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Frogs In Pennsylvania

There are 17 different frogs that live in Pennsylvania, 3 of which are toads. Each frog has unique features and traits to help identify it. The chorus frogs in Pennsylvania are similar to each other and can be hard to differentiate from each other.

Leopard frogs and pickerel frogs are also very similar to each other. The frog’s location, coloring, and behavior can help identify it from one species to the next. Each species has a unique call which is used to attract a mate and can be used to tell one species apart from the next.

Woodlands, marshes, fields, and hillsides are some of the areas where frogs inhabit. While frogs can be in many habitats they will usually be around a body of water. Some species make temporary and residential water sources their home.

Frogs are most active in spring since that is when most have their mating season. They will remain active until late fall and go into hibernation. Some frogs emerge from hibernation sooner and can withstand cooler temperatures.

With 17 different frogs that live in Pennsylvania, there are many opportunities to find some in a location near you. Frogs can be in various colors and sizes. They are harmless and are beneficial in keeping the insect population low. 

Frogs in Pennsylvania

1.  American Bullfrog

American Bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana)
American Bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana)
  • Experience Level: Intermediate-Advanced
  • Family: Ranidae
  • Scientific Name: Rana catesbeiana
  • Other Names: lithobates catesbeianus
  • Adult Size: 3 ½ -6 inches
  • Lifespan: 7-15 years
  • Average Price Range: $20

The American Bullfrog lives all across Pennsylvania, inhabiting many of the state’s natural water sources. Ponds, streams, lakes, rivers, creeks, and backwaters are common living areas.

Bullfrogs can be found in man-made water sources, and are known to drive other frog species out of their habitat being so territorial. These species are known for their low-sounding mating call, which can be heard when night approaches.

The American Bullfrog is the largest species of frog in Pennsylvania and North America. Everything about this species is large like its giant head, robust body, and strong muscular legs. Bullfrogs are green to brownish in color with a white to the yellowish underside. Its tympanum is large and exposed on the side of its cheek.

This frog’s dorsal skin is smooth with small bumpy textures on it. It can have tiny black dots that cover its back. The green frog is often mistaken for this species but the placement of the dorsolateral fold can help identify the two apart.

The American Bullfrog has a wide diet and preys on animals by ambushing them. Rodents, lizards, snakes, crayfish, and small birds are some of the things they eat. This frog is an opportunistic feeder and will eat anything it can find. Bullfrogs have a healthy population and are territorial.

They are known to push other frogs out of their habitat and in some areas are considered invasive. Large water birds are the most common predator of this species, but the Bullfrog is also consumed by humans for their delicious legs. 

2. Eastern American Toad

Eastern American Toad (Anaxyrus americanus) in Grass
Eastern American Toad (Anaxyrus americanus) in Grass
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Bufonidae
  • Scientific Name: Anaxyrus americanus
  • Other Names: American Toad
  • Adult Size: 2-3 ½ inches
  • Lifespan: 2-10 years
  • Average Price Range: $20-$30

The Eastern American Toad can be found throughout Pennsylvania in a variety of habitats. Habitats in the deep wilderness like grassy fields, forested areas, and rocky mountains will house this species. They prefer moist areas with shallow waters for breeding. It can also be found in residential areas if it meets its living needs.

This species is nocturnal and will be will take shelter in holes and under natural debris. It has a healthy population but is rare to see in the day. It can be in both warm and climates. “The Hopping Toad” is another name for this species, as they are seen to hop instead of leap.

Eastern American Toads can have brown, olive, or brick red in color. It is marked with yellowish patterns across its body. Some toads have a stripe that runs down their back, and their bellies a light with spots on their chest. Dark spots are on their back with one or two warts within each spot. The warts are red, yellow, orange, or dark brown.

The toad’s large eyes and golden iris sit high atop its head. In March this species mate and males calls can be heard. It song lasts for about 30 secs and will inflate its throat t the size of its head.

