Arkansas Frogs and Toads

***This post is a part of my series where this year I will be highlighting all of the different states native frogs and toads.  Check out this page to see all of the United State’s native frogs broken down by state. ***

Did you know that a large congregation of singing frogs is called a chorus? Hence the name chorus frogs. Here are the frogs and Toads that can be found in Arkansas:

American Bullfrog (Lithobates catesbeianus)

photo 1

The American Bullfrog is the largest frog in North America. 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 American Bullfrog can be found statewide. They are currently found in many low elevation areas and live in lakes, ponds generally in the water or on the shoreline.

The bullfrog breeds from March to August. It has a very deep call which resembles the mooing of a cow.  Watch the video below to hear!  Both genders of the bullfrog croak.  Their calls may be heard day or night. 

Blanchard’s Cricket Frog (Acris crepitans blanchardi)

photo 2

The Blanchard’s Cricket frog measures an average of 1.5″ in length with the females being slightly larger.  These frogs can jump a surprisingly long way (5-6′) for their small size.  They can range a combination of black, yellow orange or red on a base of brown or green.  The Blanchard’s Cricket frog can be found in throughout Arkansas.  They may be found near permanent water sources like slow moving streams, margins of lakes and ponds or around marshy areas.

This frog was named for its breeding call which sounds very much like a chirp or trill of a cricket repeated for about 20 beats or like 2 pebbles clicked together.  Listen to its call below.

Boreal Chorus Frog (Pseudacris maculata)

4669446198_2357389358_b.jpg
photo 3

The Boreal Chorus frog is brown with 3 dark lateral stripes or spots down its back with a white upper lip and measures up to 1-1/2″ long. These frogs are typically found near heavily vegetated bodies of water, but also need a shallow open area for breeding.  These frogs are very rare in the state of Arkansas – only having been confirmed in the vicinity of Pea Ridge, Benton County.

The boreal chorus frog sounds similar to the spring peeper in that it sounds like fingers running over a comb, however the boreal chorus frog’s call is more tinny and mechanical opposed to the musical whistle of the spring peeper.  Females lay 500-1,500 eggs in groups of 5-300.  Listen to the call below.

Cajun Chorus Frog (Pseudacris fouquettei)

photo 4

The Cajun chorus frog can reach sizes of up to 1-1/4″. They have 3 broad dark stripes down their back and a white stripe along its upper lip. The frog is named in honor or M. J. “Jack” Fouquette of ASU – he was an expert in frog vocalizations. The cajun chorus frog can be found throughout Arkansas; typically in open wetlands, flooded fields, etc.

The cajun chorus frog sounds like fingers running over a comb and can be heard February – April.  Females lay 500-1,500 eggs in groups of 5-300. Tadpoles will become frogs within 6-8 weeks. In the winter, these frogs burrow into the ground and like wood frogs, they generate a type of antifreeze glycol to protect their organs. Listen to the call below.

Coastal Plains Leopard Frog (Lithobates sphenocephalus utricularius)

photo 5

The coastal plains leopard frog can be bright green, brown, tan, bronze or scattered colors with well defined dark brown spots. It will have a prominant ridge running along each side and hind legs and a white belly. They can be found in flooded fields, wetlands and swamps. They are common across Arkansas.

Their call sounds like a series of quiet chuckling quacks. Listen to it below.

Cope’s Gray Treefrog (Hyla chrysoscelis)

Hyla_chrysoscelis_UMFS_2016_5.jpg
photo 6

The Cope’s gray treefrog is smaller and smoother skinned than the gray treefrog.  The gray treefrog and Cope’s gray treefrog can be difficult to tell apart during breeding while they are both mottled.  However, most of the time the Cope’s gray treefrog has a solid lime green colored back.  These frogs can be found statewide within Arkansas except for the northeastern portion of the state.

Cope’s gray tree frogs breed from March – August and can be heard calling between March and October. Another way the Cope’s gray treefrog can be distinguished from the gray treefrog is by its call. The Cope’s gray treefrog’s call is short and raspy.  Listen to the video below to hear.

