Frogs and Toads of Tennessee
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.
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 catesbiana
The American Bullfrog is the largest frog in the North America. It looks very similar to the Green Frog but the dorsal ridge wraps around the tympanum. The American Bullfrog is also very similar to the Pig Frog but the Pig Frog has bolder spots / stripes on the back of its thighs while the Bullfrog has light spots.
Common Name: Bronze / Green Frog
Scientific Name: Rana clamitans
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. They have an incomplete dorsal ridge down their side.
Common Name: Crawfish Frog
Scientific Name: Rana areolatus
Location: Western border of the state
The Crawfish Frog gets its name from living in crawfish holes. Its has skin fold on the side and a small typanum.
Common Name: Gopher Frog
Scientific Name: Rana capito
Location: Coffee County
Gopher Frogs have irregular spots all over their body and their skin is rough. There are only two records of the frog in the state so its not likely to be seen.
Common Name: Southern Leopard Frog
Scientific Name: Rana sphenocephalus
Location: Statewide besides the eastern border
The Southern Leopard Frog has spots all over its body, like a leopard.
Common Name: Pickeral Frog
Scientific Name: Rana palustris
Location: Statewide besides western edge
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
Location: Eastern half
The Wood Frog is a s small to medium sized frog. They vary in color from brown, silver, or red and they have dark “raccoon” eyes. They are more terrestrial than most True Frogs.
Not all the members of the tree frog family lives in the trees. You can find many of them on the ground.
Common Name: Northern Cricket Frog
Scientific Name: Acris crepitans
Location: Everywhere besides northeastern corner
Common Name: Southern Cricket Frog
Scientific Name: Acris gryllus
Location: Southwestern corner
The Cricket Frogs look really similar but there’s a few ways to tell them apart. The Southern Cricket Frog has a more pointed snout while the Northern Cricket Frog has a more blunt snout. The Southern Cricket Frog doesn’t have as much webbing on the back legs as the Northern Cricket Frog.
Common Name: Mountain Chorus Frog
Scientific Name: Pseudacris brachyphona
Location: Eastern edges of the state
The Mountain Chorus Frog has a distinct mark on its back that looks like this )(.
Common Name: Spring Peeper
Scientific Name: Pseudacris crucifer
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 their x on their back.
Common Name: Upland Chorus Frog
Scientific Name: Pseudacris feriarum
The Upland Chorus Frog has 3 lines down its back that makes it easy to identify.
Common Name: Barking Tree Frog
Scientific Name: Hyla gratiosa
Location: Southwestern edge of the state
Common Name: Green Tree Frog
Scientific Name: Hyla cinerea
Location: Western border of the state
The Green Tree Frog is a medium sized tree frog with a distinct white stripe down its side. They are found on trees and other objects above the ground.
Common Name: Eastern Gray Tree Frog
Scientific Name: Hyla versicolor
Location: Southeastern corner of the state
Common Name: Cope’s Gray Tree Frog
Scientific Name: Hyla chrysoscelis
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.
Common Name: Bird-Voiced Frog
Scientific Name: Hyla avivoca
Location: Western borner of the state
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.
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
The American Toad is a medium sized toad with rough warty skin that’s primary brown in color but can have some black, gray, or red coloration. The toads can be found pretty much anywhere including urban areas. The American Toads’s parotid gland does not touch or connected to it by a spur.
Common Name: Fowler’s Toad
Scientific Name: Anaxyrus fowleri
The Fowler’s Toad is a small to medium sized toad with a clear, white underside. Its parotid gland touches it postorbital ridge.
The American Toad and Fowler’s Toad look a lot alike. The differences has to do with their heads. Here’s a picture to show the differences.
Common Name: Eastern Narrow Mouthed Toad
Scientific Name: Gastrophryne carolinensis
Location: Western half
The Eastern Narrow Mouth Toad is the only narrow mouthed toad in the state. Its head is obviously more narrow than the other toads.
Common Name: Eastern Spadefoot Toad
Scientific Name: Scaphiopus holbrookii
The Eastern Spadefoot Toad is the only species of spadefoot toad in the state. They have a noticeable spade on their hind legs that they use for digging.