Insects like mosquitoes, worms, and other invertebrates are preyed upon by this toad. Ina gardens can help keep the pest population low. It is a keen hunter and is able to flick its tongue about two inches in front of its face to catch prey. Its tongue is located in its front, instead of the rear. Thai species ha a healthy population in Pennsylvanian and is active until they hibernate in the winter.

3.  Fowler’s Toad

Fowler's Toad (Bufo fowleri)
Fowler’s Toad (Bufo fowleri) – source
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Bufonidae
  • Scientific Name: Anaxyrus fowleri
  • Other Names: Bufo fowleri
  • Adult Size: 2-3 inches
  • Lifespan: 2-10 years
  • Average Price Range: $10-$20

The Fowlers Toad can be found in lowland, open habits near moving waters like streams or rivers. They are scattered throughout Pennsylvania and are found in about half of the state. It can sometimes be found in places with a temporary source of water and even marshes.

It is active and explores the landscapes and gardens at night. During the day they will rest in burrows and other hiding areas. Hibernation occurs in the winter and is ended when the temperature starts to warm. 

This toad is slender and quick. It has dry skin with brown or gray coloring, sometimes green. A white stripe runs down the frog’s back and it is spotted with yellow bits.

There are dark blotches on this frog-like Eastern American Toad, but it has 3 warts within the blotches. Its mating call is low sounds simar to a sheep, lasting for 3-4 seconds.

Insects are its main source of food and it does most of its hunting at night. These toads can be seen in areas with lots of light since insects are attracted to light. This species is fairly common and is not endangered.

It is often not seen since it spends most of its day burrowed and near highly vegetated areas. It does most of its exploring when people are asleep, and can be in residential 

4. Green Frog

Green Frog (Lithobates clamitans melanota)
Green Frog (Lithobates clamitans melanota)
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Ranidae
  • Scientific Name: Lithobates clamitans melanota
  • Other Names: NorthernGreen Frog
  • Adult Size: 2 1/4 to 3 ½ inches
  • Lifespan: 16 to 20 years
  • Average Price Range: $10

The Northern Green Frog is found in abundance in Pennsylvania and is a very aquatic species. This frog stays close to shallow water and can be found in streams, swamps, rivers, and other water sources. It is a very active species. At night is when it will venture the most, but occasionally they will forage in the daytime.

Spring is when mating occurs and their low twangy calls can be heard near shallow water. If the temperatures do not get too cold they will avoid burrowing and skip hibernation.

Green frogs can be green but also brownish to tan. They are covered in dark spots of varying sizes. They are a medium-sized species and are known for their green lips and heads. Males will have yellow throats, compared to females with darker and spotted throats.

Its belly is white and has stripes running along with it. The Bullfrog closely resembles this frog, but the green frog’s dorsolateral folds extend above its eardrum.

The green frog preys on vertebrates and invertebrates. They consume a variety of prey that live in or near a water habitat. Fish, crayfish, dragon fly’s and water striders are some of the things that fall victim to this species. Green frogs are kept as pets since they are so common and are an easy beginner species.

5. Wood Frog

Wood Frog (Lithobates sylvaticus)
Wood Frog (Lithobates sylvaticus)
  • Experience Level: Beginner 
  • Family: Ranidae
  • Scientific Name: Lithobates sylvaticus
  • Other Names: Rana sylvaticus
  • Adult Size: 1 ⅜ – 2 ¾  inches
  • Lifespan: 1-3 years
  • Average Price Range: $15-$30 

The wood frog is a widely distributed species in North America and is found in the vernal pools habitat in Pennsylvania. It is well known for being terrestrial and for its high freeze tolerance. This species migrate long distances and can also be found in freshwater swamps, ravines, and other uplands habitats.

In the summer months, adults will be in the woodlands and migrate to hibernate. Wood frogs are one of the first species to emerge once the snow melts.

