Frogs by State

Frogs and Toads of Massachusetts

Frogs and Toads of Massachusetts

Massachusetts is not blessed with a variety of frogs but its quality over quantity right?


True Frog Family – Ranidae

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The American Bull Frog (Rana catesbiana) has no dorsal ridge on the side of their body and is larger at maturity than the Green Frog.

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Green Tree Frog (Rana clamitans) has a dorsal ridge down the side of its body which differs from the American Bullfrog.

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Northern Leopard Frog (Rana pipiens)

Pickeral Frog (Rana palustris)

Northern Leopard Frog and Pickeral Frog look similar to each other but the Northern Leopard Frog has round spots while the Pickeral Frog have more square shaped spots.

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Wood Frog (Rana sylvatica)  is easy to tell apart from the other frogs in the state because of its racooon like mask around its eyes.

Tree Frog Family – Hylidae


Eastern Gray Tree Frog (Hyla versicolor) is the largest tree frog in the state. The coloration of the frog can be gray or green. A yellow or orange color can be found on the back legs to help identify it.

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


Spring Peeper (Pseudacris crucifer) is the smallest frog in the state. It has a noticeable X on its back which is a key identifying characteristic.


True Toad Family – Bufonidae

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American Toad (Anaxyrus americanus)

Fowler’s Toad (Anaxyrus fowleri)

Massachusetts has 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.


The American Toad’s parotid gland is separated from the craniel crest while the Fowler’s Toad’s touches.

Spadefoot Toad Family – Scaphiopodidae


Eastern Spadefoot (Scaphiopus holbrookii) is the only spadefoot toad in the state. They burrow into the ground with a spade on its back legs which gives it the name Spadefoot. It is also a way to identify the toad.

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