Frogs and Toads of Rhode Island
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.
For a small state, Rhode Island has a decent amount of frogs.
The True Frogs are your typical frogs that are generally found along the shores of a lake or pond.
Common Name: American Bullfrog
Scientific Name: Rana catesbeiana
Breeding Season: May to August
The American Bullfrog is the largest frog in the state. They are found near permanent bodies of water such as large ponds, streams, and lakes. Once the males of the species reach sexual maturity, their throats turn bright yellow. 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
Breeding Season: mid April to August
The Green Frog is a medium to large sized frog. They can be commonly found near pretty much any water body such as ponds, lakes, or streams. Once the males of the species reach sexual maturity, their throats turn bright yellow.
Common Name: Northern Leopard Frog
Scientific Name: Rana pipiens
Location: Northern part
Breeding Season: Late March to early May
The Northern Leopard Frog is a medium to large species of semi aquatic species of frog. They vary in color from dark brown to slim green with fairly large spots all over their body.
Common Name: Atlantic Coastal Leopard Frog
Scientific Name: Rana kauffedi
Location: Southern border
Northern Leopard Frog, Atlantic Coastal Leopard Frog look very similar to each other. The Atlantic Coast Leopard Frog vs Northern Leopard Frog, the Atlantic Coastal Frog has more white in its tympanum than the Northern.
Common Name: Pickeral Frog
Scientific Name: Rana palustris
Breeding Season: April to May
The Pickerel Frog is a medium to large sized frog. Their dorsal ridge runs down from their eye to their back and inside there is rectangular boxes.
Common Name: Wood Frog
Scientific Name: Rana sylvatica
Breeding Season: Late February to mid April
The Wood Frog is a small to medium sized frog. They vary in color from brown, silver, or red and they have dark “raccoon” eyes. When winter comes, the Wood Frog can freeze completely solid and then unthaw in spring. They start to breed once the ice is off the ponds in late February to early April. After breeding season, they are often found in the woods, far away from any water bodies.
Rhode Island only has two species of tree frog.
Common Name: Spring Peeper
Scientific Name: Pseudacris crucifer
Breeding Season: March through June
The Spring Peeper is a small chorus frog that can often be found on forest floor or low on trunks of trees. They can be hard to find due to their small size, however, in spring when they come to temporary ponds to breed, they are easier to find. They can be distinguished from other frogs due to the X on their back.
Common Name: Eastern Gray Tree Frog
Scientific Name: Hyla versicolor
Breeding Season: Mid April through July
The Eastern Gray Tree Frog is a medium sized frog that can be found perched in trees or on the side of your house. They are not always gray in color and can be green. They have yellow or orange coloration on their back legs.
There are three toads in Rhode Island, two from the True Toad family and one from the Spadefoot toad family.
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: American Toad
Scientific Name: Anaxyrus americanus
Breeding Season: Mid April to early June
Common Name: Fowler’s Toad
Scientific Name: Anaxyrus fowleri
Breeding Season: Late May to early June
This is the best pic to tell apart the Fowler’s and American Toad.
Common Name: Eastern Spadefoot Toad
Scientific Name: Scaphiopus holbrookii
Breeding Season: Following heavy rain fall from spring throughout the summer
The Eastern Spadefoot Toad is the only spadefoot toad in the state so just look for the toad with a spade on its rear feet.