Ohio Frog and Toad Calling Survey

Wood Frog

(Rana sylvatica)

Distribution of the Wood Frog in Ohio.

An adult Wood Frog

Species Description:   Snout-vent lengths range from 3.5 to 7 cm (1 3/8 to 2 3/4 inches).  The ground color of the Wood Frog is usually dark brown or tan, although individuals have been found with colors ranging from red to pink.  Normally there are no marks on the back, but occasional individuals may have small black spots.  The belly is cream colored and the rear legs may have dark brown bars on them.  The defining characteristic of this species is the dark mask below and behind each eye.  Wood Frogs have dorsolateral folds extending along the length of the back from behind the eyes.  Males have paired vocal sacs.  
Habitat: This terrestrial species inhabits woodlands with deep, moist soils.  
Reproductive Activity: Breeding occurs during late February and early March.  The call is a series of short clucks and chortles.  From a distance, a full chorus sounds much like a flock of mallards.  
Ohio Distribution: Walker (1946) noted widely scattered records across the state with the exception of the Till Plains of western Ohio.  Today this species can be found throughout eastern, southern, and northwestern Ohio.  A recent record from Mercer County suggests that widely scattered, remnant populations might occur in western Ohio. 
Status: Field collections have shown that this is an abundant species in much of southern and eastern Ohio.  Walker (1946) suggested that drainage, clearing, and intensive agriculture were responsible for the lack of records from western Ohio.  He was almost certain that some Wood Frog populations still existed in remnant forest patches there and the Mercer County record confirms this.  More fieldwork might yield additional isolated populations in west central Ohio.
Photographic Recommendations: A dorsal view should show the dorsolateral folds.  Most importantly, a side view should show the mask on the side of the face.

Last modified:
Saturday, March 26, 2005

Ohio Amphibians · Frog and Toad Home · Frog and Toad Species · Amphibian Habitats · Frog and Toad Calling Survey

Links · Contact