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

Northern Leopard Frog

Family: True Frogs (Family Ranidae)

Common Name:

Northern Leopard Frog​​

Scientific Name:
Lithobates pipiens

Northern Leopard Frog, photo courtesy of Stephanie Desranleau
Photo of Northern Leopard Frog courtesy of Stephanie Desranleau

  • 2 to 4 inches

  • Record: 4 3/8 inches

  • Appearance:
  • one of three frogs found in Maryland that has distinct spots on the back and 2 back ridges that run from just behind the eye all the way to the tail bone

  • spots are not arranged in definite rows as they are in the Pickerel Frog but insides of the thighs are cream colored (not yellow as they are in the gray Treefrog)

  • similar in appearance to the Southern Leopard Frog except that the Southern Leopard Frog has a white spot on the tympanum, or ear drum; the Northern Leopard Frog has no spot

  • Habitats:

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

  • Any freshwater habitat, including lakes, ponds, streams, small wetlands, even backyard pools

  • May move a far distance from water, especially in wet grasslands or woodlands

  • When far from a water source, they will absorb dew from wet grass

  • How to Find:
  • This frog is rarely found in Maryland; sightings have only occurred west of the Fall Line (roughly matched by I-95).

  • Listen for its call that sounds like a squeaky door being slowly opened, followed by clucking.

  • This is an introduced species.

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