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

Pickerel Frog (Lithobates palustris)

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

 

Former Name:

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:
    Pickerel frogs can be found throughout Maryland.
    Maryland Distribution Map for Pickerel Frog
    For More Information: