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Coastal Plains Leopard Frog

Fact File

Scientific Name: Lithobates sphenocephalus utriculariu

Classification: Amphibian

Size: Up to 3.5 inches

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.


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.

Did You Know?

The Coastal Plains Leopard Frog is one of two subspecies of the Southern Leopard Frog and has only been recently discovered 2015

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.

Last updated: January 22, 2024

The Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources Species Profile Database serves as a repository of information for Virginia’s fish and wildlife species. The database is managed and curated by the Wildlife Information and Environmental Services (WIES) program. Species profile data, distribution information, and photography is generated by the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources, State and Federal agencies, Collection Permittees, and other trusted partners. This product is not suitable for legal, engineering, or surveying use. The Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources does not accept responsibility for any missing data, inaccuracies, or other errors which may exist. In accordance with the terms of service for this product, you agree to this disclaimer.