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Wood Frog

Rana sylvatica


Wood frogs range from 51 millimetres (2.0 in) to 70 millimetres (2.8 in) in length. Females are larger than males.[6][7] Adult wood frogs are usually brown, tan, or rust colored, and usually have a dark eye mask.[8] Individual frogs are capable of varying their color; Conant (1958) depicts one individual when light brown and dark brown at different times. The underparts of wood frogs are pale with a yellow or green cast.[9] If you see a small brown frog with a dark eye mask in the woods, it is likely to be a wood frog. There are no other species with a similar appearance to the wood frog in North America. The first evasive leap is fast and long. Close observation will often glimpse a second short dive under the leaf litter, making the frog appear to disappear. Wikipedia


Wood frogs are forest-dwelling organisms that breed primarily in ephemeral, freshwater wetlands: woodland vernal pools. Long-distance migration plays an important role in their life history. Individual wood frogs range widely (hundreds of meters) among their breeding pools and neighboring freshwater swamps, cool-moist ravines, and/or upland habitats. Genetic neighborhoods of individual pool breeding populations extend more than a kilometer away from the breeding site. Thus, conservation of this species requires a landscape (multiple habitats at appropriate spatial scales) perspective. Spring mating calls Adult wood frogs spend summer months in moist woodlands, forested swamps, ravines, or bogs. During the fall, they leave summer habitats and migrate to neighboring uplands to overwinter. Some may remain in moist areas to overwinter. Hibernacula tend to be in the upper organic layers of the soil, under leaf litter. By overwintering in uplands adjacent to breeding pools, adult Rana sylvatica ensure a short migration to thawed pools in early spring. Wood frog are mostly diurnal and are rarely seen at night, except maybe in breeding choruses. They are one of the first amphibians to emerge for breeding right when the snow melts, along with Spring Peepers.


I've found Wood frogs in my yard a few times during summer months, but this is the first time I've found so many spawning in my lotus and frog pools. It's also the first time that I've heard them call. The image with the frog in my hand is a male Wood frog. The image of the lotus pool has about 20 male Wood frogs in it, all calling for females. The image of the clump of eggs in my hand are Wood frog eggs about a day old.

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DianePlatcoBrooks 10 years ago

Thank you Leuba, and you're welcome.

auntnance I just read that the Wood frog can actually freeze and not die.....something that most other frogs can't do.

ReikoS you are a lot further north than I am I think. You can grow lotus to Zone 5. I am in Zone 6a

auntnance123 10 years ago

Fascinating that they begin to breed in such low temperatures.

Leuba Ridgway
Leuba Ridgway 10 years ago

I love the one in your hand - adorable ! thanks for the interesting information too Diane.

RiekoS 10 years ago

You are much further north and I am glad to know that I too can grow lotus.

Spotted by

Corning, Ohio, USA

Spotted on Mar 16, 2013
Submitted on Mar 17, 2013

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