Pickerel Frog

Lithobates palustris

Pickerel Frog - Lithobates palustris

Photo © Andrew Clark 2013

Description: similar to other leopard frogs, but with square dorsal spots and yellow to orange coloring on the hidden surfaces of the hind legs. Reaches nearly 9 cm (3-1/2 inches) in  length..

Range: Southern Ontario and Quebec, south to South Carolina, and northern Georgia and Alabama, and then west to Wisconsin, the Mississippi valley, southward to the Gulf Coast of eastern Texas. In Minnesota, only known from the extreme southeastern corner. Large range gaps in the Midwest prairies.

Habitat: swamps and swamp-like habitats in the south; cool clear waters in the north.

Wild: terrestrial arthropods, such as beetles and grasshoppers.
Zoo: crickets

Reproduction: Breeding takes place in early spring over a period of a few weeks, the males calling from underwater. “Spring” may be as early as December in the south and as late as June in the north.

Fun fact: Unlike most other “leopard” frog species, pickerel frogs have poisons in their skin which are potent enough to quickly kill other frogs confined with them. In 2011, it was confirmed that an unknown new species of pickerel frog exists in the heart of New York City and some surrounding areas. Nearly a century ago, this unknown species was suspected to exist, but it was mostly overlooked and forgotten since then.