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Frogs in Virginia

There are 28 different species of frogs and toads in Virginia, out of the 7,000 found in the world.

Frogs can be found all over the state and each species will live in its preferred habitat. They are most likely to live near water which is needed for breeding.

Frogs and toads are the world’s most well-known amphibians and each species has its own unique traits.

The different frogs in Virginia can be found in forests, swamps, ponds, marshes, and other types of habitats.

In this article, you’ll find all of the 28 frog and toad species in Virginia, with useful facts to know about each.

On your next adventure into the wilderness or even in your own backyard, you may be able to find some of the species on this list. Knowing a species preferred habitat, its look, and when it is active can help you identify the next frog you come across.

Frogs in Virginia 

1. Southern Toad

Southern Toad (Anaxyrus Terrestris) on grass and dirt at the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, Canal Trail, Chesapeake, Virginia, USA
A Southern Toad (Anaxyrus Terrestris) on grass and dirt at the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, Canal Trail, Chesapeake, Virginia, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Bufonidae
  • Scientific Name: Anaxyrus Terrestris
  • Other Names: N/A
  • Adult Size: 2.5 to 3.5 inches
  • Lifespan: 10 years
  • Average Price Range: $10 to $20

The southern toad can be found in Virginia in the southeastern Piedmont and Coastal Plain.

These frogs prefer habitats with sandy soils good for burrowing like agricultural fields, pine woodlands, and residential areas. They like to burrow into loose soil or hide under leaf litter and debris on the ground during the day.

They tend to stay on land for most of their life and can be found up to a mile away from their breeding ponds. This species is most active at night but can sometimes be seen during the day.

These frogs are usually inactive during late fall and winter.

Southern toads tend to have red, brown, gray, olive-green, or dark brown skin covered in warts with dark spots or bands on their hind legs. They usually have a light-colored line going down the middle of their back.

These frogs have a prominent set of glands that protrude out of the back of their head located behind the eyes. In this species, the males are usually smaller than the females and can have dark throats.

This species has a diet of insects including snails, beetles, fireflies, cockroaches, slugs, bees, and crickets.

These frogs produce a skin secretion that can be toxic or at the very least distasteful to their predators. They will also inflate their lungs and spread out their legs to appear larger as a defense.

2. Oak Toad

Oak Toad (Anaxyrus quercicus) on a rock near Airfield Pond, Sussex County, Virginia, USA
An Oak Toad (Anaxyrus quercicus) on a rock near Airfield Pond, Sussex County, Virginia, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Intermediate 
  • Family: Bufonidae 
  • Scientific Name: Anaxyrus quercicus
  • Other Names: N/A
  • Adult Size: 1.75 inches
  • Lifespan: 1 to 2 years 
  • Average Price Range: $10 

Oak toads only occur in the southeastern Coastal Plain. They are the smallest toad in North America and are in danger of being extinct.

They live in sandhills, pine flatwoods, oak forests, and prairies that contain sandy soil. These frogs use temporary water pools and areas with lots of natural hiding spots to breed.

They lay their eggs underneath the water on blades of grass.

The oak toad only reaches a maximum size of about 1 and a half inches. Their bodies are either tan, dark brown, reddish-brown, or gray with dark brown or black spots or bands and a light yellow or cream-colored stripe down their back.

Oak toads mostly eat small insects like ants, beetles, flies, plant lice, and spiders.

These frogs breed from April to October. Their call sounds similar to a bird chirping. Being so small, this species has many predators like larger frogs, raccoons, birds, and snakes.

3. Fowler’s Toad 

Fowler's Toad (Anaxyrus fowleri) on a piece of log by Rivanna River, Albermarle County, Virginia, USA
A Fowler’s Toad (Anaxyrus fowleri) on a piece of log by Rivanna River, Albermarle County, Virginia, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Bufonidae
  • Scientific Name: Anaxyrus fowleri
  • Other Names: Bufo fowleri
  • Adult Size: 2 to 3 inches
  • Lifespan: 2 to 5 years
  • Average Price Range: $20

Fowler’s toads can be found all over Virginia and are abundant in the Coastal Plain. They make their homes in forested habitats near preferably temporary but sometimes permanent bodies of water.

They often breed in roadside ditches, ponds, and shallow pools. These toads are most active at night and can often be seen during humid summer nights.

This species of toad is normally seen with brown, green, red, or gray skin.

They are covered in warts and dark blotches that often have a black outline. They have a light stripe down the center of their body and a large gland behind each eye.

These frogs mainly eat insects like snails, worms, and crickets.

Their breeding season lasts from April to early July and they lay their eggs typically after heavy rainfall. The males call sounds somewhat like a sheep bleating or a baby crying.