Crawfish Frog (Lithobates areolatus)

photo 7

This frog has a large and stubby body with a distinct humped back while it rests.  It is covered in many irregular shaped spots and its belly is solid white.  It gets its name from its diet which consists of nocturnal beetles, small amphibians and reptiles and crawfish.  The crawfish frog can be found in low lying areas including meadows, prairies, brush fields and crawfish holes.  In Arkansas, it is very rare and scattered across the state. It is rarely seen as it burrows underground.

The crawfish frog breed from late February through April.  The males will gather in a fishless pond and call.  The females can lay up to 7000 eggs group in large 5-6″ clumps.  The pond must maintain through mid-June while all of the froglets transform.  The crawfish frog has a loud and deep call which reminds me of a hog.  Listen to them below:

Dwarf American Toad (Anaxyrus americanus charlesmithi)

4683425051_d7b89d0038_b.jpg
photo 8

The dwarf American toad is typically a rusty red color with dry skin and 1-2 warts per spot. The chest will be speckled with black. 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. They can be found throughout Arkansas.

The toad has a high musical trill which can last upwards of 30 seconds.  The dwarf American toad is highly terrestrial and can only be found in the water for a short period while breeding and laying eggs.

Eastern narrow mouth toad (Gastrophryne carolinensis)**

**Although it bears the name of “toad” it is actually considered to be a frog.

10632147433_d51d3cacca_h.jpg
photo 9

This frog is typically 1″ in length, with females being slightly larger.  One defining characteristic of this frog is the fold of skin on the back of the frogs head.  The eastern narrow mouth toad is grey or brown in color with smooth thick skin.  It can be found in grassy areas on rocky slopes and in rock filled canyons.  They will hide under rocks and can sometimes be found with tarantulas.  As shown in the photo below, they can be found across the state of Arkansas.

The male eastern narrow mouth toad’s belly will create a substance that will stick the mating pair together.  The female will lay up to 850 eggs on the surface of the water.  They will take 2 days to hatch and will be toadlets within a quick 30-60 days.  It’s call sounds similar to a bleating sheep with a baaaaa.  Several calling frogs together sound like bees or a bunch of toy airplanes.  I was very surprised by the pitch of their call.  Have a listen below:

Eastern Spadefoot (Scaphiopus holbrookii)

photo 10

The Eastern Spadefoot has smoother and more moist skin than most toads and is speckled with very tiny warts.  This species typically had a light brown to yellow brown color mottled with dark brown.  The back of the eastern spadefoot may be dark brown with exception of a couple light yellow stripes.  The lines are usually more visible in males.  The Eastern Spadefoot has a vertical pupil in the eye similar to a cat.  They can be found in the sandy soil along the floodplains of streams and rivers.  The Eastern Spadefoot prefers dry habitats with sandy soil, but will breed in flooded fields or ditches in warm rainy weather.  These are rare within Arkansas.

These spadefoots spend almost all of their time buried under ground, with the exception of breeding time.  During breeding time, the spadefoots emerge from their burrows and the male will let out a short explosive “wank” call which sounds like a call of a crow.  Something odd about these guys is that some people believe that the Eastern spadefoot smells like peanut butter.

Fowler’s Toad (Anaxyrus fowleri)

Fowlers_toad_frog
photo 11

The Fowler’s toad is usually brown, grey, olive green and rust red in color with darkened warty spots.  As these toads become adults, a pale stripe will form down its back.  The belly is usually white-ish with one dark spot.  These toads are found throughout Arkansas.

This toad has a long, loud, high pitched W-A-A-A-H-H-H call.  Listen to it in the video below!    It is said that they can be mistaken for a herd of sheep calling in the night.  The Fowler’s toad will make a series of quick, short hops as the American toad will make a few larger hops.  The fowler’s toad will amplexus in June& July.  The female can release 7,000 -10,000 fertilized eggs which will hatch 2-7 days later.

https://youtu.be/ezHxi2DEHOE

Gray Treefrog (Hyla versicolor)

photo 12

The grey treefrog may range in color from bright 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 scattered in the northern portion and pockets within the southeastern and southwestern corners of the state.

Female grey tree frogs may lay 1,000-3,000 eggs in clusters of 20-90.  Tadpoles can be distinguished by their reddish-orange tails.  Male grey treefrogs have a short melodic trill that lasts only a second.  They will generally call on warm and humid evenings between April & July.  Gray treefrogs overwinter below ground and produce a substance in their blood that functions similar to antifreeze.  Below is a video of the Gray treefrog calling.

Green Frog (Lithobates clamitans)

lithobates clamitans.jpg
photo 13

The green frog 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.  The green frog is similar to the bullfrog, however the bullfrog is larger and lacks the skin fold behind the eye to mid torso.   The Green Frog is seen nearly statewide.

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!

Green Treefrog (Hyla cinerea)

photo 14

The green treefrog is slender frog that ranges from bright green to dull green with a white stripe down its side.  These frogs can reach 2.5″ and can be easily frightened.  They are typically found within marshes, swamps, small ponds and streams, but can also be found within brackish water sources.  Within the state of Arkansas, they can be found statewide except for the northwestern portion of the state.

On average, a female will lay 400 eggs.  Breeding takes place April – August.  It has been noted that the green treefrog will choose its prey not based on size, but based on activity level.  With the most active being eaten first.  The male’s call is a single note repeated over and over sounding like a “queenk”.  Listen to their call below.

Hurter’s Spadefoot (Scaphiopus hurterii)

photo 15

The Hurter’s spadefoot is typically a greenish color, however the color does vary. There are 2 light dorsal lines on its moist skin and a bump behind his eyes. This species prefers sandy soil in a wooded area. It will typically be burrowed underground. It’s range is scattered within the state of Arkansas.

Breeding will take place in temporary pools that form during heavy rain. The Hurter’s spadefoot’s call is a loud grunt. Take a listen to it below:

Illinois Chorus Frog (Pseudacris illinoensis)

Pseudacris_streckeri_illinoensis.jpg
photo 16

The Illinois chorus frog is a tan to tanish grey frog with many dark brown or grey irregular markings.  This frog has a V shaped marking between the eyes, a dark spot below each eye and a dark line from snout to shoulder.  This member of the treefrog family acts similar to a toad, where most of its years are spent underground in sandy soil.  This frog is very rare within the state of Arkansas and only seen in the extreme north eastern portion of the state.

It breeds in early spring.  Females will lay clusters of eggs during heavy rain and when temperatures exceed 48 degrees F.  It’s call sounds like a high-pitched birdlike whistle as can be heard below:

Pickerel Frog (Lithobates palustris)

Pickerel_Frog.jpg
photo 17

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.  They are often found near beaver ponds with dense vegetation.  The pickerel frog may be found statewide within Arkansas.

Female pickerel frogs lay between 700-2,900 eggs in a globular mass attached to a submerged stick or stem.  The tadpoles will transform into frogs around mid-July based on water temperature.  As a defense the skin of the pickerel frog produces a toxic substance which makes them unappealing to most predators.  Listen to the video below to hear their call.  It sounds similar to a low and slow snore.

Plains Leopard Frog (Lithobates blairi)

10117863785_7ff75f956a_o.jpg
photo 18

This frog is brown with large rounded dark spots with light borders.  As you can see from the photo above, the ear drum is very distinct.  The Plains leopard frog is known for its distinctively broken and displaced skin ridges along the back and can reach 3-3/4″.  They can be found near streams, ponds, creeks and ditches.  In wet, mild weather, they may be found far away from water.  The range of the Plain’s leopard frog is scattered across the northern portion of the state.

Female plains leopard frogs will lay a mass of eggs which can hold up to 6,500 eggs.  Tadpoles will become frogs in midsummer or may even transform the following spring.  The plains leopard frog’s call includes a few low grunting sounds along with a series of short clucks.  Listen to their call below:

Plains Spadefoot (Spea bombifrons)

photo 19

The Plains spadefoot is known for its vertically elongated pupil and markings similar to a hourglass on its upper sides.  The spadefoot may have some green on its back and sides and some tiny reddish warts.  On the underside of each hind foot, there is a wedge shaped spade.  They are extremely rare in Arkansas.

The plains spadefoot spends most of its life buried in the soil, but will emerge to breed after heavy rains in spring or summer.  The plains spadefoot is an explosive breeder and many frogs will appear suddenly after a heavy rain.  A female can produce up to 2,000 eggs which will hatch in a few days.  They produce a compound in their blood which keep their blood from freezing in the winter.  The call of the plains spadefoot is a brief snoring sound.  Take a listen below.

Spring Peeper (Pseudacris crucifer)

photo 20

The  spring peeper measures from 3/4″ to 1-1/4″.  It can be distinguished by it’s dark colored “X”across its back.  This frog is common throughout the state of Arkansas in woods next to vegetated swamps and marshes.  It has been threatened in states where the wetland habitat has shrunk.

It’s chorus of a shrill high pitched call can be heard from up to a 1/2 mile away!  Listen to its call in the video below.  The peeper is one of the earliest frog species to breed in the area beginning as early as late February during warm spells.  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.

Squirrel Treefrog (Hyla squirella)

photo 21

The squirrel treefrog is usually green, but can be brown or tan with numerous spots. A yellowish cream stripe runs along their side. The underside of their legs may have yellow. They can be found in flooded areas, fishless ponds and shallow pools. Within the state of Arkansas, they can only be found in a tiny portion of the southern state.

The squirrel treefrog breeds from April to July, but the call can be heard as late as September as it is associated with heavy rainfall and warm temperatures. The breeding call is a hoarse quack which sounds similar to a mallard duck. Listen to it below:

Strecker’s Chorus Frog (Pseudacris streckeri)

photo 22

The Strecker’s chorus frog can reach 1.5″. They range in color from light grey, brown, green and have long blotches and typically has a dark strip from their eye to their shoulder. The belly is typically white with yellow or orange around their groin. They can be found in Arkansas in the middle section of the state.

Their call sounds like a single note repeated. Sounds like a bell like whistle.

Western Bird Voiced Tree Frog (Hyla avivoca avivoca)

photo 23

The Western Bird-Voiced treefrog is highly variable and can change colors, however it is typically shades of gray and green with yellow-green inside its legs. They have a distinctive white/ yellowish spot under their eye. They can be found in and around swamps and swampy lakes. In Arkansas, they can be found in the southwestern corner of the state.

They breed from April-June using branches hung over water. Their call is very bird-like, hence the name, with 2-5 whistles per second. Listen to it below:

Western narrow mouth toad (Gastrophryne olivacea)**

**Although it bears the name of “toad” it is actually considered to be a frog.

photo 24

This frog is typically 1.5″ in length, with females being slightly larger.  One defining characteristic of this frog is the fold of skin on the back of the frogs head.  The great plain narrow mouth toad is grey or brown in color with smooth thick skin.  It can be found in grassy areas on rocky slopes and in rock filled canyons.  They will hide under rocks and can sometimes be found with tarantulas.  As shown in the photo below, they can be found scattered on the western border of the state. They are rare within Arkansas.

The great plains narrow mouth toad’s call is a nasal buzz lasting only 1-4 seconds.  Several calling frogs together sound like bees or a bunch of toy airplanes.  I was very surprised by the pitch of their call.

Wood Frog (Lithobates sylvaticus)

photo 25

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”.  They average from 1-1/2 to 2-3/4″.  These frogs are rare within Arkansas. They can be found in northwestern corner of the state.

Their call sounds like a quacking of a duck.  Watch the video below to hear!  Three 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.  These frogs can tolerate complete freezing of up to 65% of their body as they pump any water within their body to their extremities and at the same time pump large amount of glucose from the liver into their cells.  This creates a syrupy sugar solution which acts as antifreeze within their body.  Their blood will freeze, the heart will stop beating and all breathing and muscle movements cease until early spring as they begin to thaw and re-animate.  Lastly, all the male wood frogs will gather in a fishless pond or pool to call from sundown to midnight.  After 2-3 nights all eggs will be laid and all wood frogs will leave the area.  The wood frog can live to be 10 years old.

