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.
True Frog Family – Ranidae
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
The Wood Frog is very distinct frog. It has a dark “racoon” like mask around its eyes and its brownish color. They start to breed once the ice is off the ponds in late March / early April. They are often found in the woods, far away from any water bodies.
American Bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana)
Common Name: American Bullfrog
Scientific Name: Rana catesbeiana
American Bullfrog is the largest frog in the state. They are found near permanent bodies of water. The males of the species have bright yellow colored throats while the females just have white throats. 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 and American Bullfrog looks the same but the Bullfrog can grow larger and they lack a dorsal ridge down their 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.
Northern Leopard Frog (Rana pipiens)
Common Name: Northern Leopard Frog
Scientific Name: Rana pipiens
Location: Eastern half
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
Pickeral Frog looks like the leopard frogs but its spots are more rectangular than the leopard frogs.
Tree Frog Family – Hylidae
Common Name: Bird-Voiced Tree Frog
Scientific Name: Hyla avivoca
Location: Southern tip
Cope’s Gray Tree Frog (Hyla chrysoscelis) and Eastern Gray Tree Frog (Hyla versicolor)
Common Name: Eastern Gray Tree Frog
Scientific Name: Hyla versicolor
Location: Nearly statewide besides the southeastern border
Cope’s Gray Tree Frog and the Eastern Gray Tree Frog are identical besides their calls.
Here is a video of some male Eastern Gray Tree Frog calling
Common Name: Cope’s Gray Tree Frog
Scientific Name: Hyla chrysoscelis
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.
Spring Peeper (Pseudacris crucifer)
Common Name: Spring Peeper
Scientific Name: Pseudacris crucifer
The Spring Peeper is another small species of frog and looks similar to the Western Chorus Frog but it has a X shaped mark on its back.
True Toad Family – Bufonidae
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.
American Toad (Anaxyrus americanus)
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.
Spadefoot Toad Family – Scaphiopodidae
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.