4. Eastern Spadefoot Toad

Eastern Spadefoot (Scaphiopus holbrookii) on some rocks in sand at Corrotoman River, Regina, Virginia, USA
An Eastern Spadefoot (Scaphiopus holbrookii) on some rocks in sand at Corrotoman River, Regina, Virginia, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Pelobatidae
  • Scientific Name: Scaphiopus holbrookii
  • Other Names: The spadefoot toad
  • Adult Size: 1.75 to 2.25 inches
  • Lifespan: 2 to 10 years
  • Average Price Range: $10 to $20

Spadefoot toads are mainly found in the Coastal Plain and occasionally in Piedmont and the Blue Ridge Mountains.

These toads make their home in dry habitats with sandy soil. These frogs burrow and then remain underground for most of their life.

They prefer to breed in fishless bodies of water like temporary ponds, roadside ditches, and large puddles. During heavy rainfall, at any time of the year, these frogs come out and breed.

They are referred to as “explosive breeders” meaning they emerge in large numbers for short periods and mate.

The Eastern Spadefoot Toad gets its name from the spade-like addition on the bottom of its foot that it uses to burrow. They can be found in a variety of colors such as yellow, dark brown, tan, and olive green.

They are usually seen having two lines running from behind their eyes down their bodies forming the shape of an hourglass. This species has bright yellow eyes with cat-like pupils that can help distinguish this toad from other species.

This frog can smell like peanut butter to some people; it can also cause an allergic reaction to some who handle them.

The males can be found calling from the surface of the water after heavy rain. Their call is said to sound like a low-pitched “waaah” repeated in quick succession.

5. Eastern Narrow-mouthed Toad

Eastern Narrow-mouthed Toad (Gastrophryne carolinensis)  on some rocky concrete near Cuba Island, Gloucester, Virginia, USA
An Eastern Narrow-mouthed Toad (Gastrophryne carolinensis) on some rocky concrete near Cuba Island, Gloucester, Virginia, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Intermediate to Advanced
  • Family: Microhylidae
  • Scientific Name: Gastrophryne carolinensis
  • Other Names: Narrow-mouthed toad
  • Adult Size: 1.5 to 2 inches
  • Lifespan: 6 years
  • Average Price Range: $10

Eastern Narrowmouth toads can be found in different types of habitats like Cyprus gum swamps, live-oak ridges, sandy woodlands, open woods, prairies, and pine forests. They emerge on rainy summer nights to breed in temporary ponds, flooded pastures, rain-filled ditches, and open grassy habitats.

They are mainly found in the Coastal Plain. This species spends the days hidden under logs, leaf litter, and other debris and comes out at night to feed and mate.

Narrow mouth toads are small, almost flat frogs with pointed heads. These toads also have a fold of skin across their head and no visible external eardrum.

These toads are usually gray, brown, or red but their color can change from day to day depending on each frog.

This species feeds on different types of invertebrates but specifically ants.

These frogs produce a secretion that can be irritating to a human’s skin and eyes. These toads are most active during the breeding season which occurs between April and October.

6. Eastern American Toad

Eastern American Toad (Anaxyrus americanus) found in some grass by Malvern Hill Battlefield, Henrico, Virginia, USA
An Eastern American Toad (Anaxyrus americanus) found in some grass by Malvern Hill Battlefield, Henrico, Virginia, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Bufonidae
  • Scientific Name: Anaxyrus americanus
  • Other Names: American Toad
  • Adult Size: 2 to 3.5 inches
  • Lifespan: 2 to 10 years
  • Average Price Range: $20 to $30

The American toads can be found throughout most of Virginia and can sometimes be seen around homes with gardens, flower beds with mulch, and downspouts. These frogs prefer to live in cool moist wooded areas.

This species is nocturnal so, during the day they like to hide under stones, boards, piles of wood, walkways, porches, and other covered areas.

American Toads are typically red, olive green, brown, or tan with some having a light stripe running from the tip of the snout down the center of the body. These toads are stout with long, often thick legs.

Like other toads in the area, this species has a large gland protruding from the back of their head behind the eyes.

These toads spend most of their life on land but make their way to water sources such as ponds, marshes, swamps, and pools to breed. Males tend to stay around the water throughout the breeding season which usually lasts from February to early April.

The males call in large choruses starting around dusk but can sometimes be heard calling on warm humid summer days.

7. American Bullfrog

American Bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana) on a wet log by water at Huntley Meadows Park, Grovetown, Virginia, USA
An American Bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana) on a wet log by water at Huntley Meadows Park, Grovetown, Virginia, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Intermediate to Advanced
  • Family: Ranidae
  • Scientific Name: Rana catesbeiana
  • Other Names: Bullfrog
  • Adult Size: 3.5 to 6 inches
  • Lifespan: 7 to 15 years
  • Average Price Range: $20

The American Bullfrog, commonly known as the Bullfrog, got its name from the male mating call which is said to sound similar to a bull bellowing.

