Florida Frogs

***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. ***

Due to the large number of native frogs and toads within Florida I have decided it to be easiest to split it into 3 sections: Frogs, Treefrogs and Toads.  This is part 1 so here are the native frogs to Florida.

Frogs

Bronze Frog (Lithobates clamitans clamitans)

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The bronze frog is typically brown or bronze with dark mottling on its head, chest and under its legs and a yellow lip and throat.  The bronze frog is similar to the bullfrog, however the bullfrog is larger and lacks the skin fold behind the eye to mid torso.   The Bronze frog is only seen in the northern portion of Florida.

Typically found near the shoreline of permanent bodies of water, they will breed in shallow marshes, springs, lakes or ditches.  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!

American Bullfrog (Lithobates catesbeianus)

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The American Bullfrog is the largest frog in Florida.  They are typically green or gray-brown with brown spots. They can grow up to 8″ in length and weigh up to a 1.5 pound.  The bullfrog can be found near large permanent bodies of water with vegetation near the shorelines.

Bullfrogs will eat almost anything that will fit in their mouths.  They have been known to eat spiders, fish, birds and even small mammals.  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 between late spring and summer.

Carpenter Frog (Lithobates virgatipes)

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The Carpenter frog is widely known for its dark brown color with (2) light yellow stripes on either side.  This frog is only found in the extreme north central Florida.  They breed in bogs, cypress swamps and wet prairies.

They can be heard in April with a call that sounds like construction workers hammering, hence their name.  Listen to their call below.  Tadpoles are unique as they will remain a tadpole for around a year.  The carpenter frog thrives in acidic water and as the wetlands water becomes less acidic, other larger frogs are now taking over their habitats.

Florida Bog Frog (Lithobates okaloosae)

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The Florida Bog Frog is a species of special concern as it is only found in Florida.  It will typically reach 1.5-1.75″ in length and have a yellow-ish-green to brown back.  The lower sides will have light spots and its belly will be yellowish with a dark wormlike pattern.  Florida bog frog lives in seepage bogs and along stream edges so it is only found in Okaloosa and Santa Rosa counties.

It will breed in quiet pools of fresh water April through August.  The call is a series of grunts and sounds a little like a pig grunting or mechanical dogs barking.  Due to the limited area of these frogs, the call may be found here on the USGS website.

Florida Chorus Frog (Pseudacris nigrita verrucosa)

The Florida Chorus frog will reach up to 1.25″ long and can vary in color and pattern.  When cold, this frog will turn dark charcoal grey color, with its spots barely visible.  When warm, the same frog can turn light grey with dark charcoal spots.  This frog is seldom seen, but it can be found in flooded fields, wet marshes and ponds with dense vegetation above.  In Florida, the Florida chorus frog can be found in most of the peninsula south of Jacksonville.

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The Florida chorus frog breeds dependent on the rainy season.  Winter rains allow for winter and early spring breeding while the rainy season is typically spring to autumn.  The call of the Florida chorus frog sounds like a fingernail over the teeth of a comb.  The speed of the trill will be faster when warm and slower when cold.  Refer to the Southern chorus frog call for a sample.

Florida Cricket Frog (Acris gryllus dorsalis)

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The Florida cricket frog can reach up to 1.25″ long.  It varies in color from tan to green to dark brown.  The cricket frog can be identified by the triangle patch behind its head between the eyes.  The Florida cricket frog is similar to both the Northern cricket frog and the southern cricket frog, however the Florida cricket frog will have 2 dark stripes on the rear of its thigh.  They can be found throughout the state except for the northwestern panhandle in freshwater environment like lakes, streams and ditches.

Breeding will occur in Florida between April and fall.  The female will lay small clusters of eggs which will be attached to submerged plants.  The males call sounds similar to 2 marbles being knocked into each other.  Click … click…click… click.

