The Northern Leopard Frog

Northern Leopard Frog

Rana pipiens

The Northern Leopard frog is native to North America, Canada, central and eastern United States. Other names that they are known by are Meadow Frog and Grass Frog. The Northern Leopard Frog lives in and around fresh water ponds, lakes, marshes, reservoirs, slow moving streams and the Great Swamp. After mating in the summer some times they will leave the water and can be found in meadows, fields and pastures.

The Northern Leopard Frog is a medium size frog, it is an average of 3 to 5 inches long. They weigh one half ounce to 3 ounces. The male is smaller than the female. The frog is green brown in color with oval dark spots that have a light border. They have light stripes from the jaw to the shoulder and from the eye that go down the back. The eye is dark with a yellow circle. The under side is cream colored. They have large back legs with dark bands and webbed feet. They can leap a distance of 8 feet!

The mating season is March through June. The male makes a short, snore-like calls from the water looking for a mate. The female can lay 3,000 to 6,000 jelly-covered eggs, which float in a film on the water. The jelly protects the eggs from predators until they hatch. The floating eggs are called frog spawn. The eggs hatch within 2 to 3 weeks if the temperature of the water is 75 to 80 degrees. Tadpoles are light brown with black spots. Tadpoles are born with a big heads, long tails and gills so that they can breathe under water. Fish and water beetles prey them upon. Tadpoles eat algae, pollen and protozoans. Their *metamorphosis from a tadpole to a frog takes about three months. Tadpoles are also called polliwogs. The Northern Leopard Frog lifespan is 2 to 4 years. A group of frogs is called an army.

The adult frog diet consists of crickets, flies, worms, insects, snakes, small birds and even other frogs. They wait patiently for the prey to come by and then they ambush them and snatch them up with their long sticky tongue.

Frogs are amphibians, during winter they hibernate on the bottom of the body of water on top of the mud. They need oxygen rich water to survive so they do not bury themselves in the mud.

Their predators are raccoons, snakes, birds, foxes, humans, and other frogs. They do not produce offensive or toxic skin secretions, so they rely on speed to escape their predators. Other threats are habitat loss, disease, pollution and climate change.

Conservation Status: Lease Concern

*Metamorphosis: The stages of development after birth, a transformation in form.

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