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

Wood Frog (Lithobates sylvaticus)

Adult Wood Frog, photo courtesy of John White
Adult Wood Frog, photo courtesy of John White

Former Name:

  • 1⅜ - 2¾ inches 
  • Record - 3¼ inches

  • Appearance:
  • Our only frog with a dark “robber’s” mask extending through the eye downward to the upper lip.
  • Body color is typically tan but highly variable, from pinkish tan to brown to almost black.

  • Habitats:

    Photo of  habitat for Wood Frog courtesy of Rebecca Chalmers
    Photo of  Habitat for Wood Frog courtesy of Rebecca Chalmers

  • May be found anywhere in moist deciduous and mixed woods, even far from wetlands. 
  • Breeding ponds are typically vernal pools or semi-permanent shallow water bodies without fish, both surrounded by or on the edge of woodlands, the wetland having some open canopy.

  • How to Find:
  • Listen for its distinctive call on rainy or humid nights in February and March, which has been likened to the hoarse quacking of ducks.
  • Usually in large choruses.
  • Look for a raft of large gelatinous softball-sized egg masses floating on the surface, as egg laying is typically concentrated in one area of the wetland.
  • Each embryo is a separate bulge in the exterior surface of the egg mass, giving them a rough appearance.
  • Egg masses may also be attached to sticks or other vegetation just below the surface.

  • Distribution in Maryland:
    Wood frogs are common throughout Maryland.
    For More Information: