Coastal Plains Leopard Frog

Fact File

Scientific Name: Lithobates sphenocephalus utriculariu

Classification: Amphibian

Size: Up to 3.5 inches

Distribution: This species occurs primarily in the Coastal Plain with scattered locations in the Piedmont. They can be found in almost any natural or artificial, permanent or semi-permanent body of water. During the summer, this species may be found some distance from water.

Identifying Characteristics

A large frog with a variable pattern of rounded brown or black irregularly placed spots on a gray, tan or green background. The dorsolateral folds are conspicuous, and the head is long and pointed. There is often a white spot in the center of the tympanum.

Did You Know?

The Coastal Plains Leopard Frog is one of two subspecies of the Southern Leopard Frog.

Role in the Web of Life

This species breeds from February to December, the longest season of any Virginia frog, with most breeding from April-August. Their advertisement call is a chuckle-like guttural trill that is likened to the sounds made by coarsely rubbing an inflated balloon. Hibernation typically occurs underwater. However, in oxygen-poor and/or temporary aquatic environments, hibernation may occur on land under leaf litter or logs.


Species appears to be secure in Virginia.

Last updated: March 23, 2021