Skip to Main Content

Wood Frog

Fact File

Scientific Name: Lithobates sylvaticus

Classification: Amphibian

Size: Up to 3.25 inches

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.


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.

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: January 19, 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.