Pickerel Frog

Fact File

Scientific Name: Lithobates palustris

Classification: Amphibian

Size: Up to 3.5 inches

Distribution: This species is found statewide except for extreme Southeastern Virginia and much of the Eastern Shore. During the summer, this species is often found far from water.

Identifying Characteristics

A medium-sized frog with a double row of dark squarish blotches on the back and a prominent white line on the upper jaw. Conspicuous dorsolateral folds extend from the eardrum down the length of the body. The belly is white or yellowish. The concealed surface of the hind legs is yellow or orange. Easily confused with the leopard frogs, which have more rounded blotches on the back.

Did You Know?

Because of noxious skin secretions, few snakes will eat Pickerel Frogs.

Role in the Web of Life

This species breeds from April-May and often gathers in large numbers in small areas. Breeding sites include sphagnum bogs, slow moving streams, ponds and wet meadows. Their advertisement call can be given from above or below water, and is a distinctive snore with a duration of 1 to 3 seconds. A single female may deposit up to 3,000 eggs attached to submerged vegetation.


Species appears to be secure in Virginia.

Last updated: March 23, 2021