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Frogs in Oklahoma

There are currently 30 known species of toads and frogs in Oklahoma. With over 90% of the known species of amphibians in the world being frogs, they are easily the most common amphibians in the world.

Various similarities and wide differences exist between different species of frogs and toads. These anurans live both on land and in water. They can be found near streams, ponds, lakes, and rivers.

Frogs generally have smooth skin and long legs for hopping and jumping. Toads usually have rough and warty skin, with shorter legs than frogs. There are some exceptions in both cases, however.

Adults are the focus of this article. They have a very wide and clear vision and most of them are adaptively colored to match their environment. These are anti-predatory techniques.

For food, they mostly eat insects and non-insect arthropods. Common predators include snakes, small mammals, birds, raccoons, and bigger frogs. Some frogs are hunted by humans too for food.

Information in this article includes specific features of adult toads and frogs in Oklahoma. It tells their size, expected lifespan if known, geographical region, preferred habitat, physical description, behavior, additional prey and predators, and antipredator mechanisms.

Do keep reading if you want to know more about the different species and types of toads and frogs in Oklahoma.

Table of Contents

1.Types of Frogs in Oklahoma
2.Types of Toads in Oklahoma
FAQs

Types of Frogs in Oklahoma

1. American Bullfrog 

American Bullfrog (Lithobates catesbeianus) in grass in Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA
An American Bullfrog (Lithobates catesbeianus) in grass in Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA. – Source
  • Family: Ranidae 
  • Scientific Name: Lithobates catesbeianus 
  • Other Names: Bullfrog, North American bullfrog 
  • Adult Size: 9 to 15.2 cm (3.5 to 6 in)
  • Lifespan: 7 to 9 years in the wild, up to 16 years in captivity

The bullfrog is native to eastern North America but has been introduced to other places like parts of Europe, Asia, and South America. It is largely aquatic and can be found around bodies of water.

Swamps, ponds, marshes, ditches, rivers, and streams with abundant vegetation are common habitats. They can be found along the banks of streams too. They prefer still and shallow water.

Bullfrogs are the largest species of true frogs existing in North America.

Dorsally, they could be colored in different shades from brown to green, with darker colored blotches on their backs. They have fully webbed hind legs and white bellies.

You can tell the male and female frogs of this species apart easily.

In males, the external ear is much larger than the eye, while the eye and external ear are relatively the same sizes, or the ear is smaller in females. Also, the male’s throat is yellow while the female’s throat is white during mating season.

These frogs are active both during the day and at night. They however prefer warm and humid weather. Their call has been described as a low rumbling “jug-o-rum”.

They eat terrestrial vertebrates, even frogs of the same species. They endanger some other species of frogs.

Humans hunt them for meat but they face no threat of extinction. Their undesirable taste saves them from predation.

2. Blanchard’s Cricket Frog

A Blanchard’s Cricket Frog (Acris blanchardi) on some concrete in Okay, Oklahoma, USA. – Source
  • Family: Hylidae 
  • Scientific Name: Acris blanchardi
  • Other Names: N/A
  • Adult Size: 1.5 to 3.8 cm (0.6 to 1.5 in)
  • Lifespan: 1.4 years in the wild, up to 4.9 years in captivity

Blanchard’s cricket frogs could be found in the central, midwestern, and southeastern parts of the United States, in parts of such states as Michigan, Wisconsin, Colorado, Texas, Louisiana, and Virginia. They have also been found in parts of Canada and Mexico.

They are typically found in moist habitats. They live mostly along permanent and semi-permanent water bodies like lakes, ponds, and slow-moving streams. They enjoy living in sandy regions.

This species of frog is small in size with large warts on its skin. They are usually tan, brown, reddish-brown, or olive green in color, the usual color of anurans.

Sometimes, they have red, green, or black blotches on their skins and a broad stripe running down their backs. They usually have a dark triangular mark on top of their heads, visible and located between their eyes.

Blanchard’s cricket frogs are highly aquatic, tending to remain around water even after breeding. They are nocturnal and show most activity when the air is humid. Their breeding calls sound like two pebbles tapped together: a series of metallic clicks.

3. Cajun Chorus Frog

Cajun Chorus Frog (Pseudacris fouquettei) on a stick in wet rocks in Adair County, Oklahoma, USA
A Cajun Chorus Frog (Pseudacris fouquettei) on a stick in wet rocks in Adair County, Oklahoma, USA. – Source
  • Family: Hylidae 
  • Scientific Name: Pseudacris fouquettei
  • Other Names: N/A
  • Adult Size: 3.2 cm (1.25 in)
  • Lifespan: typically 5 years

The Cajun chorus frog is largely found in southeastern US states. They are found in different habitats including forests, open fields, and roadside ditches. 

They are believed to burrow underground in the non-breeding season and are hardly seen above ground when not breeding.

Cajun chorus frogs can be identified by their small size and pointed snouts. They possess robust and moderately long arms. The digits of their forelimbs lack webbing. Toes are long, slender, and padded.

From each of its eyes to each tympanum, there is a long white stripe. Ventral coloration is usually white or cream-colored with light spotting.

Ventrally, they are brown or light gray in color with gold flecking. There could be three brown stripes or three sets of dark spots down their backs.

They are mostly diurnal, and active during the daytime. Their call is a single-note trill produced at the rate of approximately 13 pulses per second. These frogs have not been observed using any escape or defense mechanisms.

4. Cope’s Gray Treefrog

Cope's Gray Treefrog (Hyla chrysoscelis) on concrete in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, USA
A Cope’s Gray Treefrog (Hyla chrysoscelis) on concrete in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, USA. – Source
  • Family: Hylidae 
  • Scientific Name: Hyla chrysoscelis 
  • Other Names: Southern gray treefrog 
  • Adult Size: 3.2 to 6 cm (1.26 to 3.26 in)
  • Lifespan: 2.5 to 7 years in captivity

Cope’s gray treefrogs are native to North America, inhabiting Ontario, Canada, and USA states like Texas and Florida. They can be found around both temporary and permanent water bodies. They live around swamps, ponds, lakes, and mixed or deciduous forests.

Both sexes of this species of frogs look alike, with a white mark underneath each eye. Their bodies are quite rough and warty, although smoother than the bodies of most toads. They have toe pads that are biologically adapted for climbing.

Their backs have different colors, and coloring is affected by substrate, humidity, and season. They are most commonly colored gray with black blotches on their backs. There are also Cope’s gray treefrogs in green and brown.

They are nocturnal, solitary, and sedentary frogs. They have a high tolerance for freezing temperatures because of the glycerol present in their blood. Their call is a fast high-pitched trill that sounds like a flute.

Some larger frog species have been observed as predators of Cope’s gray treefrogs. They avoid their predators through their nocturnal activity and cryptic adaptation.

5. Crawfish Frog

Crawfish Frog (Lithobates areolatus) in greenery by a red gate in Oklahoma, USA
A Crawfish Frog (Lithobates areolatus) in greenery by a red gate in Oklahoma, USA. – Source
  • Family: Ranidae 
  • Scientific Name: Lithobates areolatus 
  • Other Names: Rana areolatus 
  • Adult Size: 5.7 to 11.4 cm (2.25 to 4.5 cm)
  • Lifespan: up to 7 years

Frogs of this species are so-called because they inhabit burrows of crayfish. They can be found in moist meadows, prairies, grassy fields, semi-permanent wetlands, and fishless ponds.

Their bodies are large and stocky. They have a hump in their lower back that differentiates them from other frogs. The head is large with mottled upper jaws.

Their dorsum is covered in many irregular dark spots with lighter borders. The skin is usually a dark shade of brown. The snout is cone-shaped. There are two dorso-lateral ridges along the back, one on each side of the body.

Their ventral side is white and spotless. Males are distinguished from females. They have paired vocal pouches and enlarged thumbs.

The call of crawfish frogs is like a snore, loud, deep, and resonant. They live underground for most of the year. They used to be more common but populations are now declining.

6. Gray Treefrog

Gray Treefrog (Hyla versicolor) on a dark surface in Moore, Oklahoma, USA
A Gray Treefrog (Hyla versicolor) on a dark surface in Moore, Oklahoma, USA. – Source
  • Family: Hylidae 
  • Scientific Name: Hyla versicolor
  • Other Names: Dryophytes versicolor, eastern gray treefrog
  • Adult Size: 3 to 5 cm (1.18 to 1.9 in); record length 6 cm (2.25 in)
  • Lifespan: 7 to 9 years

Endemic to the eastern part of the USA and southeastern region of Canada, gray treefrogs live both on trees and on the ground. They are commonly found in small areas full of trees, in trees up to 20 meters above the ground.

They are similar in appearance to Cope’s gray treefrogs. Even their calls sound alike. Males and females of this species show no physical differences.

Their skins are rough and warty, rougher than the average frog but smoother than the average toad. Their toe pads are large, advanced, and adhesive, an adaptation for climbing.

Dorsal color is usually gray, but there are frogs of this species in brown, green, and ivory. Black blotches are also noticed on their skin. Environmental factors like humidity and season may change their dorsal color. 

Ventral coloration is white. Black speckles can be found on this white surface towards the groin. Beneath each eye of a gray treefrog, there is usually a white mark.

Frogs of this species are largely solitary, nocturnal, and crepuscular (active mostly at dawn and dusk). Their call sounds like the call of a Cope’s gray treefrog, only that gray treefrog’s flute-like trill is much shorter.

To avoid predation, they live high in trees and change color to blend in with their surroundings. Their nocturnality and crepuscular activity also make them less noticed by potential attackers.

7. Green Frog

Green Frog (Lithobates clamitans) on wood in McCurtain County, Oklahoma, USA
A Green Frog (Lithobates clamitans) on wood in McCurtain County, Oklahoma, USA. – Source
  • Family: Ranidae 
  • Scientific Name: Lithobates clamitans 
  • Other Names: Rana clamitans, bronze frog, Northern green frog
  • Adult Size: 7.5 to 12.5 cm (2.95 to 4.92 in)
  • Lifespan: up to 10 years in captivity 

The green frog is native to the eastern part of North America.

This frog can be found in marshes, bogs, sloughs, and along slow-moving streams and rivers. It is typically found around water but moves into meadows and wooded areas in rainy weather.

Green frogs are mostly colored green, yellow-green, brown, brownish-green, or olive on their backs. There are some rare blue ones. Their bellies are usually any shade from yellow to white.

Irregular dark spots can be noticed dorsally. These frogs also have transverse bands on their legs. They have well-webbed toes. Sexes can be differentiated by tympanum size and throat color.

While the tympanum on the males of this species is much larger than the eye, it is the same size as the eye in females. Males have bright yellow throats, while females’ throats are white.

Green frogs enjoy living alone. They are both nocturnal and diurnal. The call of this frog is a twang, sounding like a banjo string when plucked.

They eat other chordates like small frogs and are sometimes hunted by humans as a source of frog legs. Their excellent vision helps them detect both predators and prey.

Another anti-predator technique of theirs is mimicry. They physically resemble foul-tasting mink frogs and so they occur together. This makes their attackers less interested in eating them.

8. Green Treefrog

Green Treefrog (Hyla cinerea) on a large branch in McCurtain County, Oklahoma, USA
A Green Treefrog (Hyla cinerea) on a large branch in McCurtain County, Oklahoma, USA. – Source
  • Family: Hylidae 
  • Scientific Name: Hyla cinerea
  • Other Names: American green treefrog
  • Adult Size: 3.2 to 6.4 cm (2.6 to 5.2 in)
  • Lifespan: up to 6 years

Another species of frog in Oklahoma is the green tree frog. It is found largely across central and southeastern states of the US. It prefers habitats with plenty of floating vegetation and an open canopy.

These frogs possess long legs with big toe pads and smooth skin. Their hind legs are webbed extensively and have two tubercles between the toes. They are medium-sized frogs, with females larger than males.

Most green treefrogs are bright yellow-green in color. There are other dorsal colors, in shades between reddish-brown and green. Golden spots overlaying the dorsal color are frequently noticed.

Their venter is usually white or cream in color. Each side of their dorsum has a prominent lateral stripe that is also colored white or cream.

They are solitary for most of the year and most active in moist or humid weather. They communicate with different and distinct calls. There is a mating call, a call to signal when they sense rain, and an alarm call.

They avoid predators by closing their eyes and tucking in their legs to blend in with the color of the leaves.

9. Northern Cricket Frog

Northern Cricket Frog (Acris crepitans) on a lilypad in Calvert County, Maryland, USA
A Northern Cricket Frog (Acris crepitans) on a lilypad in Calvert County, Maryland, USA. – Source
  • Family: Hylidae 
  • Scientific Name: Acris crepitans 
  • Other Names: N/A
  • Adult Size: 1.3 to 3.6 cm (0.5 to 1.5 in)
  • Lifespan: 4 months in the wild, up to 4.9 years in captivity

In addition to some US states like North Carolina, northern cricket frogs can be found in parts of Canada and Mexico.

They are in the treefrog family but they don’t live on trees. They are found alongside ponds, streams, lakes, and rivers with budding vegetation.

They are small with warts on their skin. They have small waists, webbed toes, and a triangle mark between their eyes. Their hind limbs are fairly long but do not have toe pads for climbing.

Dorsal coloration in these frogs is usually gray, light brown, or green. Many of them have a mid-dorsal stripe, colored in any shade between orange and brown, running down their backs.

They have dark bands or stripes on their thighs. From each eye, there is a line on the northern cricket frog reaching each forelimb.

They are diurnal, showing more activity during the day than at night. The call of the northern cricket frog sounds much like two stones clicking together rapidly. They prefer to live around open shallow water.

They cannot avoid predators by living on trees, so they have a powerful jump of over three feet. This jump has been likened to a six-foot human jumping 200 feet. They jump in a zigzag manner to escape predators.

10. Northern Leopard Frog

Northern Leopard Frog (Lithobates pipiens) in grass in Ontario, Canada
A Northern Leopard Frog (Lithobates pipiens) in grass in Ontario, Canada. – Source
  • Family: Ranidae 
  • Scientific Name: Lithobates pipiens
  • Other Names: Rana pipiens, meadow frog, grass frog
  • Adult Size: 5 to 11.5 cm (1.97 to 4.5 in)
  • Lifespan: 0 to 9 years in the wild

This is a true frog species common in Minnesota and Vermont. It is actually considered their state amphibian. It is native to regions of Canada and the United States.

Northern leopard frogs like to live around permanent, slow-moving water with aquatic vegetation. They move far from the water when it is not the breeding season, and they prefer open spaces to woodlands.

Dorsally, they have green, greenish-brown, or yellow-green coloration. They have smooth skin covered in large oval spots. Each spot is bordered by a halo of lighter pigment.

Ventrally, they are usually colored white or cream. There are two distinct ridges on the back of the northern leopard frog, running along each side. Males are mostly smaller than females, possessing large thumb pads and dual vocal sacs.

They migrate to ponds during spring to breed and then leave for grasslands or meadows in the summer. They are more active at the night when breeding and more active during the day when foraging. The call of a northern leopard frog is short and sounds like snoring.

They avoid their predators by leaping quickly and blending into a vegetative environment. Some take advantage of their likeness to pickerel frogs, living around them to avoid being eaten.

11. Pickerel Frog

Pickerel Frog (Lithobates palustris) in dry straw in Oklahoma, USA
A Pickerel Frog (Lithobates palustris) in dry straw in Oklahoma, USA. – Source
  • Family: Ranidae 
  • Scientific Name: Lithobates palustris 
  • Other Names: Rana palustris 
  • Adult Size: 4.5 to 7.5 cm (2 to 4 in)
  • Lifespan: unknown 

This frog species is native to North America. Individuals like to live in cool streams with trees, swamps, springs, grassy fields, prairies, and weed-covered locations. They love to live near unpolluted water sources.

They have two lines of darker chocolate-colored spots on their backs, and these spots are shaped like squares. These two lines are in between two folds in their back that extend to their groin area. Their upper jaws also have a light line along their body.

The ventral coloration on pickerel frogs is usually white, bright yellow, or yellow-orange. Their bellies may also be mottled. The skin under their groins and hindlegs is any shade from bright yellow to orange.

Males are typically smaller than females and these males have short forearms and swollen thumbs. Pickerel frogs are nocturnal. Their call is low and snore-like.

They are medium-sized so they are easily eaten by larger frogs. To protect themselves from predators, they secrete toxic fluids that are poisonous enough to kill small mammals and even hurt humans.

12. Plains Leopard Frog 

Plains Leopard Frog (Lithobates blairi) in wet red dirt in Logan County, Oklahoma, USA
A Plains Leopard Frog (Lithobates blairi) in wet red dirt in Logan County, Oklahoma, USA. – Source
  • Family: Ranidae 
  • Scientific Name: Lithobates blairi 
  • Other Names: Blair’s leopard frog
  • Adult Size: 5.1 to 11.1 cm (2 to 4.37 in)
  • Lifespan: up to 9 years in the wild (only 5% of population)

Plains leopard frogs are found in other US states besides Oklahoma, like Indiana, Colorado, Illinois, Arizona, and New Mexico. They like the xeric plains and prairies. They are usually found at the edge of ponds and streams.