Thanks for reading! Check out all of the state’s native frogs and toads here.

Frogs Found In Arkansas

Photo Credits:

Cover photo used by the creative commons license.  Text was added.  See Original photo by the US Fish and wildlife Services 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 Andy Reago & Chrissy McClarren.  Original Photo Here.
  3. Photo from Flickr Wikimedia Commons used under the Creative Commons license.  Photo taken by J. N. Stuart.  Original Photo Here.
  4. Photo from Wikimedia Commons used under the Creative Commons license.  Photo taken by Jeromi Hefner.  Original Photo Here.
  5. Photo from Wikimedia Commons used under the Creative Commons license.  Photo taken by AllieKF.  Original Photo Here.
  6. Photo from Wikimedia Commons used under the Creative Commons license.  Photo taken by Fredlyfish4.  Original Photo Here.
  7. Photo from Flickr Wikimedia Commons used under the Creative Commons license.  Photo taken by Andrew Hoffman.  Original Photo Here.
  8. Photo from Flickr Wikimedia Commons used under the Creative Commons license.  Photo taken by Andy Kraemer.  Original Photo Here.
  9. Photo from Flickr Wikimedia Commons used under the Creative Commons license.  Photo taken by Rusty Clark.  Original Photo Here.
  10. Photo from Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection.  Original photo here.
  11. Photo from Wikimedia Commons used under the Creative Commons license.  Photo taken by Stanley Trauth.  Original Photo Here.
  12. Photo from Flickr Wikimedia Commons used under the Creative Commons license.  Photo taken by Andrew Hoffman.  Original Photo Here.
  13. Photo from Flickr Wikimedia Commons used under the Creative Commons license.  Photo taken by Brian Gratwicke.  Original Photo Here.
  14. Photo from Flickr Wikimedia Commons used under the Creative Commons license.  Photo taken by Jarek Tuszynski.  Original Photo Here.
  15. Photo from Wikimedia Commons used under the Creative Commons license.  Photo taken by Stanley Trauth.  Original Photo Here.
  16. Photo from Wikimedia Commons used under the Creative Commons license.  Photo taken by Stanley Trauth.  Original Photo Here.
  17. Photo from Wikimedia Commons used under the Creative Commons license.  Photo taken by Brian Gratwicke.  Original Photo Here.
  18. Photo from Wikimedia Commons used under the Creative Commons license.  Photo taken by Stanley Trauth.  Original Photo Here.
  19. Photo from Flickr Wikimedia Commons used under the Creative Commons license.  Photo taken by Stanley Trauth.  Original Photo Here.
  20. Photo from Flickr Wikimedia Commons used under the Creative Commons license.  Photo taken by Matt Reinbold.  Original Photo Here.
  21. Photo from Wikimedia Commons used under the Creative Commons license.  Photo taken by Judy Gallagher.  Original Photo Here.
  22. Photo from Wikimedia Commons used under the Creative Commons license.  Photo taken by Stanley Trauth.  Original Photo Here.
  23. Photo from Flickr Wikimedia Commons used under the Creative Commons license.  Photo taken by Greg Schechter.  Original Photo Here.
  24. Photo from Wikimedia Commons used under the Creative Commons license.  Photo taken by Fernando Mateos-Gonzalez.  Original Photo Here.
  25. Photo from Wikimedia Commons used under the Creative Commons license.  Photo taken by Brian Gratwicke.  Original Photo Here.

Like “The Frog Lady” on facebook or follow aapanaro on instagram to get some sneak peeks into the frog lady’s frog room!  

thefroglady

Subscribe by email for the latest updates or Join me on facebook and like “The Frog Lady” to get all the latest updates on your newsfeed.

2 thoughts on “Arkansas Frogs and Toads

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s