Georgia Wildlife Web

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Species Description

Carpenter Frog

Rana virgatipes


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


This frog has a brown body and four yellow stripes down its back. A small frog, 4.1 - 6.7 cm (1 5/8 - 2 5/8 in) long.

Life Cycle

The Carpenter Frog breeds from March to August in permanent water. Fertilization is external. Egg masses are attached to underwater vegetation to a depth of no greater than about 30 cm (12 in). Females may lay several masses, each with from 200 to 600 eggs. Tadpoles may take a year to transform into little frogs. This frog is nocturnal and very secretive. It eats small insects and other small invertebrates. Some research suggests that water snakes of the genus Nerodia prey heavily on this species. The Carpenter Frog prefers slow moving or standing water with a great deal of aquatic vegetation. Throughout its range, it is associated with acidic waters in bogs, swamps, and blackwater rivers. Its color blends well with these waters.


Carpenter Frog Region Map The Carpenter Frog is found along the Georgia Coastal Plain.

Conservation Status

This frog is considered common, but it has a limited range in Georgia. It requires semi-permanent to permanent water for breeding. It also prefers water with a great deal of aquatic vegetation. Actions that limit aquatic vegetation, such as removing emergent plants from ponds, will reduce its habitat.

Similar Species

A young Pig Frog sometimes may be mistaken for a Carpenter Frog. The feet of a Pig Frog are completely webbed, whereas the Carpenter Frog's fourth (longest) toe does not have webbing to its tip.