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Wood Frog

Fact File

Scientific Name: Lithobates sylvaticus

Classification: Amphibian

Size: Up to 3.25 inches

Distribution: The most terrestrial of the True Frogs found in Virginia, during the summer this species is usually found in cool moist forested areas of northern, western and southwestern Virginia. The most southeastern occurrence is just northeast of Richmond in Hanover County.

Identifying Characteristics

A small to medium sized frog with a distinctive black mask that extends from the snout through the eye and just past the tympanum. The dorsal color is typically tan, but some individuals maybe much darker. Dorsolateral folds extend the length of the body to the groin.

Did You Know?

This species survives being frozen during winter by increasing glucose levels in its blood, which prevents ice from forming inside the cells.

Role in the Web of Life

Wood Frogs are explosive breeders from February-April when temperatures are around 50 degrees Fahrenheit. The eggs are deposited communally by the thousands in large floating mats near the shore of shallow ephemeral pond. Their advertisement call is a hoarse quack sound suggestive of a duck, and often heard in large raucous choruses. Hibernation occurs on land under leaf litter and other surface debris.


Species appears to be secure in Virginia.

Last updated: August 19, 2023