True frogs (family Ranidae
) have webbed hind feet, pointed snouts, and horizontal pupils.
** PROTECTED **
The Florida Gopher Frog
, Rana capito (=areolata) aesopus
, is found in dry wooded habitats statewide where it lives in Gopher Tortoise burrows. It is squat with a black-spotted, brown-ridged gray back and creamy underside. It is 4.33" long. Its call sounds like a snore.
It breeds in the winter and spring. Eggs are laid, attached to emergent vegetation, in permanent ponds and cypress heads. They hatch in 2-3 days. Tadpoles become adults in about 100 days.
** PROTECTED **
The Dusky Gopher Frog
, Rana capito (=areolata) sevosa
, is found in temporary ponds in the panhandle. It is similar to the Florida Gopher Frog (below) in appearance (although overall color is brownish and its underside is spotted) and habit.
, Rana catesbeiana
, is found in wetlands statewide. It is the largest frog in the state, reaching a length of 8". It is dark olive green to almost black with a mottled-black white underside. It may have a green head. The throat of males is bright yellow; of females, cream. Its call is a deep "orum".
It feeds on almost any critter small enough for it to swallow. It breeds when the water temperature is above 70°F. The tadpoles may not become adults until their second year.
The Bronze Frog
, Rana clamitans clamitans
, is found near rivers and swamps in the peninsula and north Florida. Its back and head are brown or bronze and the upper lip and nose may be bright green. The underside is cream. It has a skin fold from behind its eye to two-thirds of the way down its back. Males may have a yellow throat. It reaches 4" in length. Its call sounds like a plucked banjo string.
The Pig Frog
, Rana grylio
, is found in lakes and marshes in the panhandle, north Florida, and in some areas of central and south Florida. Its back is brown to gray; the underside is cream to pale yellow with dark brown patterning. Its snout is pointed. Reaching a length of 6", it is the second largest frog in Florida. Its call is similar to a subdued pig's grunt.
Over 8000 eggs may be laid at a time. Hatching 2-3 days later, the tadpoles grow to about 4" long.
The River Frog
, Rana hecksheri
, is found along rivers in the peninsula and north Florida. Its back and legs are gray to greenish gray with faded black blotches and its underside is mottled. It grows to 5" in length. Its call is like a snore. It is approachable and quite passive, going limp when captured, perhaps because it can secrete a foul-smelling toxic substance.
** PROTECTED **
The Florida Bog Frog
, Rana okaloosae
, is found in temporary ponds and bogs in the Okaloosa County. Its back is dark green to green brown, its belly is mottled with black and its throat is yellow. Discovered by Paul Moler in 1985, it is the smallest (1.8") of the Ranids and the rarest frog or toad in the state.
The Pickerel Frog
, Rana palustris
, may be found in cool waters in Escambia County. It is tan with square brown spots. The insides of the legs and thighs are bright yellow or orange. It may grow to 3" in length. Its call is a low snore. Its skin secretions are highly toxic to predators.
The Southern Leopard Frog
, Rana utricularia (=sphenocephala)
, is found in wetlands statewide. Its back is light brown to dark green with rows of brown spots and a cream colored underside. It has lateral folds extending from each eye. It is 3.15". It often rests at the water's edge and leaps several feet into the water when disturbed.
The Carpenter Frog
, Rana virgatipes
, is found in bogs and streams fed by the Okefenokee Swamp. It is greenish brown with four bronze stripes. Its underside is yellow with mottling on the lower half with extends onto the legs and sides. It may reach 3" in length. It was named for its call, similar to someone pounding a board with a hammer.
[ Amphibian Index | Protected Amphibians ]