Wood Frog

Wood Frog James Harding

Copyright James Harding

 

Genus Species: Lithobates sylvaticus

Size: 1¼ – 3¼”

Location: Mainly the Northwest corner of Arkansas

Advertisement Call: Quiet, hoarse duck

 

 

 

Description:

Notice the robber mask on this “Lone Ranger” frog.  This little guy likes the cold and survives in the Arctic by producing a kind of antifreeze glycol to keep him from freezing in the winter.  He then completely shuts down to hibernate until the spring.  When the weather warms, he thaws out, quietly calls for a mate and continues his wood frog life again.

 Interesting Fact: Spring Peepers also produce the antifreeze to help them through winter.

They start calling in February with two vocal sacs as soon as the snow melts.  The call is very quiet and can be difficult to hear, but fortunately there aren’t many other frogs calling at the same time.  Often a single female will be clasped by several males at once.  They like vernal pools without fish and will lay up to 1,000 eggs in gelatinous masses which hatch within a week.  Wood froglets will move out of the pond in about three months.

There is a lot of color variation in this frog from brownish and light tan to very dark brown.  Notice the two dorsolateral folds.  They may or may not have the white fold down the center of their back.

The Wood Frog is a member of the Ranidae (True Frog) family of the New Frogs (Neobatrachia).  This frog is listed as a species of Special Concern by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.

Click for more about Wood Frogs at Herps of Arkansas.