Frogs and Toads of the Washington DC
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True Frog Family – Ranidae
American Bullfrog (Rana catesbeianus)
Common Name: American Bullfrog
Scientific Name: Rana catesbeianus
The American Bullfrog is the biggest frog in the state, capable of reaching over 7 inches long. The mature males of the species have bright yellow colored throats.
Common Name: Green Frog
Scientific Name: Rana 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 (Rana pipiens)
Common Name: Northern Leopard Frog
Scientific Name: Rana pipiens
Common Name: Southern Leopard Frog
Scientific Name: Rana sphenocephalus
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.
Common Name: Pickeral Frog
Scientific Name: Rana palustris
The Pickeral Frog appears much similar to the Leopard Frogs but they have rectangular spots on their back.
Common Name: Wood Frog
Scientific Name: Rana 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)
Common Name: Eastern Gray Tree Frog
Scientific Name: Hyla versicolor
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.
Common Name: Cope’s Gray Tree Frog
Scientific Name: Hyla chrysoscelis
Spring Peeper (Pseudacris crucifer)
Common Name: Spring Peeper
Scientific Name: 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)
Common Name: Green Tree Frog
Scientific Name: Hyla cinerea
The Green Tree Frog has a white line down the side of its jaw and down its side.
Common Name: Northern Cricket Frog
Scientific Name: Acris crepitans
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 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
Common Name: Eastern Spadefoot Toad
Scientific Name: Scaphiopus holbrookii
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.