Green Frog

Lithobates clamitans

IdentificationPhoto by Shirley Zundell

The Green Frog is one of the three green-faced frogs in Vermont (the others are the Mink Frog and the American Bullfrog). It is quite variable in color and pattern. Its body is a mottled green and brown with a green upper lip, folds of skin on each side of the back (dorsolateral ridges), and stripes (often broken) across its legs. Their average size is between 2½-3½ inches long but large adults can reach 4¼ inches. Adult breeding males have a yellow throat, swollen thumbs, and eardrums (tympana) that are larger than their eyes.  Every year a few Green Frogs are found that are missing some or all of their yellow pigment.  These Green Frogs will show varying amounts of bright blue.

The Green Frog’s call is often described as a “gulp” or the plucking of a loose banjo string. It may be heard April through July, peaking at the start of July.

The eggs are laid in a film that spreads over the water’s surface. The film can be up to a foot in diameter.  In Vermont, tadpoles spend one or two winters under the ice before metamorphosing.

Records in Vermont of Lithobates clamitans (Green Frog)

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Range/Habitat

This species lays their eggs in permanent still water with emergent vegetation.

Status

The Green Frog is a very common frog that has been found in almost every town in Vermont. It has a state natural heritage rank of S5 (common). Please report sightings of this species in Vermont if you have not reported them within the last five years from a given location. Any natural history observations (feeding, migrations, road crossing areas, early or late season appearance, abnormalities, etc.) are appreciated. Photographs are always helpful, particularly if your report is the first report of this species from a town.

Additional Photos

Photo by Glenn Etter Photo by VT Herp Atlas Photo by Kiley Briggs Photo by John Jose  Image comparing female (left) to male (right) Green Frogs. Photo by Nick Arms  Photo by Kiley Briggs  Photo by Kiley Briggs  Photo by Kiley Briggs  Photo by Nick Arms

More Info

All the Vermont species listed in the Rana genus were reclassified into the Lithobates genus in 2007.

Species summary written by Ariel K. McK. Burgess.