This species is mostly aquatic and typically lives in habitats like lakes, ponds, swamps, and oftentimes pools and canals. Bullfrogs are only active from April to October when waters are around or above 60 degrees Fahrenheit.

This species is normally brownish-green with dark spots around their backs. These frogs have large heads and mouths usually with a bright green upper lip and pale bottom lip.

They have stout front legs and long hind legs. Their front feet are not webbed while the back feet are.

Bullfrogs have a large appetite and will eat almost anything they can catch like rodents, snakes, small birds, small lizards, bats, and other frogs and toads. The American bullfrog is the largest frog in North America.

8. Carpenter Frog

Carpenter Frog (Lithobates virgatipes) on a leaf near Cape Charles Spring Branch, Virginia, USA
A Carpenter Frog (Lithobates virgatipes) on a lily pad near Cape Charles Spring Branch, Virginia, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Intermediate to Advanced
  • Family: Ranidae
  • Scientific Name: Lithobates virgatipes
  • Other Names: sphagnum frog
  • Adult Size: 1.5 to 2.5 inches
  • Lifespan: 3 to 6 years
  • Average Price Range: N/A

Carpenter frogs are mostly aquatic and remain in wetlands. They prefer to make their homes in permanent bodies of water.

This species hibernates underwater and will sometimes move to smaller ponds close to their breeding pool to hibernate. They are sometimes referred to as “sphagnum frogs” because they prefer to live in low to high acidity sphagnum ponds.

The carpenter frog is brown or greenish-brown with two yellow or orange stripes on either side of its back and two on its sides and has a cream or yellow belly. These frogs can be mistaken for bullfrogs but can be distinguished by the four yellow stripes on their back and sides.

Aquatic insects and invertebrates like crayfish are what they eat. Large fish, frogs, and snakes will often prey on the carpenter frog.

9. Coastal Plains Leopard Frog

Coastal Plains Leopard Frog (Lithobates sphenocephalus utricularius) in some forest litter by Williamsburg RV and Camping Resort, Virginia, USA
A Coastal Plains Leopard Frog (Lithobates sphenocephalus utricularius) in some forest litter by Williamsburg RV and Camping Resort, Virginia, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Beginner 
  • Family: Ranidae
  • Scientific Name: Lithobates sphenocephalus utricularius
  • Other Names: N/A
  • Adult Size: 2 to 3.5 inches 
  • Lifespan: 2 to 5 years 
  • Average Price Range: N/A

The coastal plains leopard frog can be found in the coastal plains and Piedmont environments in Virginia and are a subspecies of Leopard frogs. They are one of the most common species and inhabit various fresh and brackish water habitats.

Mating and calls can be heard from this species in the late winter and early spring. Tadpoles take around 12 weeks to mature and several hundreds of eggs can be laid in shallow waters.

Coastal plains leopard frogs are covered in elongated spots on their sides and back. Some frogs have no markings.

They are brown to greenish in color with long ridges going down their sides. Males are smaller than females. Their heads are pointed and their bellies are white.

Insects, small invertebrates, and worms make up most of their diet. Tadpoles eat algae and other vegetation. They are nocturnal and during the day they can be found hiding in vegetation and water shores.

10. Green Frog

Green Frog (Lithobates clamitans) on a grassy log near Big Woods Wildlife Management Area, Waverly, Viriginia, USA
A Green Frog (Lithobates clamitans) on a grassy log near Big Woods Wildlife Management Area, Waverly, Viriginia, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Ranidae
  • Scientific Name: Lithobates clamitans 
  • Other Names: NorthernGreen Frog
  • Adult Size: 2.25 to 3.5 inches
  • Lifespan: 15 to 20 years
  • Average Price Range: $10

Green frogs are found living in or along the shoreline of permanent bodies of water such as lakes, rivers, marshes, swamps, streams, springs, and quarries. They prefer bodies of water with a good amount of aquatic vegetation emerging out of the water.

Green frogs aren’t usually found far from their breeding pools except occasionally on rainy nights.

These frogs are typically shades of brown or green with obscure dark spotting. The males typically have shorter front legs, larger external eardrums, and bright yellow throats compared to females.

Green frogs breed from April to July in the south and June to August in the north. They generally breed in the same waters they live in so eggs can be found in shallow water among vegetation.

11. Atlantic Coast Leopard Frog

Atlantic Coast Leopard Frog (Lithobates kauffeldi) on a grassy rock near Tuckers Pond, Emporia, Virginia, USA
An Atlantic Coast Leopard Frog (Lithobates kauffeldi) on a grassy rock near Tuckers Pond, Emporia, Virginia, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Intermediate to Advanced
  • Family: Ranidae
  • Scientific Name: Lithobates kauffeldi
  • Other Names: N/A
  • Adult Size: 2 to 3.5 inches
  • Lifespan: 2 to 5 years
  • Average Price Range: N/A

The Atlantic Coast Leopard frog is a newly discovered species in Virginia.

