Frogs by State

Frogs and Toads of Kentucky

Frogs and Toads of Kentucky

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


True Frog Family – Ranidae

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American Bullfrog (Rana catesbiana)

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)

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

Wood Frog (Rana sylvatica)

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

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)

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.

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.

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

They lack any distinct marks on its back.

Green Tree Frog (Hyla cinerea)
Barking Tree Frog (Hyla gratiosas) 

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

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

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.

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

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.

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


True Toad Family – Bufonidae

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American Toad (Anaxyrus americanus)

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

American Spadefoot Toad Family – Scaphiopodidae

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

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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