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Species Description

Wood Frog

Rana sylvatica


Species Image

Classification

Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Amphibia
Order: Anura
Family: Ranidae

Description

Can range from light tan to pinkish to brown, bronze, or almost black. The back is fairly uniform in color, with little blotching. There may be a few small blotches on the sides. The belly is white and may have some dark specks on the throat or upper chest. This frog has a dark mask that extends backwards from the eye, covering the tympanum. This mask is always visible. There is a light line on the upper jaw below the mask. A small frog, 3.5 - 7.6 mm (1 3/8-3 in) in length.

Life Cycle

During January and February, the Wood Frog breeds in temporary pools in the woods or in slow streams. This is the best time to look for this frog. It is an explosive breeder. Many frogs will congregate in ponds for a few days to breed and then seem to disappear until the next breeding season. Masses of up to 2,500 eggs are attached to submerged vegetation. Development is very temperature dependent, but eggs usually hatch within two weeks and tadpoles transform into frogs in two months. This species is active during the day. It is more terrestrial than many frogs and can be found in moist woods some distance from water. It hibernates during the winter under leaf litter or in rotting logs. It prefers moist woods that have seeps, small streams, or standing water during the winter and early spring. The Wood Frog eats primarily insects.

Range

Wood Frog Region Map In Georgia the Wood Frog is found only in the mountains, but its range extends throughout the northeastern United States and across Canada. This is the only amphibian in the Western Hemisphere that may be found north of the Arctic Circle.

Conservation Status

The Wood Frog is listed as a species that is Of Special Concern in South Carolina. It is not listed in Georgia; but it has an extremely limited range in the state. Because it is difficult to find after the breeding season, accurate population numbers are not available. This frog may be rare in Georgia, not due to habitat loss, but because its range just barely extends into the state. Protecting mountain wetlands will insure habitat for this species.

Similar Species

No other frog in northern Georgia has a mask on its face.