These frogs are usually stocky and chubby. Their back is usually brown in color, with lateral folds in the middle that stop just before the groin. There is also a distinct light line along their upper jaw.

A dark spot can be seen on the snout of a plains leopard frog. Another spot, a light one this time, may be seen in the center of its external ear. This tympanum may be the same size as or slightly larger than its eye.

Its groin and the area under its thighs are yellow in color. The area around its cloaca is covered in tubercles. This species is considered to be of special concern in some states and is threatened by loss of habitat and the predation of bullfrogs.

The call of this frog is a series of 2 or 3 distinct snore-like “clucks”. It has a 3-second pulse rate. They are usually active on rainy nights. 

13. Southern Leopard Frog

Southern Leopard Frog (Lithobates sphenocephalus) in dirt in Mayes County, Oklahoma, USA
A Southern Leopard Frog (Lithobates sphenocephalus) in dirt in Mayes County, Oklahoma, USA. – Source
  • Family: Ranidae 
  • Scientific Name: Lithobates sphenocephalus
  • Other Names: Rana sphenocephala
  • Adult Size: 2 to 13 cm (0.79 to 5.12 in), 8 cm (3.15 in) on average
  • Lifespan: <1 year in the wild, up to 2 or 3 years

This species of true frog is native to the eastern part of North America.

They are fundamentally aquatic but are very active on land too. They are commonly found around forests, temporary water pools, and marshes, but they disperse to moist vegetation in the summer.

Frogs of this species are slender with sharply pointed heads. From behind each eye to the hip, there is a conspicuous dorsal fold in a lighter color. The dorsal coloration on the back and sides is usually green or brown, with distinct dark spots.

Their external ears and their eyes are about the same size. Occasionally, a white dot can be noticed in between the eyes of individuals.

Like other true frogs, their legs are long. Their toes do not possess toe pads, and so they are not adapted to climbing. 

Females are usually bigger than males. This species has two subspecies: Lithobates sphenocephalus sphenocephalus (Florida leopard frog) and Lithobates sphenocephalus utricularius (coastal plains leopard frog). The coastal plains leopard frog subspecies are present in Oklahoma.

Southern leopard frogs are nocturnal, hiding during the day in vegetation close to water. Their call does not sound like the snoring of northern leopard frogs; it sounds more like chuckling.

Because frogs of this species are highly aquatic, they escape their predators by entering the water and swimming away.

14. Spotted Chorus Frog

Spotted Chorus Frog (Pseudacris clarkii) on dark rocky ground in Custer County, Oklahoma, USA
A Spotted Chorus Frog (Pseudacris clarkii) on dark rocky ground in Custer County, Oklahoma, USA. – Source
  • Family: Hylidae 
  • Scientific Name: Pseudacris clarkii 
  • Other Names: Hyla clarkii, Clark’s tree frog
  • Adult Size: 1.9 to 4 cm (0.75 to 1.57 in)
  • Lifespan: 2 years in the wild

The spotted chorus frog is another species of frog in Oklahoma.

It is native to and can only be found in North America, in central states of the US, and in Mexico. It inhabits areas around ponds, grasslands, and prairies.

It is a small-sized frog. Its skin is soft and moist with green, red, brown, or typically dark-colored spots on it. The skin is usually gray, brown, olive-green, light green, or white in color.

On its head, it has a triangle-shaped marking. This blotch is usually green and is located between the eyes. The throat is white except during mating season when the males’ throats are darkened.

The ventrum of spotted chorus frogs is white and spotless.

Their call is a raspy musical trill “wrraaaay-wrraaaay-wrraaaay”. It is rapidly repeated 20-30 times. They are nocturnal.

15. Spring Peeper

A Spring Peeper (Pseudacris crucifer) in leaves and sticks in Cherokee County, Oklahoma, USA. – Source
  • Family: Hylidae 
  • Scientific Name: Pseudacris crucifer 
  • Other Names: Peeper
  • Adult Size: 1.9 to 3.5 cm (0.75 to 1.3 in)
  • Lifespan: 3 years in the wild, up to 4 years in captivity

The spring peeper is found in eastern states of the US and in parts of Canada like Manitoba. It lives on trees in moist woodlands, fields, grassy lowlands, and ponds. It could also be found in mud during hibernation.

A spring peeper is typically gray, tan, olive-brown, or brown in color. Ventrally, it is white in color. There is an often irregular brown mark on its X-shaped back. Males and females show no conspicuous dimorphism.

Dark bands can be noticed on the legs of this frog. Its feet are moderately webbed and have sticky toe pads. Although this frog lives mostly in trees, it is often seen on the ground among leaves.

Spring peepers are nocturnal and solitary. Outside the breeding season, they are hard to see around. Their calls are chirp-like, high, and in whistles, and they signal the beginning of spring.

To avoid being attacked, these frogs are cryptically colored to blend in with their environment. They also jump away from predators and aestivate.

16. Strecker’s Chorus Frog

Strecker's Chorus Frog (Pseudacris streckeri) in dark rocky ground in Logan County, Oklahoma, USA
A Strecker’s Chorus Frog (Pseudacris streckeri) in dark rocky ground in Logan County, Oklahoma, USA. – Source
  • Family: Hylidae 
  • Scientific Name: Pseudacris streckeri
  • Other Names: N/A
  • Adult Size: 1.9 to 3.8 cm (0.75-1.5 in), maximum 5 cm (1.97 in)
  • Lifespan: 3 years in the wild, 2 years on average

The south-central part of the US is home to Strecker’s chorus frogs.

They are a very terrestrial species, although part of the treefrog family. They live in various habitats, like woods, cypress swamps, sand prairies, cultivated fields, and along the edges of streams.

They are the largest species of chorus frogs. With their stout bodies and stocky forelimbs, they look like toads. Their dorsal surface is rough and more similar to that of toads than of frogs.