They tend to live in wetland areas like marshes, meadows, swamps, ditches, ponds, and stream or lake margins. These frogs like to live in or around open spaces containing clear shallow water and aquatic vegetation.

These frogs can range from light olive-green to mint-gray with irregular dark spots covering their body. They often have two yellow or tan stripes going from their snout down the sides of their body.

These frogs can often be mistaken for the southern leopard frog but can easily be distinguished by their more rounded snout and mating call which is a single distinct “chuck” rather than a repeated “ak-ak-ak”.

Leopard frogs eat beetles, ants, worms, and flies to smaller frogs, birds, and small snakes.

Atlantic coast leopard frogs breed from late winter into early spring. They can be heard calling both day and night during the breeding season. They can be seen floating in shallow waters in small choruses.

12. Pickerel Frog

Pickerel Frog (Lithobates palustris) on moist sand by Busch Field, Williamsburg, Virginia, USA
A Pickerel Frog (Lithobates palustris) on moist sand by Busch Field, Williamsburg, Virginia, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Ranidae
  • Scientific Name: Lithobates palustris
  • Other Names: Rana palustris
  • Adult Size: 1.75 to 3 inches
  • Lifespan: 5 to 8 years
  • Average Price Range: $10 to $15

The pickerel frog is found through most of Virginia except the southeastern corner and eastern shore. They are commonly seen in the mountains along small streams but can also be found in forest fields and meadows.

They prefer to live in cool, unpolluted waters. These frogs tend to breed in temporary bodies of water such as woodland pools but will also use permanent waters such as swamps, streams, and ponds.

They may use other habitats like bogs, and open meadows as well.

Pickerel frogs look similar to southern leopard frogs but can be distinguished by their set of parallel rows of square-shaped spots and lack of a white spot on their external eardrum. They have a distinct white line on the upper jaw and a white or yellowish belly.

These frogs also have bright yellow or orange concealed patches on their inner hind legs.

This species feeds on insects and small invertebrates such as flies, beetles, ants, water bugs, and spiders. Their mating call sounds similar to a person snoring and is usually made from underwater.

Pickerel frogs are most active during the breeding season which takes place from late April to June.

13. Wood Frog

Wood Frog (Lithobates sylvaticus) on the ground near Wolftrap Creek at Wolftrap National Park, Virginia, USA
A Wood Frog (Lithobates sylvaticus) on the ground near Wolftrap Creek at Wolftrap National Park, Virginia, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Beginner 
  • Family: Ranidae
  • Scientific Name: Lithobates sylvaticus
  • Other Names: Rana sylvaticus
  • Adult Size: 1.375 to 2.75  inches
  • Lifespan: 1 to 3 years
  • Average Price Range: $15 to $30

Wood frogs prefer to stay on land but will use temporary pools to breed. They can be found more than half a mile away from their breeding pools.

These frogs spend the summer season in habitats like ravines, wet meadows, bogs, forested swamps, or moist woodlands and move upland when winter comes to hibernate. They do this to ensure a short migration to their breeding pool when spring thaws it.

Wood frogs are active during the day and they are almost never seen at night with the exception of breeding choruses.

This species is typically brown, tan, or reddish-brown but can have a wide range of colors from different shades of brown to pink to nearly black. Individual frogs’ color can change from day to day.

Females are usually larger and brighter in color than males are. Their bellies are white dark markings on either side of their chest. They have a mask-like marking extending from the tip of the snout past the eye and down the side of their body.

The wood frog has a diet of small insects that can be found on the forest floor such as beetles, ants, and spiders.

This species breeding season occurs during February in Virginia. Wood frogs tend to emerge to breed after the first warm rain of early spring.

14. Barking Treefrog

Barking Treefrog (Dryophytes gratiosus) on bark at Prince Edward Gallion State Forest, Virginia, USA
A Barking Treefrog (Dryophytes gratiosus) clinging onto bark at Prince Edward Gallion State Forest, Virginia, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Beginner 
  • Family: Hylidae
  • Scientific Name: Dryophytes gratiosus
  • Other Names: N/A
  • Adult Size: 2 to 2.75 inches
  • Lifespan: 5 to 10 years
  • Average Price Range: $15 

The Barking tree frog has a high risk of extinction so they are unlikely to be regularly found. These frogs like to remain in trees and shrubs or burrow in damp sandy soil around their breeding pools.

These frogs use all kinds of wetlands for breeding including temporary, semi-permanent, and permanent pools. They can be found in cypress ponds, sinkhole ponds, woodland ponds, flooded sandpits, swamps, flooded ditches, and cornfields.

Barking tree frogs are the largest frog in the Hyla family in North America. These frogs are usually shades of green or brown and often have dark spots on the body and legs and occasionally yellow or gray spots.

Their skin is thick and leathery and can change colors depending on the time of day, temperature, and surroundings.

