Frogs by State

Frogs and Toads of Montana

Frogs and Toads of Montana

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.

Montana has a diverse range of frogs and toads. Five different families of frogs live in the state.

Frogs

True Frog Family – Ranidae

Common Name: Columbia Spotted Frog
Scientific Name:
Rana luteiventris
Location:
Western half
Breeding Season:

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Northern Leopard Frog (Rana pipiens)

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

Both the Northern Leopard Frog and Columbia Spotted Frog have spots but the Northern Leopard Frog has larger spots that cover all of the body. Also the Columbia Spotted Frog has wide stripe by it’s lips that extends to jaw.

Tree Frog Family – Hylidae

There are only two tree frogs in the state. Both of them are from the genus Pseudacris – the Chorus Frog genus.

Common Name: Boreal Chorus Frog
Scientific Name:
Pseudacris maculata
Location:
East of the Rockies
Breeding Season:

The Boreal Chorus Frog has three lines down it’s back which is the key trait to tell it apart from other frogs in the state.

Common Name: Pacific Tree Frog
Scientific Name:
Pseudacris regilla
Location:
Western part of the state in the Rockies
Breeding Season:

The Pacific Tree Frog has no lines down it’s back. It has a black line that goes down its eye and down its side.

Tailed Frog Family – Ascaphidae

Common Name: Rocky Mountain Tailed Frog
Scientific Name:
Ascaphus montanus
Location:
Western part of the state in the Rockies
Breeding Season:

The Rocky Mountain Tailed Frog is the only frog in the state that lacks an external tympanum (ear drum). The males of the Rocky Mountain Tailed Frog is easy to tell apart from the other frogs because it has a tail even when it’s an adult.

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.

Common Name: Western Toad
Scientific Name:
Anaxyrus boreas
Location:
Western half of state in the Rockies
Breeding Season:

Western Toad is easy to identify because of the lack of cranial crest in the frog and the cream or white color stripe down it’s back. They are a species of concern in the state.

Common Name: Canadian Toad
Scientific Name:
Anaxyrus hemiphrys
Location:
Breeding Season:

Common Name: Woodhouse’s Toad
Scientific Name:
Anaxyrus woodhousii
Location:
East of the Rockies
Breeding Season:

.Woodhouse’s toad’s cranial crests form a L on each side of their head

Common Name: Great Plains Toad
Scientific Name:
Anaxyrus cognatus
Location:
East of the Rockies
Breeding Season:

Great Plains Toad has a V between the eyes. They are a species of concern in the state.

Video of a male Great Plains Toad calling by Annika Enloe

Spadefoot Toad Family – Scaphiopodidae

Common Name: Plains Spadefoot Toad
Scientific Name:
Spea bombifrons
Location:
East of the Rockies
Breeding Season:

The Plains Spadefoot toad is the only spadefoot toad in the state. Look at the rear foot of the toad and you will find a keratinized spade on it which no other toad or frog in the state has. Also they have a vertical pupil in their eyes.

Introduced

American Bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana)

Common Name: American Bullfrog
Scientific Name:
Rana catesbeiana
Location:
Bitterroot River basin, Flathead River basin, and a population around Bilings
Breeding Season:

The American Bullfrog has been introduced to the state. It is a highly invasive species and can eat a wide range of wildlife because of it’s size.

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