The color of their dorsum is usually brown, gray, olive, or green.

They also have contrasting spots on them, which could be black, gray, brown, or green. Dark and smudge-like stripes run down the length of the back parallel to the spine.

Unlike other chorus frogs, Strecker’s chorus frogs do not have a thin and light line on their upper lips. They instead have a dark line running through each of their eyes from snout to shoulder. They also possess a dark spot under each eye.

These frogs have dark spots along their sides. Ventrum is white in color, and the ventral part of their groins is characteristically yellow or orange-yellow.

Females are larger than males. Sexes can also be told apart during the breeding season as the throats of males become darker.

Strecker’s chorus frogs are nocturnal. Their call is a rapid repetition of a single bell-like note. They burrow into the ground in a bid to avoid or escape their predators.

17. Upland Chorus Frog

Upland Chorus Frog (Pseudacris feriarum) on a stick at Rural Hall in North Carolina, USA
An Upland Chorus Frog (Pseudacris feriarum) on a stick at Rural Hall in North Carolina, USA. – Source
  • Family: Hylidae 
  • Scientific Name: Pseudacris feriarum
  • Other Names: Southeastern chorus frog
  • Adult Size: 1.9 to 3.5 cm (0.75 to 1.4 in)
  • Lifespan: unknown 

This is another species of frog in Oklahoma. They are found in the eastern part of and are endemic to, the United States. Their habitats of choice include meadows, moist forests, wetlands, woodlands, grassy areas, and bogs.

Upland chorus frogs are quite small in size. Their backs are usually brown or gray in color.

They have markings on their backs but these markings differ highly across individuals. The dorsum appears spotted or streaked.

A light line can be noticed across the upper lip, like in most chorus frogs. There is also a dark stripe running through the eye and down the back.

Most of them have three longitudinal stripes running down their backs, but these lines may be broken in their presence or even absent.

Males are physically different from females. They have a large vocal sac under their chin which is absent in the females.

The call of an upland chorus frog has been likened to the sound produced by running a finger down the bristles of a comb. It is smooth and fast. The frog is nocturnal.

18. Western Chorus Frog

A Western Chorus Frog (Pseudacris triseriata) on bark in Granville, Ohio, USA. – Source
  • Family: Hylidae
  • Scientific Name: Pseudacris triseriata
  • Other Names: Midland chorus frogs, striped chorus frogs
  • Adult Size: 1.9 to 3.2 cm (0.75 to 1.26 in)
  • Lifespan: 1 to 5 years in the wild

The western chorus frog is another treefrog species that rarely climb. It likes to live in open and damp areas like marshes, moist woodlands, meadows, edges of forests, flood plains, and swamps.

They can be found in different colors such as gray, light brown, dark brown, green, and rust orange. They have three dark dorsal stripes in dark brown or gray. A dark triangle may be found between their eyes.

On their upper lip runs a white line. Two dark stripes are found running from the snout across each eye and continuing down the groin. Venter is whitish with dark dots on the chest.

In the mating season, males have darker throats than females. Females tend to be a little bigger in size than males. They have excellent vision that is used to both sense and evade predators and catch prey.

These frogs are solitary and crepuscular. Outside the breeding season, they are rarely seen. The call of a western chorus frog is a short trilling squeak “cree-ee-ee-ee-eek”.

19. Wood Frog

A Wood Frog (Lithobates sylvatica) on some bark in Adair County, Oklahoma, USA. – Source
  • Family: Ranidae 
  • Scientific Name: Lithobates sylvatica
  • Other Names: Rana sylvatica, the frog with the robber‘s mask
  • Adult Size: 3.8 to 8.2 cm (1.5 to 3.25 in)
  • Lifespan: 0 to 3 years in the wild, up to 5 years

Oklahoma’s variety of frog species also includes the wood frog. It is commonly distributed across North America. It spends most of its time on the ground or around trees.

A wood frog can be identified by the mask-like markings across its eyes. Also present is a black patch from each eardrum to the base of each foreleg. A white outline can be noticed across its upper lip.

Its dorsal coloration could be any shade of gray, green, brown, tan, or rust. It has a lateral mid-dorsal fold, usually bright yellow-brown in color. Ventrally, the frog is white.

Female wood frogs are more brightly colored dorsally than males. Males are smaller in size, with the ventral part of their legs colorful.

On the other hand, female wood frogs are bigger. Their white bellies fade to a yellow-orange pallor towards the legs.

Frogs of this species are diurnal, actively foraging during the day. Their calls sound like the quacking of a duck or the squawking of a chicken.

They are cryptically adapted to their surroundings, blending with the forest floor to evade predators. They also produce poisons to irritate them. When captured, a wood frog lets out a piercing cry to startle and annoy its attacker.

Types of Toads in Oklahoma

20. American Toad

American Toad (Anaxyrus americanus) in light sand at Lake Murray State Park, Oklahoma, USA
An American Toad (Anaxyrus americanus) in light sand at Lake Murray State Park, Oklahoma, USA. – Source
  • Family: Bufonidae 
  • Scientific Name: Anaxyrus americanus
  • Other Names: Bufo americanus, hop toad, east American toad 
  • Adult Size: 5 to 10 cm (1.97 to 4 in), average 7.5 cm (2.95 in)
  • Lifespan: 1 year in the wild, up to 10 years; up to 36 years in captivity

The American toad is easily the most common toad in North America. It can be found in places across Canada, Mexico, and the eastern part of the United States. It inhabits rainforests, streams, ponds, and even backyards.

American toads could live almost anywhere within this region, as long as there is a body of semi-permanent water for them to breed in and thickset vegetation to cover them when they hunt prey.

These toads are characteristically stout, with yellow or red warts on their skin. This dorsal skin is thick and is colored differently with each individual.

