Anura

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

Pickerel Frog

Family: True Frogs (Family Ranidae)

Common Name:

​Pickerel Frog

Scientific Name:
Lithobates palustris

Adult Pickerel Frog, photo courtesy of Scott A. Smith
Adult Pickerel Frog, photo courtesy of Scott A. Smith

 


Size:
  • 1¾ - 3 inches
  • Record - 3½ inches

  • Appearance:
  • Similar to Leopard Frog, but instead of spots, has paired rows of dark squares or rectangles down back, separated by a beautiful creamy tan or green centerline. 
  • Dorsolateral ridges are also creamy tan or green and reach to groin. 
  • Diagnostic feature is the bright yellow or orange inner thigh. 

  • Habitats:
    Photo of  habitat for Pickerel Frog courtesy of Rebecca Bourquin
    Photo of Habitat for Pickerel Frog courtesy of Rebecca Bourquin

     

  • A variety of wetland habitats, particularly along streams, but may be found in sphagnum bogs and floodplain swamps. 
  • Can be found away from wetlands in summer, within grassy fields or weedy areas. 

  • How to Find:
  • Listen for the distinctive low pitched snore in March and April, usually heard in 1-2 second intervals. 
  • Typically only one or few individuals calling at any one site. 
  • Can be caught by hand or dipnet, as will often “freeze” on approach. 
  • Calls day or night.

  • Distribution in Maryland:
    Maryland Distribution Map for Pickerel Frog