Florida Gopher Frog (Lithobates capito aesopus)

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This frog can reach up to 4″ long.  It is typically cream to tan-ish brown coloring with irregular spots on its back and sides.  It is known for its large head, rounded snout, short legs and light brown ridge behind its eyes.  The gopher frog gets its name because it is frequently found in gopher tortoise burrows.  It can be found throughout northern and central Florida in upland areas near the coast.

These frogs will breed year-round (but mainly winter).  Females will lay eggs in a single large cluster of up to 2,000 eggs.  The male’s call sounds like a loud deep snore.

Greenhouse Frog (Eleutherodactylus planirostris planirostris)

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The greenhouse frog is a non-native frog which was introduced from the Caribbean islands.  It has a reddish brown coloring with splotches or stripes and can reach up to 1.25″ long.  They can be found throughout the Florida peninsula and can live in almost any terrestrial habitat.

The call of the male greenhouse frog sounds like sneakers on a gym floor.  Breeding occurs from May to September.  Females lay clusters of 20 eggs on the ground.  Frogs will emerge from the eggs as froglets.

Little Grass Frog (Pseudacris (Limnaoedus) ocularis)

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The little grass frog is aptly named as it is usually half an inch long.  It is typically tan, brown, reddish or gray in color with dark lines from the nose to the legs.  The chest is typically white or a cream color.  The little grass frog can be found throughout most of Florida except for the northwestern most portion of the panhandle in grassy areas.

Breeding occurs year-round in Florida.  The male’s call sounds like a high pitched squeaky wheel.  Listen to it below!

Northern Cricket Frog (Acris crepitans crepitans)

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The Northern Cricket frog measures an average of 1″ 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, green or red stripe on a base of brown or green.  This frog is found in the northwestern most portion of the Florida panhandle.  They may be found near permanent water sources like slow moving streams, margins of lakes and ponds or around marshy areas.

Breeding occurs in March-August.  A female will lay up to 400 eggs in groups of 1-7.  Tadpoles have black-tipped tails to entice predators to aim for tail opposed to head.  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.

Spring Peeper (Pseudacris crucifer crucifer)

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The  spring peeper is measures from 1″ to 1-1/2″.  It can be distinguished by it’s dark colored “X”across its back.  This frog can be found in the northwestern portion of the Florida panhandle in marshes and woodlands.  

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.  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.

Ornate Chorus Frog (Pseudacris ornata)

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The ornate chorus frog’s coloring varies significantly.  It can range from whiteish grey, reddish brown to green or black.  The upper lip is marked with a light line and sides typically have dark stripes from nose down to groin.  These frogs may be found in the northern portion of Florida, typically in shallow, fish-free wetlands and flooded ditches.

Ornate chorus frog will breed between November and March.  Eggs are laid in clusters of 20-40 eggs.  The males call is a high pitched squeaky peep repeated up to 80 times per minute.

Pig Frog (Rana grylio)

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The pig frog is a large frog that can reach up to 6″ long.  It’s body can range from greenish to brown to black with large irregular spots.  The belly is white to cream.  One distinguishing feature is the back of the thighs are boldly marked with light stripes or spots.  The American bullfrog is similar in appearance however the back of its thighs have small abundant light spots.  The pig frog can be found throughout Florida except for the Keys.

Breeding occurs in  April to August in quiet ponds, canals and prairies.  The female lays eggs in a large surface film over vegetation.  The male’s call sounds like a pig grunt.  Listen to them below:

River Frog (Rana heckscheri)

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The river frog has a greenish black back with warty and wrinkled skin.  The belly has net like markings.  Lips are marked with light spots.  The American bullfrog is similar in appearance however the river frog’s belly is dark with light spots as the bullfrogs belly is light with dark markings.  These frogs can be found in northern Florida swamps, lakes and near river edges.

The female will lay her eggs on a surface film between April & August.  The males call sounds like a grunt and a snore at the same time.  Listen to it below:

Southern Chorus Frog (Pseudacris nigrita nigrita)

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The southern chorus frog typically has a whiteish-grey to tan back with dark broken lines of spots.  A light line is visible on the upper lip.  These frogs can reach up to 1.25″ in length.  They can be found throughout Florida (except the keys) and are typically burrowed in the loose sandy soils near sandhills, flooded ditches and fields.

On the Florida pennisula, these frogs can breed year-round, however in the rest of Florida they will breed November to April.  The female will lay clusters of around 15 eggs.  The male’s call is a repeated trill.  The males will typically call from a well concealed location so they may be hard to find.

Southern Cricket Frog (Acris gryllus)

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The Southern Cricket frog measures an average of 1″ 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, but all have a bright stripe of color running from the tip of their snout down their back, broken with a triangle pattern between the eyes. They may be found near permanent water sources like slow moving streams, margins of lakes and ponds or around marshy areas. They can be found throughout Florida.

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.

Southern Leopard Frog (Lithobates sphenocephalus)

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The southern leopard frog is a greenish brown color and has 2 yellow lines down the back and one above the lip.  These frogs can be found in shallow freshwater or slightly brackish water.  They are usually found a powerful jump or two away from the water, however in summer they may be found far from the water where they venture for insects.  They can be found throughout the entire state of Florida.

The southern leopard frogs call sounds like a squeaky balloon or chuckling croak.  Females may deposit 3,000-5,000 eggs in cluster within the water.  Listen below to hear their call.

Upland Chorus Frog (Pseudacris feriarum)

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Upland chorus frogs are usually brown, grey brown or reddish brown in color with darker blotching.  They have 3 stripes running along their back with a dark triangular spot between the eyes.  These frogs are secretive and rarely seen or heard except immediately after it rains.  They can be found in a variety of habitats including vegetated areas not far from a permanent water source.  In Florida, they can be found on the panhandle.

The call of the upland chorus frog is a raspy trill sound which ascends higher in pitch, similar to running a finger across tines on a comb.  Listen to the males call below.

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

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Photo Credits:

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

  1. Photo from Flickr Wikimedia Commons used under the Creative Commons license.  Photo taken by nicolas_gent.  Original Photo Here.
  2. Photo from Wikimedia Commons used under the Creative Commons license.  Photo taken by Brian Gratwicke.  Original Photo Here.
  3. Photo from Wikimedia Commons used under the Creative Commons license.  Photo taken by USGS.  Original Photo Here.
  4. Photo from Flickr Wikimedia Commons used under the Creative Commons license.  Photo taken by FWC Fish and Wildlife Research Institute.  Original Photo Here.
  5. Photo from Flickr Wikimedia Commons used under the Creative Commons license.  Photo taken by Peter Paplanus.  Original Photo Here.
  6. Photo from Flickr Wikimedia Commons used under the Creative Commons license.  Photo taken by Todd Pierson.  Original Photo Here.
  7. Photo from Flickr Wikimedia Commons used under the Creative Commons license.  Photo taken by FWC Fish and Wildlife Research Institute.  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 Flickr Wikimedia Commons used under the Creative Commons license.  Photo taken by FWC Fish and Wildlife Research Institute.  Original Photo Here.
  10. Photo from Wikimedia Commons used under the Creative Commons license.  Photo taken by Andy Reago & Chrissy McClarren.  Original Photo Here.
  11. Photo from Flickr Wikimedia Commons used under the Creative Commons license.  Photo taken by Matt Reinbold.  Original Photo Here.
  12. Photo from Flickr Wikimedia Commons used under the Creative Commons license.  Photo taken by FWC Fish and Wildlife Research Institute.  Original Photo Here.
  13. Photo from Flickr Wikimedia Commons used under the Creative Commons license.  Photo taken by Tom Spinker.  Original Photo Here.
  14. Photo from Flickr Wikimedia Commons used under the Creative Commons license.  Photo taken by Tom Spinker.  Original Photo Here.
  15. Photo from Flickr Wikimedia Commons used under the Creative Commons license.  Photo taken by Andrew Hoffman.  Original Photo Here.
  16. Photo from Wikimedia Commons used under the Creative Commons license.  Photo taken by Stephen Friedt.  Original Photo Here.
  17. Photo from Wikimedia Commons used under the Creative Commons license.  Photo taken by Bob Warrick.  Original Photo Here.
  18. Photo from Flickr Wikimedia Commons used under the Creative Commons license.  Photo taken by Andrew Hollander.  Original Photo Here.

