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.
True Frog Family – Ranidae
The True Frogs are your typical frogs that are generally found along the shores of a lake or pond.
American Bullfrog (Rana catesbiana)
Common Name: American Bullfrog
Scientific Name: Rana catesbiana
The American Bullfrog is the largest frog in the state. It lacks a dorsal ridge down its back.
Bronze / Green Frog (Rana clamitans)
Common Name: Bronze / Green Frog
Scientific Name: Rana clamitans
The Green Frog looks identical to the American Bullfrog but it has an incomplete dorsal ridge.
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 looks like the Southern Leopard Frog but the spots on its skin are more rectangular than the Leopard Frog’s.
Common Name: Wood Frog
Scientific Name: Rana sylvatica
Location: Eastern half
Tree Frog Famiy – Hylidae
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 )(.
Spring Peeper (Pseudacris crucifer)
Common Name: Spring Peeper
Scientific Name: Pseudacris crucifer
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.
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 Barking Tree Frog has much rougher skin than the Green Tree Frog. Both species have lines down the sides.
Cope’s Gray Tree Frog (Hyla chrysoscelis) and Eastern Gray Tree Frog (Hyla versicolor)
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.
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.
American Toad (Anaxyrus americanus)
Common Name: American Toad
Scientific Name: Anaxyrus americanus
Common Name: Fowler’s Toad
Scientific Name: Anaxyrus fowleri
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.
Narrow Mouthed Toad Family – Microhylidae
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.
Spadefoot Toad Family – Scaphiopodidae
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.
7 thoughts on “Frogs and Toads of Tennessee”
Hello. We have a frog in our old pool that seems to be a leopard frog. But it is massive compared to what should be a normal leopard frog’s length. I was wondering if you could tell me what kind of frog we have. Thank you so much!
Do you have a photo of it?
Yes, we do. How do I send it to you? Thanks again! Emily
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Did you get the pics?
Hello I have a frog but it looks like a spring peeper but does not have an X on its back can you maybe identify it?
feel free to email me the picture of it at email@example.com