Frogs by State

Frogs and Toads of Kentucky

Frogs and Toads of Kentucky

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.

Kentucky is home to a variety of different frogs and toad species.

Frogs

True Frog Family – Ranidae

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American Bullfrog (Rana catesbiana)

Common Name: American Bullfrog
Scientific Name:
Rana catesbiana
Location:
Breeding Season:

The American Bullfrog is the largest frog in the state. It lacks a dorsal ridge down its back.

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Green Frog (Rana clamitans)

Common Name: Green Frog
Scientific Name:
Rana clamitans
Location:
Breeding Season:

The Green Frog looks identical to the American Bullfrog but it has an incomplete dorsal ridge.

Wood Frog (Rana sylvatica)

Common Name: Wood Frog
Scientific Name:
Rana sylvatica
Location:
Breeding Season:

Wood Frog is a very easy to identify because of their mask around their face.

Common Name: Crawfish Frog
Scientific Name:
Rana areolatus
Location:
Breeding Season:

The Crawfish Frog gets its name from living in crawfish holes. Its has skin fold on the side and a small typanum.

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Northern Leopard Frog (Rana pipiens)

Common Name: Northern Leopard Frog
Scientific Name:
Rana pipiens
Location:
Breeding Season:

Common Name: Southern Leopard Frog
Scientific Name:
Rana sphenocephalus
Location:
Breeding Season:

The Northern and Southern Leopard Frog look very much alike with their uninterrupted dorsal ridges and spots but there are some differences. Southern Leopard Frog has a white spot on the tympanum and has a more pointed snout.

Common Name: Plains Leopard Frog
Scientific Name:
Rana blairi
Location:
Breeding Season:

The Plains Leopard Frog looks like the Northern and Southern Leopard Frog but the dorsal ridge is not complete like theirs. It shifts inward near the groin and can be broken.

Common Name: Pickeral Frog
Scientific Name:
Rana palustris
Location:
Breeding Season:

The Pickerel Frog looks like the Leopard Frogs but the spots on its skin are more rectangular than the Leopard Frog’s.

Tree Frog Family – Hylidae

Common Name: Blanchard’s Cricket Frog
Scientific Name:
Acris blanchardi
Location:
Breeding Season:

They lack any distinct marks on its back.

Common Name: Northern Cricket Frog
Scientific Name:
Acris crepitans
Location:
Breeding Season:

Green Tree Frog (Hyla cinerea)

Common Name: Green Tree Frog
Scientific Name:
Hyla cinerea
Location:
Breeding Season:

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Barking Tree Frog (Hyla gratiosas)

Common Name: Barking Tree Frog
Scientific Name:
Hyla gratiosas
Location:
Breeding Season:

The Barking Tree Frog has much rougher skin than the Green Tree Frog. Both species have lines down the sides.

Common Name: Eastern Gray Tree Frog
Scientific Name:
Hyla versicolor
Location:
Breeding Season:

These two frogs are identical besides their calls and chromosome numbers. These tree frogs are also larger than the ones below. Also note that Gray Tree Frogs are not always gray and can be green. These frogs also have orange or yellow markings on their back legs.

Here is a video of some Eastern Gray Tree Frog males calling that I took

Common Name: Cope’s Gray Tree Frog
Scientific Name:
Hyla chrysoscelis
Location:
Breeding Season:

Common Name: Bird-voiced Tree Frog
Scientific Name:
Hyla avivoca
Location:
Breeding Season:

Bird-Voiced Tree Frog looks similar to the Gray Tree Frogs but their legs have a more yellow / green color on them while the Gray’s are more orange.

Common Name: Upland Chorus Frog
Scientific Name:
Pseudacris feriarum
Location:
Breeding Season:

Common Name: Western Chorus Frog
Scientific Name:
Pseudacris triseriata
Location:
Breeding Season:

Upland and Midland Chorus Frog both have three stripes down their back. Midland has broader stripes and the stripes also aren’t broken.

Common Name: Spring Peeper
Scientific Name:
Pseudacris crucifer
Location:
Breeding Season:

The Spring Peeper is a small frog with a distinct X on its back. They are one of the first frogs to start singing in the spring.

Common Name: Mountain Chorus Frog
Scientific Name:
Pseudacris brachyphona
Location:
Breeding Season:

The Mountain Chorus Frog has a distinct mark on its back that looks like a reverse parenthesis on their back.

Toads

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.

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American Toad (Anaxyrus americanus)

Common Name: American Toad
Scientific Name:
Anaxyrus americanus
Location:
Breeding Season:

Common Name: Fowler’s Toad
Scientific Name:
Anaxyrus fowleri
Location:
Breeding Season:

The American Toad has a speckled belly while the Fowler’s Toad has a clear, white belly.

American Spadefoot Toad Family – Scaphiopodidae

Common Name: Eastern Spadefoot Toad
Scientific Name:
Scaphiopus holbrookii
Location:
Breeding Season:

The Eastern Spadefoot Toad is easy to identify because of the spade on their back legs that are used for digging.

Narrow Mouthed Toad Family – Microhylidae

Common Name: Eastern Narrow Mouthed Toad
Scientific Name:
Gastrophryne carolinensis
Location:
Breeding Season:

The Eastern Narrow Mouthed Toad is the only narrow mouthed toad in the state. Its head is extremely narrow compared to the other toads.

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