Frogs by State

Frogs and Toads of Washington DC

Frogs and Toads of the Washington DC


True Frog Family – Ranidae

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American Bullfrog (Lithobates catesbeianus)

Green Frog (Lithobates clamitans)

The Green Frog and American Bullfrog looks the same but the Bullfrog lacks a dorsal ridge down their back. The American Bullfrog also grows much larger than the Green Frog.

Northern Leopard Frog (Lithobates pipiens)
Southern Leopard Frog (Lithobates sphenocephalus) photo by Bob Warrick

The Northern and Southern Leopard Frogs look extremely alike. The Southern Leopard Frog has a white spot in its tympanum (ear spot) while the Northern one generally doesn’t. The Northern Leopard Frog has a more rounded spot than the Southern Leopard Frog.

Pickeral Frog (Lithobates palustris)

The Pickeral Frog appears much similar to the Leopard Frogs but they have rectangular spots on their back.

Wood Frog (Lithobates sylvaticus)

The Wood Frog has a very distinct mask around its face than other frogs in the area don’t have. They can vary in color from silver, red, and brown.

Tree Frog Family – Hylidae

Eastern Gray Tree Frog (Hyla versicolor) / Cope’s Gray Tree Frog (Hyla chrysoscelis)

The Eastern and Gray Tree Frog and the Cope’s Gray Tree Frog are identical besides their calls. They have yellow markings on their hind legs. They can also be green or gray in color.

Spring Peeper (Pseudacris crucifer)

The Spring Peeper is one of the first frogs to call in spring and is extremely loud. It has a noticeable X shape on its back.

Green Tree Frog (Hyla cinerea)

The Green Tree Frog has a white line down the side of its jaw and down its side.


True Toad Family – Bufonidae

American Toad (Anaxyrus americanus)
Fowler’s Toad (Anaxyrus fowleri)

The Fowler’s Toad and the American Toad look very much a like but there are some differences in the back of the head.

The American Toad’s parotid gland is separated from the cranial crest while the Fowler’s Toad’s touches.

American Spadefoot Toad Family – Scaphiopodidae

Eastern Spadefoot Toad (Scaphiopus holbrookii) by Riechvaugen

The Eastern Spadefoot Toad is the only spadefoot toad in the area. They have keratonized sheaths on their rear feet that help them with digging.


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