This frog is smaller and is found in varying shades of brown, tan, and rust. It has black markings around its eyes which extend to its nose and is unique in its look. Its stomach is green, white, or yellow. Its appearance helps to blend in with leaf litter and fast long leaps help escape into the foliage. 

Wood frogs survive off of insects and is an active hunter. They will chase after prey with their mouth open, extending their jaw and tongue forward. It is active for longer periods of time due to its freezing resistance.

This species has a healthy population and is found on land or water. Urbanization has fragmented some populations and this species is highly reliant on wetlands for breeding.

6. Pickerel Frog

Pickerel Frog (Lithobates palustris) in grass
Pickerel Frog (Lithobates palustris) in grass
  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Ranidae
  • Scientific Name: Lithobates palustris
  • Other Names: Rana palustris
  • Adult Size: 1 ¾ – 3 inches
  • Lifespan: 5-8 years
  • Average Price Range: $10-$15

The Pickerel frog is the only poisonous frog native to the U.S and can be found in abundance in Pennsylvania. Forrest, fields, meadows, are some of the habitats it lives in. Cold clear waters like rocky ravines, streams, and bogs are where it prefers to live. They are usually active from April to October and hang around the edges of the water. In winter they hibernate under natural objects. 

Pickerel frogs are medium-sized and have a similar appearance to the leopard frog. It is tan or gray with rows of brown blotches running down its back. Bright orange coloring appears around the inside of its leg to help confuse predators if attacked. This frog has prominent dorsolateral ridges that do not break running down its back. The call of this frog is similar to the leopard fro, but it is shorter and faster.

This species secretes a toxin on its skin to ward predators from eating it. It irritates humans’ skin and can be harmful to small animals and other amphibians. Ants, spiders, beetles, la,larvae, and other insects are preyed on by this species. They can be seen hunting in grassy areas next to water. 

7.  Northern Leopard Frog

Leopard Frog (Lithobates pipiens)
Leopard Frog (Lithobates pipiens)
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Ranidae
  • Scientific Name: Lithobates pipiens
  • Other Names: Rana pipiens
  • Adult Size: 2 – 3 ½  inches
  • Lifespan: 2-4 years
  • Average Price Range: $10-$15

The Northern Leopard frog is one of the most common amphibians in Pennsylvania and lives in many water habitats. Slowing moving waters like swamps, marshes, and bogs are common living areas. Spring is when this species mates, and during that period it is found near temporary water habitats.

In warmer months it can be found in meadows, fields, and farmland areas. Leopard frogs are everywhere in Pennsylvania and can even take shelter in man-made habitats. 

These frogs are medium and have a similar appearance to the pickerel frog. It can be dark greenish to brown and is covered in dark brown spots. The spots are scattered across their body and are surrounded by a small white outline. The inside of its legs and belly is white, and on the frog’s back are two light-colored dorsolateral stripes. 

Loss of habitat and pollution has contributed to the decline of this species. While seen in large numbers in some areas, most are seeing a population decline. Efforts are being made like preserving habitats, cutting off the use of pesticides, and minimizing pollutions to try and lessen the decline. Insects are the common food source of this species.

Leopard frogs are a carnivorous species and will even eat snakes, other frogs, and birds. They can often be heard croaking, as they can live near residential areas.

8. Atlantic Coast Leopard Frog

Atlantic coast leopard frog (Lithobates kauffeldi)
Atlantic coast leopard frog (Lithobates kauffeldi) – source
  • Experience Level: –
  • Family: Ranidae
  • Scientific Name: Lithobates kauffeldi
  • Other Names: 
  • Adult Size: 2-3 1/2 inches
  • Lifespan: up to 9 years
  • Average Price Range: N/A

Atlantic coast leopard frogs live in marshlands, rivers, streams, and near other slow-moving water sources in Pennsylvania. This species was identified in the state recently. It enjoys open vegetated habitats.