This species is named after its loud distinct mating call which sounds like a dog barking. Their breeding seasons start based on temperature and dry versus wet conditions in their area.

They can be seen floating on the surface of the water or sitting on nearby vegetation calling to females. 

15. Brimley’s Chorus Frog

Brimley's Chorus Frog (Pseudacris brimleyi) on rocky ground near Taylors Millpond, Virginia, USA
A Brimley’s Chorus Frog (Pseudacris brimleyi) on rocky ground near Taylors Millpond, Virginia, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Hylidae
  • Scientific Name: Pseudacris brimleyi
  • Other Names: N/A
  • Adult Size: 1 to 1.5 inches
  • Lifespan: 1 to 3 years
  • Average Price Range: N/A

The Brimley’s chorus frog can be found in a variety of different habitats such as hardwood forests, pine forests, forested wetlands, freshwater marshes, swamps, ponds, and ditches.

These frogs tend to stay on land except to breed. This species breeds in shallow waters such as ditches, woodland ponds, flooded fields, and swamps.

This species can be seen in a variety of different colors but are typically tan. They have three brown stripes on the body and a dark brown or black stripe going from each nostril through the eye and down the side of the body.

Their stomachs are yellow with brown spots on their chest.

Brimley’s chorus frogs have a diet consisting of small insects like ants, spiders, and beetles. These frogs breed from March to April and can be heard calling from on or beneath vegetation near breeding ponds.

16. Cope’s Gray Treefrog

Cope's Gray Treefrog (Hyla chrysoscelis) in between limbs of a tree by The Meadows, James City County, Virginia, USA
A Cope’s Gray Treefrog (Hyla chrysoscelis) in between limbs of a tree by The Meadows, James City County, Virginia, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Hylidae
  • Scientific Name: Hyla chrysoscelis
  • Other Names: N/A
  • Adult Size: 1 to 1.25 inches
  • Lifespan: 7 to 10 years
  • Average Price Range: $20

Cope’s gray tree frog looks almost identical to the gray tree frog. The only good way to distinguish the two is by the males’ call. Cope’s call is fast-paced and higher-pitched than the gray treefrog.

These frogs are active during the breeding season and hibernate high up in trees during winter. While they are active they can be found near the edges of ponds, temporary wetlands, and ditches.

When they’re not breeding they can be found hunting for food high up in trees or in shrubs.

This species is typically gray to gray-green with skin resembling tree bark. These frogs have concealed bright yellow or orange blotches on the inside of their hind legs.

This bright coloring is likely used to scare off predators when the frog leaps.

Cope’s gray tree frog eats insects and invertebrates such as flies, moths, ants, beetles, and grasshoppers. This species’ breeding season is from late March to early August.

17. Eastern Cricket Frog

Northern Cricket Frog (Acris crepitans) on a brown leaf somewhere in between Royal Acres and Fox Hill, Albemarle County, Virginia, USA
A Northern Cricket Frog (Acris crepitans) on a brown leaf somewhere in-between Royal Acres and Fox Hill, Albemarle County, Virginia, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Beginner-Intermediate
  • Family: Hylidae
  • Scientific Name: Acris crepitans
  • Other Names: N/A
  • Adult Size: 0.625 to 1.75 inches
  • Lifespan: 1 year
  • Average Price Range: $5 to $10 

The Eastern Cricket Frog can be found in habitats with lots of vegetation and slow-moving permanent bodies of water. These frogs prefer open grassy areas near ponds or marshes. They are often found in large groups along the banks of streams right before breeding season.

During winter they can be found upland a ways away from their breeding pools.

This species is one of the three smallest animals in North America only getting to a maximum length of one and a half inches long.

These frogs have moist warty skin that’s color is most often blotchy shades of gray, green, or brown. They are often seen having dark bands on their legs.

Cricket frogs hunt along the shorelines of ponds and rivers They eat insects like ants, beetles, and mosquitoes. The males call from March to July. Their call sounds similar to two stones being banged together.

18. Gray Treefrog

Gray Treefrog (Dryophytes versicolor) on a piece of wood at Ball's Bluff Battlefield Regional Park, Virginia, USA
A Gray Treefrog (Dryophytes versicolor) on a piece of wood at Ball’s Bluff Battlefield Regional Park, Virginia, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Hylidae
  • Scientific Name: Dryophytes versicolor
  • Other Names: N/A
  • Adult Size: 1.25 inches
  • Lifespan: 7 to 10 years
  • Average Price Range: $20

Gray treefrogs can be found in many different types of wooded areas but are frequently found in forests with lots of leaf litter and debris, swamps, and even in some backyards. Due to their offspring needing an aquatic habitat to mature they are normally found around areas that have small streams or standing water.

Gray tree frog’s skin is rough and bumpy resembling tree bark and its color can change depending on its environment and ranges from gray to green to brown.

