Frog of the Week

Atlantic Coast Leopard Frog (Rana kauffeldi)

Atlantic Coast Leopard Frog
photo by Brian R Curry

Common Name: Atlantic Coast Leopard Frog or Mid-Atlantic Coast Leopard Frog
Scientific Name: Rana kauffeldi
Family: Ranidae – True Frog family
Locations: United States – Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, New York, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Virginia
Size: 5.1 inches (13 cm)

The Atlantic Coast Leopard Frog lives near coastal habitats. The majority of the species lives within 13 miles of the coast. The frog is relatively new species to western science, only being described in 2014. The species epithet is named after herpetologist Carl Kauffeld who wrote a paper about how he believed there was a third species of leopard frog in Staten Island way back in the 30s. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List didn’t give the frog a conservation status yet due to it being so new. The Atlantic Coast Leopard Frog looks similar to other leopard frogs. They have less and small spots on their dorsal than the other leopard frogs.

The frogs breed in the winter and early spring, usually February or March. The more south the species lives, the earlier it breeds. The males gather in groups and call out from shallow water bodies to attract the female frogs. Once the female frogs arrive, the male grasps her from behind in the amplexus position. Then, the female lays her eggs and the male fertilizes them. The female lays around a thousand eggs. Neither of the parents provide any care for their offspring.

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