Maine Frogs and Toads

 

I had some bad timing on the Frogs native to the US original series posts so I have resurrected them and categorized them by state in lieu of by frog.  Find all of the states frogs and toads listings on this page.  If you are located in Maine you should check out the Maine Herpetological Society here and get involved with them on Facebook.

Here are the frogs and Toads that can be found in Maine:

American Toad (Anaxyrus americanus)

800px-Anaxyrus_americanus_-_American_toad.jpg

Photo 1

The American toad is Maine’s only toad.  It is mainly nocturnal and is most active when the weather is warm and humid. During the winter, the toad will burrow deep into the ground below the frost line.  As the frost line gets deeper, the toads will burrow deeper beneath the ground.  It is quite common throughout Maine and can be found anywhere that has enough moisture and bugs.  The toad has a high musical trill which can last upwards of 30 seconds.  American toad is highly terrestrial and can only be found in the water for a short period while breeding and laying eggs.  Below is a video that shows the American Toad calling.

Gray Treefrog (Hyla versicolor)

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Photo 2

The grey treefrog may range in color from green to brown to grey (as shown above).  During the day, they may be found sleeping on tree branches or leaves.  Their toes have a sticky pad which allows them to easily climb vertically up windows, siding, trees; etc.  They may be found in the southern and eastern portion of the state with a short melodic trill that lasts only a second.  Below is a video of the Gray treefrog calling.

 

Spring Peeper (Pseudacris crucifer)

Pseudacris crucifer.jpg

Photo 3

The  spring peeper is the smallest frog in Maine, measuring under 1.5″.  It can be distinguished by it’s dark colored “X”across its back.  This frog is quite common throughout the state of Maine.  It’s chorus of a shrill high pitched call can be heard from up to a 1/2 mile away!  Similar to the American toad, these frogs spend most of its time on land and only are in the water to breed and lay eggs.  Like most tree frogs, the spring peeper is nocturnal and loves to hunt ants, spiders and other small insects during the evening.

 

American Bullfrog (Lithobates catesbeianus)

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Photo 4

The American Bullfrog is the largest frog in North America.  It has a very deep call which resembles the mooing of a cow.  Watch the video below to hear!  Their calls may be heard day or night.  They can grow up to 8″ in length and weigh up to 1.5 pounds.  The bullfrog is unique as it can be found in freshwater ponds, lakes and marshes throughout Canada, United States and as far south as Mexico and Cuba.  They are typically green or gray-brown with brown spots.  The bullfrog is the last of the frogs in Maine to emerge from hibernation and breed and typically do not start calling until early summer.

Green Frog (Lithobates clamitans)

lithobates clamitans.jpg

Photo 5

The Green Frog is abundant throughout Maine.  It is typically greenish-brown with dark mottling on its head, chest and under its legs.  The throat color ranges to yellow for a male to white for the females.  These frogs can produce as many as 6 different calls – however the most distinctive sound is a throaty boink that sounds like a loose banjo string being plucked.  Listen to the video below to hear!

Mink Frog (Lithobates septentrionalis)

lithobates septentrionalis.jpg

Photo 6

The Mink frog is a green and brown frog that can be found in the water near lilypads.  The lilypads are used as stepping stones, basking sites & shelter.  They can be found in the northern part of the state and downeast; their range spreads up into Canada.  Mink frogs are notoriously secretive and can be hard to find.  The female may lay up to 4,000 eggs in the spring and some tadpoles will transform to frogs in 3 months, while others will transform the following spring.  Individually, their call sounds like a series of taps which sound like pieces of wood being tapped together.  As a group, their calls sound like horse’s hooves on a cobblestone path.  Listen to the video below to hear!  The Mink frog has been said to produce a musky odor upon handling.

Wood Frog (Lithobates sylvaticus)

Lithobates Sylvaticus.jpg

Photo 7

The Wood frog is known as a brown, tan or rust colored frog with a dark colored around its eyes.  Some call it a “robbers mask”.  These frogs can be seen throughout Maine and have been recorded as far south as Alabama and as far north as Alaska.  Their call sounds like a quacking of a duck.  Watch the video below to hear!  Two interesting facts about the wood frog, is that while the frogs do not show any paternal care to their young, it has been discovered that tadpoles that have been separated from parents can pick their parents out and aggregate around them.  Secondly, the wood frog is very tolerable to cold temperatures.  In Maine, these frogs are the first frog to emerge during spring and can tolerate complete freezing of up to 65% of their body.

