Anura

Field Guide to Maryland's Frogs and Toads (Order Anura)

Northern Green Frog

Family: True Frogs (Family Ranidae)

Common Name:

Northern Green Frog​​

Scientific Name:
Lithobates clamitans melanota

Adult Northern Green Frog, photo courtesy of John White
Photo of Adult Northern Green Frog courtesy of John White

Size:
  • 2¼ - 3½ inches
  • Record - 4¼ inches

  • Appearance:
  • Highly variable.
  • A plain green or brownish frog with a dorsolateral ridge that extends only down the back (does not reach groin)
  • Mottled dark and light (white or yellowish/greenish) under throat and along sides. 
  • The center of the tympanum (ear) is elevated. 
  • Adult males have a bright yellow throat, and the tympanum is larger than the eye. 

  • Habitats:

    Photo of Habitat for Northern Green Frog courtesy of Rebecca Chalmers
    Photo of Habitat for Northern Green Frog
    courtesy of Rebecca Chalmers

  • Shallow freshwater wetlands, from roadside ditches to pond, lake, stream and river edges. 
  • Also bogs, flooded pastures and fields.   

  • How to Find:
  • Listen for the characteristic broken banjo string, which is usually given explosively loud, as a single note or 3-4 notes, each diminishing in volume. 
  • Breeds from later April through July. 
  • Readily caught by hand or with dipnet along shorelines or in shallow water. 
  • Calls day or night.

  • Distribution in Maryland:
    Maryland Distribution Map for Northern Green Frog