The surface of their legs has dark bands and the underside of their legs has large bright orange or yellow spots on each leg which they use to ward off predators. The underbelly tends to be white or cream-colored with the males having a dark-colored throat.

The gray tree frogs’ diet consists of insects such as beetles, mosquitos, ants, and spiders, and sometimes other small frogs.

These frogs breed from March to July. The males’ call sounds like a short high pitched trill sound. It is slower and lower-pitched than the Cope’s gray tree frog which can help tell the two apart.

19. Green Treefrog

Green Treefrog (Dryophytes cinereus) on a thorny stem or branch somewhere near Prince William Forest Park, Virginia, USA
A Green Treefrog (Dryophytes cinereus) on a thorny stem or branch somewhere near Prince William Forest Park, Virginia, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Hylidae
  • Scientific Name: Dryophytes cinereus
  • Other Names: American green tree frog
  • Adult Size: 2 to 2.5 inches
  • Lifespan: 2 to 6 years
  • Average Price Range: $10

Green tree frogs can be found living in grassy habitats near ponds, lakes, marshes, or streams with lots of floating aquatic vegetation. They can sometimes be found in backyard pools or ponds.

These frogs are easily scared and do not do well being handled. Handling a frog can irritate its skin and scare it. They will breed in the various water habitats they live in.

The green tree frog is a large aboriginal species. They come in shades of bright to darker green. Their color will vary depending on the environment and they are covered in small light patches.

Males have wrinkled throats and are slightly smaller than females. They have smooth skin and large pads for climbing.

Insects and anthropoids are this species’ main source of food. They are commonly hunted by birds and large snakes. This frog is a popular pet due to its size and ease of care.

As pets, a large terrarium that is moist and filled with vegetation can match their environment.

20. Little Grass Frog

Little Grass Frog (Pseudacris ocularis) on someone's thumb at Big Woods Wildlife Management Area, Sussex County, Virginia, USA
A very tiny Little Grass Frog (Pseudacris ocularis) on someone’s thumb at Big Woods Wildlife Management Area, Sussex County, Virginia, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Intermediate to Advanced
  • Family: Hylidae
  • Scientific Name: Pseudacris ocularis
  • Other Names: N/A
  • Adult Size: 0.75 inches
  • Lifespan: 5 to 10 years
  • Average Price Range: N/A

The little grass frog is the smallest frog species in Virginia and North America. They can be found in the coastal plains near ponds and wetlands. They prefer to live in moist vegetated areas.

Breeding occurs from January to September and eggs are laid in shallow highly vegetated waters or at the bottom of ponds. They will call all year round but its sound is highlighted and can be hard to hear sometimes.

The little grass frog is small with a slender body and pointed head. Red, green or pink are their possible colorings covered in various patterns.

The little grass frogs have a dark stripe that runs from their snout to its body. They are small enough to sit comfortably on your fingernail.

Despite their small size, they can jump almost 2 feet into the air.

Anthropoids and insects are what they mainly eat, found in soil and leaf litter. Being so small they are preyed upon by a large variety of animals like other frogs, fish, and birds.

21. Mountain Chorus Frog

Mountain Chorus Frog ( Pseudacris brachyphona) calling out in some muddy leaf litter by Trinity United Methodist Church near Big Walker Lookout, Virginia, USA
A Mountain Chorus Frog ( Pseudacris brachyphona) calling out in some muddy leaf litter by Trinity United Methodist Church near Big Walker Lookout, Virginia, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Hylidae
  • Scientific Name: Pseudacris brachyphona
  • Other Names: N/A
  • Adult Size: 1 to 1.25 inches
  • Lifespan:  1 to 3 years
  • Average Price Range: N/A

Mountain Chorus inhabits West Virginia in forested hillsides. They are found near a water source like a spring, pond, ditch, other shallow waters and can be found in elevations as high as 3,500 feet.

This species is active in the day or night. They are secretive and not often found. Their nasally call will help you spot them more easily, as it resembles the sound of a wheel.

The Mountain chorus frog ranges in shades of gray, olive green, and brown. They have a dark pattern on their back that looks like a pair of parentheses. They are often confused for the Pine Woods tree frog but the mountain chorus frog has a dark triangle between its eyes and a white line above its lips.

Small insects like spiders, caterpillars, and ants are what they hunt. The mountain chorus frog is not a good climber and does most of its hunting on the ground.

In Virginia, they are rare and considered a threatened species.

22. New Jersey Chorus Frog

New Jersey Chorus Frog on a wet leaf in Accomack County near Wattsville, Virginia, USA
A New Jersey Chorus Frog on a wet leaf in Accomack County near Wattsville, Virginia, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Hylidae
  • Scientific Name: Pseudacris Kalmi
  • Other Names: N/A
  • Adult Size: 0.75 to 1.5 inches
  • Lifespan: 1 to 5 years
  • Average Price Range: N/A

The New Jersey Chorus frog is a species of chorus frog found in moist habitats in Virginia.

