Green Frog - Rana clamitans
( Latreille, 1801 )



Green Frog Photo
Green Frog Location Map
United States / Canada
Green Frog Photo Green Frog Location Map United States / Canada

Subspecies: Unknown
Est. World Population: Unknown


Body Length: 3 - 5 in
Tail Length:
Shoulder Height:
Weight: ½ - ¾ lb

Top Speed:
Jumping Ability: (Horizontal)

Life Span: Unknown in the Wild
Life Span: Unknown in Captivity

Sexual Maturity: (Females)
Sexual Maturity: (Males)
Clutch Size: 1000 - 7000 eggs
Incubation Period: 3 - 7 days

Green, greenish brown, brownish, yellowish green and olive, with some rare individuals being blue. Generally brighter in front with small irregular black spots; legs have dark transverse bands; yellowish or white below; males usually have a bright yellow throat; tympanum (eardrum) is large; in males the tympanum is much larger than the eye and females tend to have a tympanum the same size as the eye; dorso-lateral ridge is well defined and extends from the back of the eye posteriorly down the body; toes are well webbed; first fingers do not extend beyond the second; the tibia and femur are equal to 1/2 body length; adult length is 3 - 5 inches.

Green frogs are found in a wide variety of habitats that surround most inland waters, such as: swamps, wooded swamps, ponds, lakes, marshes, bogs, banks of slow moving rivers and streams, oxbow lakes, sloughs, and impoundments. Juveniles may disperse into wooded areas or meadows during times of rain. Green frogs will overwinter in the water usually buried in the substrate.

Biomes: taiga, temperate forest & rainforest, temperate grassland

Found in the United States and Canada from Maine and the Maritime provinces of Canada through the Great Lakes region and into western Ontario and Oklahoma, south to eastern Texas, east into northern Florida and extending up the entire east coast of the United States.

Life Cycle:
In green frogs it is the female who chooses her mate. Females will choose a mate based on the desirability of his territory for egg laying. Breeding takes place in late spring; variations in temperature and region can influence actual breeding times. The length of the breeding season is 1 - 3 months and occurs in a variety of habitats, such as swamps, ponds, marshes, bogs, and slow moving streams. Satellite males may also be present during the breeding period of green frogs. A satellite male is described as a smaller male, unable to acquire and defend territories, and are often found in areas protected by a larger male. The satellite male will wait for the opportunity to mate with a female that is responding to the larger more dominant male frog's vocalizations. Once a female has chosen a male, amplexus will begin. During amplexus, 1000 - 7000 eggs may be laid. The egg masses float on the water surface or hang from emergent aquatic vegetation. Eggs will hatch in 3 - 7 days and will complete the tadpole stage of development in 3 - 22 months.

Food & Hunting:
Green frogs are primarily carnivores, and eat a wide variety of prey items such as insects (terrestrial and aquatic), and other vertebrates (small snakes and frogs). They have been termed as "sit and wait" predators eating whatever comes within reach. Tadpoles will feed primarily on diatoms, algae, and minute quantities of small animals such as zooplankton (copepods, and cladocerans).

Males establish breeding territories and maintain them throughout the breeding period. Territories are found in shallow water and are reported to be 3 - 20 feet in diameter. Males will usually call from selected areas within the territory while occasionally patrolling the parameter. Their advertisement call has been liked to the pluck of a loose banjo string. If another male enters his territory the male will give a series of growls followed by an advertisement call. Green frogs produce as many as six different calls. Males attracting a mate give the advertisement call and high-intensity advertisement call. Male frogs defending a territory from an intruding male usually give aggressive calls and growls. The release call is given by non-receptive females and by males accidentally grabbed by another male. Finally, the alert call is given by males and females when startled or attacked by a predator.

The green frog is very abundant throughout all of its range. Although limb deformities and other anomalies have been reported in green frog populations they are still numerous and widespread.

Similar Species:
Rana catesbeiana - Bullfrog

Other Details:
Green frogs on occasion are harvested for food consumption, generally known as "frog legs". They are also used by the scientific community in research and for educational purposes in biology classrooms in both high schools and colleges.

Harding, James H.. Amphibians and Reptiles of the Great Lakes Region. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, 1997
Discovery Channel. reptiles & amphibians: An Explore Your World Handbook. New York: Discovery Books, 2000
Behler, John. Familiar Reptiles and Amphibians of North America. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1988
Tyning, Thomas F.. Stokes Nature Guides: A Guide to Amphibians and Reptiles. Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1990

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Database Last Updated: 31 Dec 1969

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