 

Northern Leopard Frog (Lithobates pipiens)

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Photo 8

The Northern Leopard frog has 2-3 unevenly spaced rows of irregular oval shaped dots on its back.  At one point this frog was very abundant throughout the United states, however since the 1970’s the number of northern leopard frogs has drastically declined.  These frogs were widely collected for dissection and frog legs which has not helped the population.  This decline makes the Northern leopard frog a species of “special concern” in Maine.  These frogs are opportunistic feeders, meanign that they will eat anything that fits in their mouth including beetles, ants, smaller frogs – including their own species, birds and even garter snakes.  It’s call is like a low and rumbling snore and grunt sound.  It has also been known to scream loudly when grasped or frightened by a predator.  Listen below to their call.

Pickerel Frog (Lithobates palustris)

pickerel_frog

Photo 9

The Pickerel frog looks very similar to the Northern Leopard frog; however the pickerel frog has 2 parallel rows of squareish spots down its back.  These frogs are very visible throughout Maine and can be found in all different types of wetlands, but prefers to live near cold clear water.  Listen to the video below to hear their call.  It is similar to the Northern Leopard frog, however it is shorter and faster, causing it to sound more like a finger running over tines on a comb.

Want to get involved?  Maine has its own Amphibian monitoring program sign up here!

 

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for our next state!

 

frogs-found-in

 

Photo Credits:

Cover photo used by the creative commons license.  Text was added.  See Original photo by jubileejourney here.

  1. Photo from Wikimedia Commons used under the Creative Commons license.  Photo taken by Brian Gratwicke.  Original Photo Here.
  2. Photo from Wikimedia Commons used under the Creative Commons license.  Photo taken by Patrick Coin.  Original Photo Here.
  3. Photo from Flickr Wikimedia Commons used under the Creative Commons license.  Photo taken by Matt Reinbold.  Original Photo Here.
  4. Photo from Flickr Wikimedia Commons used under the Creative Commons license.  Photo taken by Brian Gratwicke.  Original Photo Here.
  5. Photo from Flickr Wikimedia Commons used under the Creative Commons license.  Photo taken by Brian Gratwicke.  Original Photo Here.
  6. Photo from ADW  used under the creative commons license.  Photo taken by James Harding.  Original Photo here.
  7. Photo from Wikimedia Commons used under the Creative Commons license.  Photo taken by Brian Gratwicke.  Original Photo Here.
  8. Photo from Wikimedia Commons used under the Creative Commons license.  Photo taken by Brian Gratwicke.  Original Photo Here.
  9. Photo from Wikimedia Commons used under the Creative Commons license.  Photo taken by Brian Gratwicke.  Original Photo Here.

For more information:

  1. http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/amphibians/spring-peeper/
  2. http://www.maineherp.org/index.php?display=native_species&show=frogs
  3. http://maineaudubon.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/Maine-Calling-Amphibians.pdf
  4. http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/amphibians/american-bullfrog/
  5. http://www.arkive.org/green-frog/lithobates-clamitans/
  6. http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/reptiles_amphibians/frogs_toads/truefrogs/mink.html
  7. http://animaldiversity.org/accounts/Lithobates_sylvaticus/
  8. http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/amphibians/northern-leopard-frog/
  9. http://srelherp.uga.edu/anurans/ranpal.htm

 

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2 thoughts on “Maine Frogs and Toads

  1. Hey there.

    Enjoyed your treatment of Maine’s frogs (and toad).

    We have a 20-foot artificial pond beside the house that several species of frog overwinter in. In the spring, the pond needs a major leaf and muck cleaning, but we don’t want to rouse anyone from their winter’s “sleep” before they’re ready. Any idea how we might know it’s safe to start clean-up?

    Take care, huh.

    –Steve

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