Wetlands, ditches, matches, swamps, grassy floodplains, and moist woodland are areas they inhabit. They prefer open waters with dense vegetation.

Destruction of their habitat and breeding grounds has caused this species to become endangered. While small, this species of the chorus is robust.

They are rough-skinned, wart, and range in colors from gray to tan. Light blotches cover their body and their stomach is a bright bronze color. Dark markings can be present on their eyes, body, and groin.

Small insects and invertebrates are their main source of food.

Large frogs, snakes, and birds commonly eat this species. If their population decline continues they may be listed as a more threatened species. Actions like stopping pollution and keeping habitats clean are taken to prevent that.

23. Pine Woods Treefrog

Pine Woods Treefrog (Hyla femoralis) on wet sand just outside of Big Woods Wildlife Management Area, Waverly, Virginia, USA
A Pine Woods Treefrog (Hyla femoralis) on wet sand just outside of Big Woods Wildlife Management Area, Waverly, Virginia, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Intermediate 
  • Family: Hylidae
  • Scientific Name: Hyla femoralis (Dryophytes femoralis)
  • Other Names: Morse Code Frog
  • Adult Size: 0.75 to 1.5 inches
  • Lifespan: 2 to 4 years
  • Average Price Range: $20

The Pine Woods tree frog is a small species that inhabits pine forests, flatwoods, and cypress swamps in Virginia. They are arboreal and spend most of their time high up in trees.

In droughts with a lack of moisture or in winter they will take shelter under dark moist cover. In winter April through October, their call can be heard.

Reddish, gray, brown, and green are its possible colors. Squirrel tree frogs look similar to this species but the pine woods frog has yellow, orange, or white dots on their legs.

Their legs are long with large pads on their feet to help them climb. Markings and color vary between frogs but some frogs have dark patterns on their back.

Insects like ants, moths, flies, and crickets are their main source of food.

This frog is not poisonous but emits a substance from their skin that can protect them from prey. Their population is stable and they are listed as least concerned.

24. Southern Chorus Frog

Southern Chorus Frog (Pseudacris nigrita) climbing tree branches in the dark in Ivor, Virginia, USA
A Southern Chorus Frog (Pseudacris nigrita) climbing tree branches in the dark in Ivor, Virginia, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Hylidae
  • Scientific Name: Pseudacris nigrita
  • Other Names: N/A
  • Adult Size: 0.75 to 1.25 inches
  • Lifespan: 1 to 3 years
  • Average Price Range: N/A

The Southern chorus frog inhabits forested wetlands, meadows, roadside ditches, pine flatwoods, and pine savannas in Virginia. They can be found in the eastern half of the state.

Like other chorus frogs, their eggs are laid attached to vegetation or other debris. They lay eggs in shallow fishless water to keep tadpoles from being eaten. Sandy soil is needed in this species’ living area for it to burrow.

Being very secretive creatures, the southern chorus frogs spend most of their time in dense vegetation.

The southern chorus frogs are found in dark colors like brown, gray, greenish-gray, and tan. Their snouts are slightly pointed and their bellies are pale.

Dark stripes run down their back and across the frog’s face. There is almost always a white line above their lips.

Small insects and invertebrates such as ants, flies, beetles, and spiders make up a majority of their diet. A shy nature makes them a difficult species to study. While not a lot is known they have a widespread and strong population.

25. Southern Cricket Frog

Southern Cricket Frog (Acris gryllus) on a dry brown leaf at Newport News Park, Greenwood, Virginia, USA
A Southern Cricket Frog (Acris gryllus) on a dry brown leaf at Newport News Park, Greenwood, Virginia, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Beginner 
  • Family: Hylidae
  • Scientific Name: Acris gryllus
  • Other Names: Southeastern cricket frog
  • Adult Size: 0.75 to 1.5 inches
  • Lifespan: 5 to 10 years
  • Average Price Range: $5 to $10

The Southern cricket frog can be found in almost any moist habitat and is one of the smallest frog species in North America. They can be found near ponds, lakes, and small streams.

They are mostly terrestrial, even though they are a type of tree frog. They cannot climb so they won’t be found in high trees.

Males will breed from February to November, but their calls can be heard year-round to attract females or warn males. The southern cricket frog is aggressive and known to fight with other frogs for a mate.

Southern cricket frogs are a small species with rough warty skin. They can be brown, reddish-green, coming in various shades.

They have a brown to greenish stripe that runs down their head and back. Their legs are long which helps them jump far but their feet lack any pads for climbing.

This species has a diet of insects which is mostly mosquitos. Snakes, salamanders, birds, and turtles are predators that feed off this species.

While they cannot climb well, their jumping ability helps them escape potential danger. 

