The urban legend of the Loveland Frog that originated in Ohio folklore has made this State a favourite location to look for frogs. Though have been no recent sightings of giant frogs since the legend was started in the 1970s, there is a very diverse range of frogs and toads that can be found in Ohio.
There are just 15 different species of frogs and toads found all through Ohio including Leopard Frogs, Gray Tree Frogs, Pickerel Frogs, American Bullfrogs, Northern Green Frogs, Spring Peeper, and Mountain Chorus Frogs.
Here is a list of frog in Ohio and their locations:
|Frog Species||Ohio Location||Habitat|
|Mountain Chorus Frog||South-East||Terrestrial|
|Northern Leopard Frog||Statewide||Aquatic|
|Western Chorus Frog||Statewide||Arboreal|
|Gray Tree Frog||Statewide||Arboreal|
|Northern Spring Peeper||Statewide||Arboreal|
|Blanchard’s Cricket Frog||West||Arboreal|
Ohio is not home to any introduced frog species, and all species found here are native to this region. Ohio frog typically enjoy similar habitats, however they are all very different species in size, color, and habits. I will walk you through the different species of frogs you can find in Ohio. In the list below, I will highlight their preferred habitat and their dominant features so you can easily identify them.
1. Mountain Chorus Frogs
The Mountain Chorus Frog is a relatively small frog species with smooth skin varying from light brown to olive. These Frogs can be found in the South-Eastern region of Ohio, especially on the unglaciated Allegheny Plateau, where they are dominant.
Mountain Chorus Frogs reproduce from February to April, with females depositing eggs in shallow water bodies or waterways. The breeding call is a unique but harsh raspy reek sound. They feed mainly on insects.
Unique features of the Mountain Chorus Frog Include curved stripes on their back, a dark triangular patch between the eyes, and a white line above the upper lip.
2. Northern Leopard Frog
Northern Leopard Frog earns their name from the presence of round or oval spots with light borders all around their body. The ground color of this species may be green or brown, but the belly is generally white. The Northern Leopard Frog is an average-sized and abundant species in Ohio.
They feed on cricket, flies, worms, and even smaller frogs. Northern Leopard Frogs can habit permanent ponds, slow-moving streams, forests, and urban areas. These Frogs are easy to find when they reproduce in Spring between March and June, laying their eggs in stagnant water bodies. The Northern Leopard Frog call consists of long groaning sounds amid clucks and chuckles.
3. American Bullfrog
The American Bullfrog is a large frog species that lives in permanent water bodies and can be found throughout Ohio. They have smooth, slimy skin, a large tympanum (for hearing), with shades of green and brown on their sides.
In Ohio, American Bullfrogs breed in Summer, laying eggs in shallow waters. Their call is likened to a bull’s bellows, hence their name: Bullfrog. American Bullfrogs are ambush predators that can feed on large prey including rodents, lizards, snakes, worms, and a host of smaller animals.
4. Wood Frog
Wood Frogs are uniquely characterized by a dark eye mask just below each eye. Their ground color is usually dark-brown, tan, or russet. Wood frogs are a species of small to tiny, cold-tolerant frogs with no marks on their backs.
Like many frog species, their tadpoles feed on algae, detritus plants, frogs eggs, and larvae. They are primarily terrestrial and can be found all over Ohio but sparsely in the western region. They breed during February and March once the snow melts. Their breeding call is a series of short clucks and chortles (CTNF).
5. Western Chorus Frog
These frogs are small treefrog species characterized by stripes all over their bodies. A dark heavy stripe across the eyes extends through each side, and a white stripe runs across the lips. The Western Chorus Frog is also known for its nightly chorus with a creaking sound increasing in pitch.
Western Chorus Frogs habit freshwater bodies where they deposit their eggs when breeding. They feed on small insects such as mosquitoes, ants, beetles, grasshoppers, and others. They can be found well distributed throughout Ohio.
6. Gray Tree Frog
Gray Tree Frogs are small frogs that can camouflage extremely well with their environment. Though you can find green and brown “Gray” Tree Frogs in this species, the grey color is dominant. You can identify them with white patches under their eyes and a dark bandish color pattern on their legs.
Gray Treefrogs are mostly found on trees and only come down for breeding and deposit their eggs in woodland ponds. Gray Tree Frogs are closely related and similar to the Cope’s Gray Tree Frog and differ only genetically with differences in their number of chromosomes.
7. Pickerel Frog
Densely populating Ohio’s Eastern areas, the Pickerel Frog calls with a long and slow snore. These frogs are small, with rows of brown or black square-like spots extending through the body. You can notice a yellow or orange coloration of the thighs and belly sides whenever their legs are extended.
Pickerel Frogs feed on spiders, bugs, ants, beetles, and other invertebrates. Just like most frog species, females deposit eggs in shallow water bodies for males to fertilize during reproduction. These frogs live in aquatic areas like ponds and marshes in Eastern Ohio.
8. Northern Spring Peeper
Northern Spring Peeper are uniquely identified by the dark ‘X’ pattern on their backs. It is a small tree frog with bright colors ranging from yellow, brown, tan to olive. They prefer to mate and live near water with no fish.
Enjoyed this video? 🙂 Subscribe to our YouTube channel for more!
Northern Spring Peepers can be found abundantly in all regions of Ohio, and their call is a series of short, high-pitched whistles. Small invertebrates are a good source of food for this species. They breed from March through June, hiding their eggs beneath vegetation at the water base.
9. Blanchard’s Cricket Frog
Here is a unique but small and short-live species found in the Western and Central regions of Ohio. They are, however, quick to hibernate in the cold months. Blanchard’s Cricket Frogs are characterized by small bumps scattered across their entire body. They occur in a wide range of colors ranging from grey to brown (CTNF).
These frogs breed from May to July, laying their eggs either singly or in clusters wherever they habit, ponds or wetlands. Their call is a metallic clicking sound that can be irritating in a chorus.
The abundance of these species in their various regions in Ohio makes here a good site for research and fieldwork. Ohio provides home and native habitat to three toad species as well, including the Eastern Spadefoot, Eastern American Toad, and Fowler’s Toad.
More About Frogs in Ohio
I love to go out looking for frogs and if you are in Ohio, by all means, make frog searching a part of your trip! Ohio is a great place to capture photos of a diverse variety of frogs. Just be sure to avoid touching them, for your and their safety.