This species is medium-sized and it has green to dark brown color variants. Its head and body are covered in dark rounded spots. A white stripe runs from the head to its snout. The look of this frog can vary and change color because of day, time, and season. It has large legs and eyes with males having a vocal sack on their head for calling.

This species is rare to find and is only found in a small range in the state. It is carnivorous like other leopard frogs and survives mostly on insects. It is most active in the spring and can be spotted migrating. New information is always being discovered. It was missed as a species by many due to its similarity in appearance and range to other leopards frogs.

9.  Northern Spring Peeper

Northern Spring Peeper (Pseudacris crucifer crucifer)
Northern Spring Peeper (Pseudacris crucifer crucifer)
  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Hylidae
  • Scientific Name: Pseudacris crucifer crucifer
  • Other Names: Spring peeper
  • Adult Size: ¾ – 1 ¼ inch
  • Lifespan: 2-4 years
  • Average Price Range: $10-$20

Northern Spring Peepers live all throughout Pennsylvania and have an abundant population. Common habitats include dense woodlands, meadows, marshes, fields, and swamps. In spring they can be found in temporary waters and ponds near woodlands to mate. These frogs are one of the first species to emerge and get their name from the high squealing call that it does.

This species is small and comes in a variety of colors. Brown, tan, pink and black are common colors. On their back is a large x shaped mark that goes until its groin. It has dark bars across its face on the side of their heads. Their underside is white and males’ throats have yellow coloring. While small it is robust for its size.

These frogs are nocturnal and spend most of their active time hunting. Beetles, ants flies, and spiders are the bugs they eat, feeding off of mostly insects. This species is listed as threatened and is seeing a decline in populations in some areas. Common predators like skunks, snakes, and other frogs hunt this species. Pollution and destruction of their environment have added to the decline in population.

10. Eastern Spadefoot Toad

Eastern Spadefoot Toad (Scaphiopus holbrookii)
Eastern Spadefoot Toad (Scaphiopus holbrookii)
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Pelobatidae
  • Scientific Name: Scaphiopus holbrookii
  • Other Names: The spadefoot toad
  • Adult Size: 1 ¾- 2 ¼ inches
  • Lifespan: 2-10 years
  • Average Price Range: $10-$20

Eastern Spadefoot toads are a small fossorial toad that lives in Pennsylvania. It mainly inhabits sandy soils in rivers, streams, and agricultural fields. This species spends most of its time underground. Studying and finding this frog species in the wild is difficult due to its secretive nature.

They become more likely to find during the night, on rainy days, and when mating season occurs. This frog does not have a time period for mating seasons but will mate whenever heavy rainfall occurs.

Eastern spadefoots can be dark brown, grayish, or black. They have bumpy skin and warts on the side of their back. Their body is thick and their legs are large and powerful. On their back is dorsal stripes and all over their bodies are small molted spots.

These frogs are considered endangered and have seen a decline in population due to habitat loss. It is hard to tell the current loss due to the species spending most of its time underground. It survives off of insects and will only hunt on rainy nights.

11. Eastern Cricket Frog

Blanchard's Cricket Frog (Acris_crepitans blanchardi) - by GregTheBusker
Blanchard’s Cricket Frog (Acris_crepitans blanchardi) – by GregTheBusker
  • Experience Level: Beginner-Intermediate
  • Family: Hylidae
  • Scientific Name: Acris crepitans
  • Other Names: N/A
  • Adult Size: ⅝ – 1 ¾ inch
  • Lifespan: 1 year
  • Average Price Range: $5-$10 

The Eastern Cricket Frog can be found in the Eastern half of the United States and in Pennsylvania. They can be found in densely vegetated areas with bodies of water like ponds, marshes, bogs, and vernal pools.

This species is small and has rough bumpy skin. It can be greenish, brown, or yellowish in color. They have a rounded snout and triangular-shaped mark between their eyes. It has orangish and brown spots covering its back and legs. Their body is slender and they have a pointed head.

