Green Frog

Green Frogs are native to Eastern North America, grow to 2 to 3.9 inches, and generally weigh between 0.0617 lbs to 0.187 lbs. Green frogs can be green, brown, or a combination of both with black or brown blotches. Their stomachs are generally white with occasional dark spots.

A Green Frog I Found in a Marsh
Common NameGreen Frog 
Other NameTrue Frog
Scientific NameLithobates clamitans (Rana Clamitans)
LocationsEastern North America
CharacteristicsGreen head and brown, gray, dark green, or blue body.
ColorGreen, brown, or a combination of both
OriginEastern North America
Conservation StatusProtected in some US States
FamilyRanidae
GenusLithobates
SpeciesL. clamitans
PoisonousNo
Maximum Length2.0 – 3.9 inches
Average Lifespan6 -10 Years
Max Weight3 oz

Adult Green frogs can be found in Eastern North America, throughout Eastern Canada from Manitoba, to Ontartio, Quebec, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and on Prince Edward Island. This frog Species is also found in the States from Wisconsin to Mississippi, to Northern Florida and Maine.

Green Frogs enjoy freshwater shorelines like those of lakes, marshes, swamps, ponds, and streams. Male green frog’s tympanum is larger than their eye, while for females it is generally the same size as their eye or smaller.

A Green Frog I Found in a Marsh

On colder days, Green Frogs are generally darker in color to help them absorb heat, while on other occasions they are blue due to xanthism, a genetic mutation, which prevents the production of yellow pigments in their bodies.

This species is generally active during the day and only active at night in warm temperatures. They are active once the daytime temperatures reach around 10°C and above.

Tips on How to Find Green Frogs

Green Frogs are very easy to find in nature and I speak from experience. If you live in Eastern Canada, head to a nearby pond, swamp, or marsh to spot them.

A Green Frog I Found Near a Pond

To find Green Frogs in the Wild:

  • Go to a pond, swamp or marsh.
  • Look for Green Frogs along the shoreline hiding the shade under vegetation.
  • They sound somewhat like a duck quacking when they call.
  • Green Frogs may leap into the water upon approaching them.
  • Green Frogs are generally active once temperatures are at least 10°C
  • Male Green Frogs often call during mid-summer to late August.
  • You can find Green Frogs on trails very close to their body source on warm nights.

How to Know You Spotted Green Frogs

I noticed it’s sometimes difficult to differentiate Green Frogs from American Bullfrogs, so here are things you need to know to differentiate them from other species.

Green Frogs usually have brown, gray, or dark green bodies with green heads. Some a green head, while others are only green down their back. This is one way of distinguishing them from Bullfrogs.

Bullfrogs also tend to be larger than Green Frogs, have a larger tympanum. And you can be sure you are in the midst of a Green Frog if the frog you are looking at has a yellow belly. Male Bullfrogs have yellow bellies whereas Green Frogs have white undersides.

Green Frogs also like to migrate to new water bodies such as artificial ponds or swimming pools. They often rest along the shoreline in the shade, and whenever predators approach them, they quickly leap into the water, go to a different location, or hide under vegetation.

Interesting Facts About Green Frogs

  • Green Frogs are ambush predators and eat whatever comes within their reach.
  • Green Frogs only breed in permanent water bodies.
  • During reproduction, females release a single clutch containing 1,000 to 7,000 eggs that get attached to submerged vegetation.
  • Wild Green Frogs are known to be able to reverse their gender.
  • Green Frogs only breed when temperatures are consistently warm.
  • Green Frog tadpoles remain active during winter and can sometimes be visible below the ice.
  • Some Green Frogs are blue because they do not produce yellow pigment (xanthism)

Common Questions About Green Frogs

Are Green Frogs Dangerous? Green frogs are not dangerous nor poisonous. However, all animals can carry viral or bacterial diseases, so avoid touching Green Frogs or wear gloves when handling them.

Where Do Green Frogs Live? Green Frogs live in shallow, permanent bodies of freshwater including brooks, swamps, ponds, springs, and calm lake edges. Green Frogs can generally be found along the shoreline hiding among vegetation in the shade.

How Long Do Green Frogs Live? In captivity, Adult Green frogs can live for up to 10 years while those in the wild generally live for around 6 years depending in part on the presence of predators, sicknesses and polluants in their natural environment.

Can you keep a Green Frog as a Pet? Green Frogs should not be kept as indoor pets. However, attracting Green Frogs to your yard as outdoor pets is fairly easy with an adapted frog pond and can be an excellent way to enjoy their presence.

What Does a Green Frog Eat? Green frogs eat various insects and a number of terrestrial and aquatic invertebrates including small snakes, worms, snails, flies, butterflies, fish, and moths. They are ambush predators that will eat anything that passes their way as long as it fits in their mouth.

Sources

United States Environmental Protection Agency, Green Frog

Martof, B. S. (1953a) Territoriality in the green frog, Rana clamitans. Ecology 34: 165-174.

Martof, B. S. (1953b) Home range and movements of the green frog, Rana clamitans. Ecology 34: 529-543.