For more information:

  1. https://www.floridamuseum.ufl.edu/herpetology/florida-amphibians-reptiles/frogs-toads/
  2. http://ufwildlife.ifas.ufl.edu/frogs/north.shtml
  3. http://www.wec.ufl.edu/extension/wildlife_info/frogstoads/

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8 thoughts on “Florida Frogs

  1. Hi there
    I live in Orlando. Is there somebody around who breeds native frogs and can give me advice. I would like to contact and find what is needed to do it and if it is feasible . Breeding, food , poisons =pesticides to avoid
    Please contact me at enoco@live.com Thank you Miro

    1. Hey Miro-
      Thanks for stopping by! I do know a couple breeders in Florida, however I do not believe that they breed native frogs. You will want to look into the local laws and restrictions as I believe there is a maximum number of native frogs that can be kept without additional licenses. As far as food goes, crickets for the larger tree frogs and fruit flies for the smaller species is pretty typical. Then you can supplement with other types of worms and feeders shown here: https://thefroglady.wordpress.com/2015/03/31/6-types-of-feeder-insects/

      You will want to avoid taking anything from an area you cannot directly control as it may have pesticides. Take a look around my website and you will find some more information. Lots of topics that apply to poison dart frogs also apply to native frogs, i.e. tanks, feeding, breeding.

      Feel free to contact me here https://thefroglady.wordpress.com/contact/ if you have any other questions.

      Thanks!
      Allyse

      1. I snapped a picture on the night of July 29, 2021, and just shared it with my son. I asked, “Frog, Toad, or Froad?” since I don’t recall ever seeing such in my 57 years of life in Florida.
        How can I share the picture with you for identification?

  2. Thanks, Frog Lady!
    Love putting my houseplants out in the rain, but I know that leaving them out too long means having to take them back outside to dig out the little buggers that crawl in!

  3. Hi, very nice blog…but I’m confused a bit, perhaps you can help. We had quite a storm this afternoon in Floral City, our normally sandy backyard is a bit of a swamp. This brought tiny frogs (from the sound of it many) close to the house…my best guess is Spring Peepers (comparing audio and I actually got to see one…poking its tiny head out of a flooded hoof print). My confusion is about late July activity. Are Peepers chorusing in July? I didn’t disturb the one I saw to verify any markings; but it was pale, could fit on my fingertip and in water that normally isn’t present.
    Thank you in advance for any assistance.

  4. There are frogs similar to but smaller than Paedophryne amauensis 4707 Stove Place in Val Rico Florida, I used to live on the property as a child and they were located at the base of a storm drain in the back yard, at the corner of the fenced in patio. This was in 2007 before the species was discovered, and they still aren’t listed as found in Florida. I’ve thought that maybe they came in with some bamboo that used to be located on the right edge of the back yard.

  5. Hi I restored a ditch on my property by removing a invasiveVine that was so thick that it smothered the water and nothing could live in it bullfrogs showed up leopard frogs also southern toads that weren’t here before at least that I could hear until this year and I haven’t seen any Cuban frogs only since I did away with a few and really since I’ve been hearing the bullfrogs …..can you tell me if the bullfrogs eat the Cuban frogs hopefully?.… It’s been about a year since I’ve heard one but the Bullfrogs are calling every night…Are the Cuban frogs still here but no noise????? Last year they were around all summer at night calling .. I am in Largo Florida and would also like to restock my property with green tree frogs and anything else that may have been here before the Cuban frogs is there anywhere I can get some baby frogs or how would I know what frogs were here in Largo/ st Pete …Florida 1 mile from the ocean….

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