Cricket frogs are opportunistic predators and will eat whatever they can find. It hunts along the shorelines of ponds and rivers with ample amounts of sun. Insects like ants, beetles, and mosquitoes are what this species preys upon.

The Eastern cricket frog is engaged and has seen a recent decline in its population. The destruction of habitat and building in their homes has caused this species to be expedited from its natural area.

12. Gray Treefrog

Gray Tree Frog (Hyla versicolor) on branch with black background
Gray Tree Frog (Hyla versicolor) on branch with black background
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Hylidae
  • Scientific Name: Hyla versicolor
  • Other Names: N/A
  • Adult Size: 1 ¼ inches
  • Lifespan: 7-10 years
  • Average Price Range: $20

The gray tree frog has a wide range in Pennsylvania and can be found in most of the state. This frog lives near ponds, pools, and ditches in woodlands. They spend most of their time in trees and will come down to the ground to mate. Gray tree frogs lay their eggs in temporary waters with a lack of fish and predators.

This frog is usually gray but can also be green to brown in color. They can change their shade to match their environment from black to white. It has dark blotches on its back surrounded by dark edging. Its skin is grainy and covered in small warts.

 This tree frog is primarily nocturnal and spends most of the night hunting. It will hang around porches and areas with light that attracts a lot of insects. This species can survive freezing due to the glucose in its skin.

13.  Cope’s Gray Treefrog

Copes Gray Tree Frog (Hyla chrysoscelis) on pavement
Copes Gray Tree Frog (Hyla chrysoscelis) on pavement
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Hylidae
  • Scientific Name: Hyla chrysoscelis
  • Other Names: N/A
  • Adult Size: 1 ¼ inch
  • Lifespan: 7-10 years
  • Average Price Range: $20

Copes Gray treefrogs live in the southeastern united states and live in many habitats in the state of Pennsylvania. These treefrogs spend a lot of time in high trees and among the branches.

When mating seasons occur they go to wetlands and near temporary water sources to mate. These frogs are active mostly at night and spend their days hiding in holes and in natural foliage. This frog makes toxic secretion from its skin which helps protect against predators and can irritate human skin.

This frog is medium-sized and light gray to greenish in color. It has light blotches that stretch across its skin and is broken in some areas. Their heads and eyelids also have dark spots.

Its underside is cream-colored and its skin is covered in bumpy warts. On their inner thigh is has bright orange coloring. The copes gray treefrog is in fewer areas in Pennsylvania and does not have as large of a range as the regular tree frog.

This treefrog is most active in spring where its calls can be heard at night near water. This species eats insects and whatever they can find in this habitat. It is common and has a healthy population in the state.

14. Upland Chorus Frog

Upland chorus frog (Pseudacris feriarum) - Vicki DeLoach
Upland chorus frog (Pseudacris feriarum) – Vicki DeLoach
  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Hylidae
  • Scientific Name: Pseudacris feriarum
  • Other Names: N/A
  • Adult Size: ¾ – 1 ⅜ inch
  • Lifespan: 1-5 years
  • Average Price Range: N/A 

The upland chorus frog is a species of frog found in Pennsylvania and North America. it is found in moist woodlands, rivers, swamps, ponds, and marshes. It prefers to mate in temporary water and is also found in Coastal plain environments. This species is most active in the breeding season and in the day.

This species is small in size and is brown or gray in color. They have dark striped-shaped blotches that go down their back and dark sports on their legs. Its head is narrow and pointed with long hind legs. Their stomach is a light cream color and their skin are rough and bumpy.

This species is very similar to other chorus frogs and is easy to confuse with other species. Its mating call is its most defining feature and the range it inhabits. This frog survives off of insects and is an active hunter at night. While some population decline has occurred the species is healthy.

