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

Carpenter Frog (Lithobates virgatipes)

Adult Carpenter Frog, photo courtesy of Corey Wickliffe
Adult Carpenter Frog, photo courtesy of Corey Wickliffe
Former Name:

Size:
  • 1⅝ - 2⅝ inches

  • Appearance:
  • Four golden brown lateral stripes run down its back and sides, two per body half, and
  • No dorsolateral ridges (a ridge running from behind the eye down the back separating back from side in many ranid frogs) are the key diagnostic features.

  • Habitats:
  • Closely associated with sphagnum bogs, it may also be found in emergent stands of herbaceous vegetation.
  • Only found on the Delmarva, this species is primarily found in Delmarva (Carolina) Bays, which are seasonally-wet elliptical-shaped depressional wetlands.
  • Photo of Habitat for Carpenter Frog, courtesy of Jay Killian
    Photo of Habitat for Carpenter Frog, courtesy of Jay Killian


    How to Find:
  • Listen for their call “ric-up, ric-up, ric-up” usually repeated 2-3 times, which has been likened to the sound of a carpenter’s hammer from a distance.
  • Breed from mid-April through June.
  • Very hard to find in the water, as they lie submerged with only eyes exposed, then quickly dive when threatened. 
  • May call while submerged.
  • Calls day or night.

  • Distribution in Maryland:
    Found only in a handful of coastal plain counties. This species is listed as rare to uncommon in Maryland. If found, please report sightings to the Maryland Wildlife and Heritage Service.
    Maryland Distribution Map for Carpenter Frog
    For More Information: