip
Common Name: Eastern Gray Tree Frog
Scientific Name: Hyla versicolor
Location: Nearly statewide besides the southeastern border
Common Name: Cope’s Gray Tree Frog
Scientific Name: Hyla chrysoscelis
The Gray Tree Frogs are nearly identical besides their calls and chromosome numbers. These medium sized frogs 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.
Here is a video of some male Eastern Gray Tree Frog calling
Common Name: Green Tree Frog
Scientific Name: Hyla cinerea
Location: Southern tip of the state
The Green and Gray Tree Frogs can be confused. The Gray Tree Frogs can also be green in color. Green Tree Frogs have a white line down their mouth.
Common Name: Blanchard’s Cricket Frog
Scientific Name: Acris blanchardi
There is only one cricket frog in Indiana. Cricket Frogs don’t have any distinct markings on their body.
Common Name: Western Chorus Frog
Scientific Name: Pseudacris triseriata
The Western Chorus Frog has three lines that run down their back. They are a tiny species of frog, not even reaching 2 inches long.
Common Name: Spring Peeper
Scientific Name: Pseudacris crucifer
The Spring Peeper is a small chorus frog that can often be found on forest floor or low on trunks of trees. They can be hard to find due to their small size, however, in spring when they come to temporary ponds to breed, they are easier to find. They can be distinguished from Western Chorus Frog due to their x on their back.
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.
Indiana has only two species of true toads – the Fowler’s Toad and the American Toad. They look very much a like but there are some differences in the back of the head.
Common Name: American Toad
Scientific Name: Anaxyrus americanus
Common Name: Fowler’s Toad
Scientific Name: Anaxyrus fowleri
The American Toad’s parotid gland is separated from the craniel crest while the Fowler’s Toad’s touches.
Common Name: Eastern Spadefoot Toad
Scientific Name: Scaphiopus holbrookii
Location: Southern tip of the state
The Eastern Spadefoot toad is the only spadefoot toad in the state. Look for a spade on its rear legs to identify it.