15. New Jersey Chorus Frog

New Jersey Chorus Frog (Pseudacris Kalmi)
New Jersey Chorus Frog (Pseudacris Kalmi) by Anita Gould
  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Hylidae
  • Scientific Name: Pseudacris Kalmi
  • Other Names: N/A
  • Adult Size: ¾ – 1 ½ inch
  • Lifespan: 1-5 years
  • Average Price Range: N/A

The new jersey chorus frog is a small chorus frog species that live in a small part of Pennsylvania. They inhabit open bodies of water with high vegetated environments. Many of the small breeding ponds they inhabit have been destroyed or cleared causing the endangerment of the species.

This species is a bit more robust than other chorus frog species. They are rough-skinned with some warts. They range in colors from gray to tan and have light blotches covering them. Its stomach is a bright bronze color.

The species is rarely seen and efforts are underway to help maintain the species. Other frogs and snakes are common animals that prey on thesis species. If not hibernating this species will spend its time hunting and foraging the land.

16. Western Chorus Frog

Western Chorus Frog (Pseudacris triseriata)
Western Chorus Frog (Pseudacris triseriata)
  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Hylidae
  • Scientific Name: Pseudacris triseriata
  • Other Names: striped chorus frog
  • Adult Size: ¾ 1 ½ 
  • Lifespan: 1-4 years
  • Average Price Range: N/A

Western Chorus frogs live in Pennsylvania and can be found near its many water sources. It can live in permanent or temporary sources. Swamps, marshes, wet fields, and edges of ponds are common habitats. They are nocturnal and will be out most on warm summer nights. Their mating call can be heard, which is a soothing chorus.

Chorus frogs are small and smooth. They are greenish-gray, reddish, brown, or olive in color. Brwon blotches cover its face and back. Marks can also be on and near its eyes.

Insects and small invertebrates are their sources of food. They are a secretive species and will stop croaking and dive into the water if disturbed.  This species has a healthy population, but in some areas is declining. It is one of the many chorus frog species in Pennsylvania.

17.  Mountain Chorus Frog

Mountain chorus frog - (Pseudacris brachyphona) by Vicki DeLoach
Mountain chorus frog – (Pseudacris brachyphona) by Vicki DeLoach
  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Hylidae
  • Scientific Name: Pseudacris brachyphona
  • Other Names: N/A
  • Adult Size: 1-1 ¼ inch
  • Lifespan: 1-3 years
  • Average Price Range: N/A

The Mountain chorus frog lives in wooded hillsides with springs and other water sources. It is often found in hillsides in southwestern Pennsylvania.  This species is secretive and has not been as thoroughly studied. In the day and night, these frogs will be active. When breeding occurs, males will call from wide-open areas. In the summer months, adults are rarely seen.

This frog is gray to olive and has a dorsal pattern that looks similar to reversed parentheses. Males have dark throats and on both genders is a yellow coloring between their legs. This species has a stockier body, bigger head, and large pads on its feet, unlike other chorus frogs.

Insects like ants, beetles moths, and other invertebrates are what it commonly feed upon. This species is often preyed upon by bullfrogs and other predators. It is not engaged but has seen a recent decline in population.

Wrapping up

In Pennsylvania there are 17 different frog species, 4 of them which are toads. Tree frogs, leopard frogs, and chorus frogs make up some of the species. All of the species use water sources to breed and lay their eggs.

Some frogs will spend less time in the water and prefer to be on the ground, such as the tree frogs. Some frogs will be harder to find and can even be underground. Knowing the species around you can help you locate and identify the different species.

All of the frogs in Pennsylvania have experienced a decline in population for various reasons. While not all frogs are endangered, the destruction of natural habitats, contamination of water sources, and lack of breeding environments have all contributed to their decline. Some states have taken steps to try and limit their decline.

Some frogs on this list can make good pets for beginners. Frogs with easy-care routines and minimal diets are the best companions. Keeping and breeding frogs in captivity is one way to ensure some species survival and preservation.

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