Possible colors include olive green, gray, reddish-brown, and tan, and the color could be solid or include patterns.

They have short legs, and their wart patterns are different from those of other toads. Their backs are littered with dark spots, and each spot has one or two warts. Their pupils are black with gold circles around them.

Female and male toads of this species are easily distinguishable. While the male toads have longer throats and overall darker skin, the females possess shorter throats and are generally lighter-skinned. Also, female toads are larger in size than males. 

American toads are nocturnal, preferring warm and humid weather. They hide under rocks, stones, twigs, and other such things in the daytime.

The advertisement call of a male is a long, high-pitched, and neat-sounding trill, a musical bu-r-r-r-r-r-r that can last up to 30 seconds.

To protect the toad from predators, a poisonous milky fluid is produced by some glands in their skin. This secretion causes harm if ingested or if it gets into the eyes.

21. Chihuahuan Green Toad

Green Toad (Anaxyrus debilis) on dirt, rocks, and grass in Oklahoma, USA
A Green Toad (Anaxyrus debilis) on dirt, rocks, and grass in Oklahoma, USA. – Source
  • Family: Bufonidae 
  • Scientific Name: Anaxyrus debilis
  • Other Names: Bufo debilis, green toad, North American green toad
  • Adult Size: 2.6 to 5.4 cm (1.02 to 2.13 in)
  • Lifespan: 10 years in the wild, up to 12.4 years in captivity

The Chihuahuan green toad is a toad species found only in Mexico and states of the US like Oklahoma, Arizona, Kansas, and Texas. It lives in arid to semi-arid areas with open spaces.

They do not migrate to breed, so if rainfall is not sufficient, they wait and breed the following year. In the dry season, they can be found by upturning rocks. In the rainy season, they breed in temporary pools after rainfall.

They are small and green with black spots on their backs. Their heads are flat and wedge-shaped. Their underside is white and spotless. Their cranial crests are reduced and their skin is covered in warts.

Green toads show sexual dimorphism. Males have dusky or black throats and are smaller in size. Females’ throats are yellow or white, and they are larger than males.

The call of a green toad is a long high-pitched trill, lasting less than 7 seconds, and it is similar to the sound of crickets. The frog is nocturnal and not easily seen above ground except during breeding choruses or breeding.

It avoids predation by remaining underground for the most part of the year. If threatened while taking a breeding chorus, the toad will hide underwater or in vegetation. It is also able to release poisons from its skin and paratoid glands.

22. Couch’s Spadefoot

Couch's Spadefoot (Scaphiopus couchii) on some rocky ground in Sayre, Oklahoma, USA
A Couch’s Spadefoot (Scaphiopus couchii) on some rocky ground in Sayre, Oklahoma, USA. – Source
  • Family: Scaphiopodidae
  • Scientific Name: Scaphiopus couchii 
  • Other Names: Couch’s spadefoot toad
  • Adult Size: 5.6 to 9.1 cm (2.25 to 3.6 in)
  • Lifespan: 6.7 years, up to 13 years

Couch’s spadefoots are toads in Oklahoma, other southwestern states of the US, and parts of Mexico. They live in arid or semi-arid areas underground. They like soft, dry soil in order to burrow into it easily.

They have stout bodies, short legs, and warty skin. Dorsal skin could be green-yellow, brown-yellow, or bright green in color. Males tend to have greener skin than females, with fewer markings.

The markings on the skin could be dark green, brown, or black. Their ventral surface is white. Their hindlegs have a spade on the inner surface, which is a single sickle-shaped tubercle.

Couch’s spadefoots are a nocturnal species and they are highly adapted to dry conditions. Their call is a nasal, harsh, and noisy groan that descends in pitch. It is likened to the bleating of a lamb.

A parasite Pseudodiplorchis americanus infects breeding toads and then feeds on them when they are in hibernation. Some of the toads may not survive hibernation because of this parasitic infection.

To protect themselves, Couch’s spadefoots release skin secretions that irritate predators. These toxins affect humans when rubbed into the eyes or nose.

By mere contact with the toad, the secretions can cause sneezing, watery eyes, and a running nose.

23. Eastern Narrow-Mouthed Toad

Eastern Narrow-mouthed Toad (Gastrophryne carolinensis) on someone's hand in Tishomingo National Wildlife Refuge, Oklahoma, USA
An Eastern Narrow-mouthed Toad (Gastrophryne carolinensis) on someone’s hand in Tishomingo National Wildlife Refuge, Oklahoma, USA. – Source
  • Family: Microhylidae
  • Scientific Name: Gastrophryne carolinensis 
  • Other Names: Eastern narrowmouth toad
  • Adult Size: 2.5 to 4 cm (1 to 1.5 in)
  • Lifespan: up to 6 years in captivity 

This is a species of small toads found in the entire southeastern portion of North America and introduced in the Bahamas. They live anywhere provided there is shelter and moisture.

Eastern narrow-mouthed toads have a fold of skin running across their heads behind their eyes. This distinguishes them from other frog species. The fold can move to protect the toad’s eyes from insects.

Unlike most true toads, they have very smooth skin. The external eardrums, called tympana, that are present in most anurans are not present in this species of frogs.

The head of this toad is narrow, sharp, and pointed. As its name suggests, its mouth is small. Males and females can be told apart by pigmentation: males are typically darker in color than females.

Dorsal coloration is varied, including light tan, brown, red, reddish-brown, gray, and nearly black. The mid-dorsal area usually has brightly colored strips covered in patches and spots. Its white stomach is heavily spotted.

Eastern narrow-mouthed toads are nocturnal. Their call has been described as abrasive. It sounds like a lamb bleating, or like an electric buzzer “beeeeeeeeee”.

They avoid their hunters by burrowing into the soil and by their nocturnality. They also produce mucous secretions that irritate predators.

24. Fowler’s Toad

A Fowler’s Toad (Anaxyrus fowleri) on a concrete slate in Sawyer, Oklahoma, USA. – Source
  • Family: Bufonidae 
  • Scientific Name: Anaxyrus fowleri
  • Other Names: Bufo fowleri
  • Adult Size: 5.1 to 9.5 cm (2 to 3.75 in)
  • Lifespan: 5 years

Fowler’s toads are found in the eastern region of the United States, along the Atlantic coastal plain. They like to live in savannas with widely spaced trees and open canopy.

They can be found in grasslands which are conducive to the growth of grasses but not taller trees. They also like to live on beaches. Primarily, they prefer to live in open spaces.

They are usually medium-sized toads. Dorsal coloration is usually tan, gray, brown, or greenish-gray. They have dark or black spots on their backs, and each black spot could have three to six warts.

Fowler’s toads characteristically have a white or light mid-dorsal stripe. Bellies are lightly colored with a single gray spot. Typically, the male toads are darker in color and the females lighter.

They are primarily nocturnal but they are also active in the daytime except in extreme heat or cold. Its call sounds like a baby crying or a sheep bleating, and it lasts for 2-5 seconds.

This species is considered to be at risk. This is due to the activities of off-road vehicles, the use of chemicals in agriculture, and predation.

Thankfully, this species of toad employs various methods to avoid or ward off predators.

Because of their natural earth tones, they blend into their environments. If roughly handled by predators, they pretend to be dead by lying still.

When attacked, they secrete poison from warts on their skin to irritate and even poison their predators.

25. Great Plains Toad

Great Plains Toad (Anaxyrus cognatus) in grass in Logan County, Oklahoma, USA
A Great Plains Toad (Anaxyrus cognatus) in grass in Logan County, Oklahoma, USA. – Source
  • Family: Bufonidae 
  • Scientific Name: Anaxyrus cognatus 
  • Other Names: Bufo cognatus
  • Adult Size: 4.8 to 11.4 cm (1.9 to 4.5 in)
  • Lifespan: up to 10.7 years in captivity 

Toads of this species can be found from the southwest region of Manitoba, Canada to central US states like Utah and California, and down to Mexican cities like Durango and Chihuahua.

They can be found in damp sections of grasslands and arid areas. They live in temperate areas, able to live in deserts, savannahs, temporary rain pools, reservoirs, and floodplains of rivers.

These toads are average-sized, with small heads and well-developed cranial crests. They have blunt, rounded snouts.

The dorsal coloration on great plains toads is usually yellowish, greenish, brown, or gray. They may have a light and narrow stripe running down their backs. Ventral coloration is cream to white without spots.

There are large dark blotches on its back bordered in a lighter color. Each blotch has many warts on it. The skin is very rough because of warts on it.

They are primarily nocturnal but sometimes show activity in the daytime. Their call is a high-pitched trill like that of American toads, but it is more mechanical and compelling. They also produce poisons from their skin.

26. Hurter’s Spadefoot

Hurter's Spadefoot (Scaphiopus hurterii) in wet grass in Oklahoma, USA
A Hurter’s Spadefoot (Scaphiopus hurterii) in wet grass in Oklahoma, USA. – Source
  • Family: Scaphipodidae
  • Scientific Name: Scaphiopus hurterii 
  • Other Names: Scaphiopus holbrookii hurterii, Hurter’s spadefoot toad, Hurter’s solitary spadefoot
  • Adult Size: about 6.7 cm (2.6 in)
  • Lifespan: 4 to 8 years

Hurter’s spadefoot species was once considered a subspecies of the eastern spadefoot toad. These toads are found in south-central states of the US.

They like to inhabit temporary pools, grasslands, and savannas. They can live in both wooded and unwooded areas. They also like areas of sandy or soft soil so they can easily burrow underground.

Hurter’s spadefoot toads have webbed hindleg digits and unwebbed foreleg digits. There are tubercles on their toes. They hop and jump to move about.

Frogs of this species have pectoral glands for structure. Their ears and parotid glands are distinct. Characteristically, they possess two light bands on their backs that taper in an hourglass shape.

They are nocturnal insectivores. They are active on warm and humid nights in spring and summer. In the breeding season, however, they are active both in the day and at night.

27. Plains Spadefoot

Plains Spadefoot (Spea bombifrons) in red dirt and grass in Washita County, Oklahoma, USA
A Plains Spadefoot (Spea bombifrons) in red dirt and grass in Washita County, Oklahoma, USA. – Source
  • Family: Scaphipodidae 
  • Scientific Name: Spea bombifrons
  • Other Names: Plains spadefoot toad, European spadefoot, American spadefoot
  • Adult Size: 3.8 to 6.35 cm (1.5 to 2.5 in), record length 6.5 cm (2.56 in)
  • Lifespan: up to 13 years

Plains spadefoots are endemic to North America, found in the US, Canada, and Mexico.

They make their home in the Great Plains and like to live in grasslands with loose soil. This is because they like to burrow into the ground, like other spadefoot toads.

On the head of an individual of this species, a pronounced round protuberance can be noticed between the eyes. Its skin could be brown or gray with a greenish tinge.

Four vague longitudinal stripes may be noticed on its back. Its warts could be yellow or orange in color. However, the skin is moist and smoother than most toads’ skins, more like a frog’s skin.

Like on other spadefoot species, there is a single tubercle on the hindleg of a plains spadefoot. The tubercle is wedge-shaped and is a spade on the inner surface. Their toes are webbed and they live on land.

They are nocturnal and are most active during the rains. This species is considered vulnerable, as it is quite common but rarely seen across its geographical range.

The mating call of a plains spadefoot is short and sounds like a duck. It has two distinct calls; one is low-pitched and raspy like a snore, lasting for approximately one second.

The other call is short, resonant, and bleat-like, lasting for approximately half a second.

28. Red-Spotted Toad

Red-spotted Toad (Anaxyrus punctatus) on gravel in Kiowa County, Oklahoma, USA
A Red-spotted Toad (Anaxyrus punctatus) on gravel in Kiowa County, Oklahoma, USA. – Source
  • Family: Bufonidae 
  • Scientific Name: Anaxyrus punctatus 
  • Other Names: Bufo punctatus
  • Adult Size: 3.8 to 7.6 cm (1.5 to 3 in)
  • Lifespan: 2 years on average

Besides Oklahoma, the red-spotted toad species lives in Nevada, Colorado, Kansas, Texas, Utah, Arizona, and some parts of Mexico. Individuals are found in oases, river floodplains, and rocky desert streams.

The snout of a red-spotted toad is pointed. The head and body are flattened. This frog is relatively small in size, with males and females approximately the same size.

The skin on the back is dry and full of warts. It is typically olive, brownish, or light gray with red or orange warts, hence the name. The skin on the underside is white or cream and can have or lack spotting.

Cranial crests could be absent in this species but they are usually weak when present. Their round paratoid glands are about the same size as their eyes. Males have dark throats while females’ throats are pale.

They are nocturnal toads. In the daytime, they either remain underground or hide underneath surfaces. Their call is high-pitched and musical. It is a trill that lasts up to 10 seconds.

Red-spotted toads secrete poisons as a defense mechanism against predation. These poisons are produced by their paratoid glands and warts on their skin.

29. Western Narrow-Mouthed Toad

Western Narrow-mouthed Toad (Gastrophryne olivacea) on dark gravel in Washita County, Oklahoma, USA
A Western Narrow-mouthed Toad (Gastrophryne olivacea) on dark gravel in Washita County, Oklahoma, USA. – Source
  • Family: Microhylidae 
  • Scientific Name: Gastrophryne olivacea
  • Other Names: Great Plains narrow-mouthed toad, western narrow-mouth toad
  • Adult Size: 2.22 to 3.8 cm (0.875 to 1.5 in)
  • Lifespan: 6 years

Western narrow-mouthed toads are found in Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas, Nebraska, and parts of Illinois. Isolated populations are found in Arkansas, Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona.

This toad species inhabits rocky hills, grasslands, and areas along the edge of marshes. They hide in loose soil, and under rocks or other objects. They also hide in animal burrows.

Individuals have plump bodies, small pointed heads, and a fold of skin behind their eyes. Dorsal color is usually tan, olive green, or gray, with few markings. The ventral color is white.

To make burrowing easier, they have pointed snouts and narrow heads. Their mouths are very small and their skin is smooth. Their unwebbed toes are tapered and rounded at the tip.

Their call is a short and high-pitched sound likened to the buzzing of a bee. It sounds like a “peeeel” and lasts 1 to 4 seconds. It has also been described as a nasal buzz.

They are nocturnal and hard to observe because they are very small. They produce skin secretions to protect them from predation.

30. Woodhouse’s Toad

Woodhouse's Toad (Anaxyrus woodhousii) on concrete in Oklahoma, USA
A Woodhouse’s Toad (Anaxyrus woodhousii) on concrete in Oklahoma, USA. – Source
  • Family: Bufonidae 
  • Scientific Name: Anaxyrus woodhousii 
  • Other Names: Bufo woodhousii 
  • Adult Size: 6 to 10 cm (2.4 to 3.94 in)
  • Lifespan: 10 to 20 years, up to 36 years

Woodhouse’s toads occur in most of the central and southwestern states of the US and portions of northern Mexico. They are locally threatened by human-caused habitat loss.

They live in grasslands, arid and partially arid lands, floodplains, and river valleys. They are mainly terrestrial, moving to marshes, flooded areas, ponds, pools, or pool streams to breed.

Background dorsal color is usually tan, brown, or yellowish. They have many small and dark spots on their backs. A narrow mid-dorsal stripe is seen running down their backs in white or other bright colors.

Behind and in between the eyes, there are prominent cranial crests on Woodhouse’s toads. Their paratoid glands are elongated. The belly is white with a single black spot on the chest.

Males and females are distinct. The males have nuptial pads on the first and second digits of their forearms, and dark throats. Females lack these pads and have pale throats.

They are mostly nocturnal but they also show some activity in the daytime. Their calls sound like sheep bleating, a nasal “waaaah” sound. It lasts 1 to 4 seconds.

Like most toad species, their warts and paratoid glands secrete poisons that keep predators away and harm them if the toad is attacked.

FAQs

Where do frogs and toads go in the winter in Oklahoma?

In the winter, most frogs and toads, in Oklahoma and elsewhere, go into hibernation.

Hibernation is a period in the winter where frogs and toads (and some other animals and plants) are dormant. They turn their metabolism down to save energy in order to survive winter without having to migrate to warmer places or look for food.

Are Oklahoma frogs poisonous?

Most frogs are not poisonous. The few species of Oklahoma frogs which are poisonous are pickerel frogs and wood frogs.

What do Oklahoma frogs eat?

Like frogs elsewhere, Oklahoma frogs mainly eat insects, arachnids, and other terrestrial invertebrates.

What is the largest toad in Oklahoma?

The Great Plains toad is the largest toad in Oklahoma.

Conclusion

Oklahoma is home to 19 different species of frogs and 11 species of toads. Most of these species are common and not threatened.

However, some species have been considered to be facing the threat of extinction due to loss of habitat. This habitat loss is often fueled by human activities like urbanization and the use of chemicals in agriculture.

Several measures can be employed to save endangered species, and they include simple things like recycling, research and even driving carefully on the road!

Frogs and toads are very important for pest control, as they eat a lot of insects that become household pests to man, destroy crops or carry harmful parasites. In all, anurans are important to our ecosystem and a loss of them would cause some unpleasant changes in our environment.

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