Northern Georgia and northeastern Canada in the east to Alaska and southern British Columbia in the west. It is the most widely distributed frog in Alaska.
forest-dwelling, freshwater wetlands, woodland vernal pools
Wood frogs range from 2.0 inches to 3 inches in length. Females are larger than males. Adult wood frogs are usually brown, tan, or rust colored, and usually have a dark eye mask and are larger than the males. The color ranges from yellowish gray through greenish to brown, with a lighter stripe along the backbone. A dark, mask-like marking through the eye to the upper lip has given the creature the nickname, “robber frog.” The belly is white, with a dark spot on each side of the chest. There are no similar species. If you see a small brown frog with a dark eye mask in the woods, it’s a wood frog..
Wood frogs forage on the forest floor during the day, mainly for insects and other small invertebrates such as spiders and slugs. Younger frogs spend more time in the water than adults, also feed on small mollusks.
Along with spring peepers, wood frogs are the first amphibians to emerge to mate in the spring, often when the ice is just breaking up on ponds. The males gather on the surface of a pond and call all night, as long as the temperature remains above freezing. The call is a hoarse, clacking sound similar to a duck’s quack.
The female lays a fist-sized, jelly-like mass of about a thousand eggs that sticks to vegetation above the water’s surface. Tadpoles hatch in mid to late April and reach the adult stage in 40 or 50 days. They feed on leaves and algae as their color gradually changes from black to green and legs develop.
During the winter, wood frogs hibernate under rock piles, dead logs, or dead leaves.
Did You Know?
Wood frogs are the only North American amphibian ever found north of the Artic Circle and they tolerate the freezing of their blood and other tissues during the winter.