26. Spring Peeper

Spring Peeper (Pseudacris crucifer) on a dewey leaf at Huntley Meadows Park, Groveton, Virginia, USA
A Spring Peeper (Pseudacris crucifer) on a dewey leaf at Huntley Meadows Park, Groveton, Virginia, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Hylidae
  • Scientific Name: Pseudacris crucifer 
  • Other Names: N/A
  • Adult Size: 0.75 to 1.25 inches
  • Lifespan: 2 to 4 years
  • Average Price Range: $10 to $20

The spring peeper is a chorus frog species found in Virginia. They are one of the first species to start calling and mark the beginning of spring.

They live in forests next to a water source like a marsh, pond, and swamp. Semi-permanent water is used without fish so their tadpoles can survive. Water is only used for breeding and they spend most of their time in the forest.

Spring peepers are brown, tan, olive green, or gray with cream or white-colored bellies usually with an X-like mark on their back. Females are lighter in color while males are typically smaller with dark throats.

Overall this is a small species and some have a pattern of bars on their face sides and legs. They can change in different shades of brown to match leaves on the ground and have sticky pads to help them climb.

This species diet consists of small insects such as beetles, ants, flies, and spiders. They are nocturnal and come out to hunt at night. Insects like beetles, ants, flies, and spiders are what they mainly eat.

Snakes, birds of prey, and carnivorous insects are what prey on this species.

Aquatic animals like tadpoles and fish are what consume them in their tadpole form. Their call sounds like a “brrrrt” noise. 

27. Squirrel Treefrog

Squirrel Treefrog (Hyla squirella) on a chopped treetrunk at False Cape State Park, Virginia Beach, Virginia, USA
A Squirrel Treefrog (Hyla squirella) on a chopped treetrunk at False Cape State Park, Virginia Beach, Virginia, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Hylidae
  • Scientific Name: Hyla squirella
  • Other Names: Rain frogs
  • Adult Size: 1 to 1.5 inches
  • Lifespan: 5 to 9 years
  • Average Price Range: $10

Squirrel tree frogs are average-sized to small frogs that can be found in the coastal plains of Virginia.

Areas like marshes, swamps, and the edges of lakes and streams are where they prefer to live as well as highly vegetated areas. That includes gardens, trees, vines, and underneath logs.

Squirrel tree frogs are green but can change their shade to match their environment. They are a small species with some frogs having spots with light stripes down their side.

Their mating call sounds like the chattering of a squirrel and can be heard often on rainy nights.

Insects are their main source of food and they can often be found hunting near light sources that attract bugs. They are nocturnal but if hungry they will hunt during the day.

The squirrel tree frog is a common species in Virginia. They use their color-changing skills and small size to avoid predation.

28. Upland Chorus Frog

Upland Chrous Frog (Pseudacris feriarum) on a rocky surface somewhere in Emporia, Virginia, USA
An Upland Chrous Frog (Pseudacris feriarum) on a rocky surface somewhere in Emporia, Virginia, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Intermediate 
  • Family: Hylidae
  • Scientific Name: Pseudacris feriarum
  • Other Names: N/A
  • Adult Size: 0.75 to 1.75 inches
  • Lifespan: 1 to 5 years 
  • Average Price Range: N/A

Upland Chorus frogs are a species known for their call found all across Virginia.

They live near rivers, marshes, swamps, ponds, and ditches to breed. Their preferred habitat is thick woodlands with plenty of vegetation.

November to March is when they are most active, but they are a species that breed year-round. They can even be heard calling when temperatures are below freezing.

Their call sounds similar to a finger running through a comb.

The upland chorus frog has brown, reddish, or olive-gray skin. Dark lines go down their sides and their skin is rough and bumpy. On their back are dark spots and line patterns.

The white cream-colored stripe above their lip can help identify this species.

Spiders, ants, beetles, and other small insects are what this frog eats.

Predators like snakes and larger frogs are what eat this species. They have a stable and healthy population in Virginia.

Wrapping up

Virginia’s 28 frogs may be easily forgotten but each species is important in keeping a healthy environment. Differences in behavior, call, habitat, and how they look can help identify one species from the next. Species may differ in other traits but most frogs are active from spring to late fall.

Winter and colder temperatures make it harder for cold-blooded creatures to live comfortably, so most frogs will go into a dormant stage all winter. But some may have better colder tolerances to stay out in colder temperatures.

Virginia’s frogs live in various wild habitats, but some can make good pets. A terrarium cage and proper care is needed to keep them healthy in captivity.

Frogs are generally low-maintenance pets but need specific environments to live in. Some species make better companions than others, and researching a species should always be done before buying.

Virginia is filled with amazing frogs and toads to learn about. They are a food source to predators and help control the populations of many pests.

The species in Virginia are a small portion of frogs and toads inhabiting the world but are still satisfying to observe and learn about in the wild.

Frogs in other states

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