Discover Maryland's Herps

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

True Frogs (Family Ranidae)

Sillouette of frogTrue frogs have long powerful hind legs with webbed feet.  They have relatively stout waists and large broad mouths. The toes do not have discs or pads at the tips as in the treefrogs (Hylidae). All of the true frogs found in Maryland have smooth skin with no bumps or tubercles, and most have ridges that run along the sides of the back (dorsolateral ridges). All Maryland frogs in Family Ranidae are in the genus Lithobates.

Many true frog tadpoles grow relatively large and may have an extended larval stage (up to three years). They can be found in many types of water bodies from ephemeral pools to permanent lakes, ponds and flowing streams.

Frog and Toad Anatomy

Click on a picture or species name for profiles
of each of the 7 species of true frogs found in Maryland.


Common Name

Scientific Name

State Status

American Bullfrog, courtesy of John White American Bullfrog Lithobates catesbeiana  
Carpenter Frog, courtesy of SASmith Carpenter Frog Lithobates virgatipes Watchlist
Northern Green Frog, photo courtesy of John White Northern Green Frog Lithobates clamitans melanota  
Northern Leopard Frog, photo courtesy of NPS Northern Leopard Frog Lithobates pipiens Introduced
Pickerel Frog, photo courtesy of PKazyak Pickerel Frog Lithobates palustris  
Southern Leopard Frog, photo courtesy of Scott A. Smith Southern Leopard Frog Lithobates sphenocephalus utricularius  
Wood Frog, Photo courtesy of John White Wood Frog Lithobates sylvaticus  
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Maryland Amphibian
and Reptile Atlas Project

"A Joint Project of the Natural History Society of Maryland, Inc. and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources"

For monthly newsletters of the Maryland Amphibian & Reptile Atlas Project click on Recent Newsletters and scroll down to the MARA Newsletters.

The Maryland Herpetology Field Guide is a cooperative effort of the MD Natural Heritage Program and the MD Biological Stream Survey within the Department of Natural Resources and their partners. We wish to thank all who contributed field records, text, and photographs, as well as support throughout its development.