Frogs by State

Frogs and Toads of West Virginia

Frogs and Toads of West Virginia

Frogs

West Virginia is home to a variety of different frogs from the tree frog and true frog families.

True Frog Family – Ranidae

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American Bullfrog (Rana catesbeianus)

Common Name: American Bullfrog
Scientific Name: 
Rana catesbeianus
Location:
Breeding Season:

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Green Frog (Rana clamitans)

Common Name: Green Frog / Bronze Frog
Scientific Name:
Rana clamitans
Location:
Breeding Season:

The Green Frog and American Bullfrog looks the same but the Bullfrog can grow larger and they lack a dorsal ridge down their back.

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Northern Leopard Frog (Rana pipiens)

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

Common Name: Pickeral Frog
Scientific Name:
Rana palustris
Location:
Breeding Season:

Pickeral Frog and Northern Leopard Frog  look very similar to each other because of the spots but the Pickeral frog’s spots are more rectangular than the Northern Leopard Frog.

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Wood Frog (Rana sylvaticus)

Common Name: Wood Frog
Scientific Name:
Rana sylvaticus
Location:
Breeding Season:

The Wood Frog is the easiest true frog to identify in West Virginia. They are brown, red, or silver in color and they have dark “raccoon” eyes.

Tree Frog – Hylidae

Northern Cricket Frog (Acris crepitans)

Common Name: Northern Cricket Frog
Scientific Name:
Acris crepitans
Location:
Breeding Season:

Eastern Cricket Frog can be distinguished from the other tree frogs because of its size and lack of markings on its back.

Common Name: Spring Peeper
Scientific Name:
Pseudacris crucifer
Location:
Breeding Season:

1570

Mountain Chorus Frog (Pseudacris brachyphona)

Common Name: Mountain Chorus Frog
Scientific Name:
Pseudacris brachyphona
Location:
Breeding Season:

Spring Peeper and the Mountain Chorus Frog are similar but the markings on their back can be used to tell them apart. The Spring Peeper has an X on its back while the Mountain Chorus Frog has 2 backwards parenthesizes that look like )(. Sometimes they touch that can kinda look like an x but there’s also a dark triangle between its eyes that the Spring Peeper doesn’t have.

Common Name: Eastern Gray Tree Frog
Scientific Name:
Hyla versicolor
Location:
Breeding Season:

These two frogs are identical besides their calls and chromosome numbers. These tree frogs are also larger than the other tree frogs in the state. Also note that Gray Tree Frogs are not always gray and can be green.

Common Name: Cope’s Gray Tree Frog
Scientific Name:
Hyla chrysoscelis
Location:
Breeding Season:

Toads

West Virginia doesn’t have many toads – only three from two different families.

True Toad Family – Bufonidae

The family Bufonidae is known as the True Toads. They are known for their parotoid gland behind their eyes that secretes a poison.

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American Toad (Anaxyrus americanus)

Common Name: American Toad
Scientific Name:
Anaxyrus americanus
Location:
Breeding Season:

bufo-cranial

Common Name: Fowler’s Toad
Scientific Name:
Anaxyrus fowleri
Location:
Breeding Season:

The difference between the Fowler’s Toad and American Toad involves the head. In the American Toad, the parotoid gland the the crest behind its eye does not touch while the Fowler’s Toad has them touching.

Scaphiopodidae – Spadefoot Toad Family

american_eastern_spadefoot_toad
Eastern Spadefoot Toad (Scaphiopus holbrookii)

Common Name: Eastern Spadefoot Toad
Scientific Name:
Scaphiopus holbrookii
Location:
Breeding Season:

Eastern Spadefoot Toad is the only spadefoot toad in the state. Just see if they have a spade on their rear feet.

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