Crawfish Frog

Crawfish Frog James Harding

Copyright James Harding

 

Genus Species: Lithobates areolatus

Size: 3 – 4″

Location: Mainly in the Arkansas River Valley, but sparsely throughout the state

Advertisement Call: Sounds like hogs at eating time or snoring.  Call is made from a pair of vocal sacs.

 

 

Description:

This frog will find shelter in the abandoned burrows of crawfish and other animals. Notice the light borders around each of the dark spots on its back.  The crawfish frog breeds sometime between late winter and early spring, but only in a short window of a week or less.  A heavy rain combined with the right temperature and humidity will trigger the breeding explosion.  The female lays  about 2,000 eggs (7,000 eggs maximum) in a mass which hatch to tadpoles in a few days.  These will develop into mature frogs by the summer.

Interesting Fact: North American frogs do not care for their young.  Lay the eggs and done!

The crawfish frog is a member of the Ranidae (true frog) family – part of Neobatrachia (new frogs).  There are two subspecies in Arkansas – Lithobates areolatus areolatus (Southern subspecies) and Lithobates areolatus circulosus (Northern subspecies).  The southern crawfish frog is a little bigger than his cousin and has a rougher skin, but may only be found in the extreme southwest corner of Arkansas. The FrogWatch USA™ database does not distinguish between the two subspecies.

Click for more about the Crawfish Frog at Herps of Arkansas.