Name: Northern Leopard Frog (Lithobates pipiens)
Order: Frogs (Anura)
Family: True Frogs (Ranidae)
What they look like
- Green to brown with dark spots that are surrounded by a halo of white
- Underside is white as well as the stripe on their upper jaw
- Have ridges that start behind eye and run down backs that can be lighter in color
Where they live
- View a map of where they live
- In Washington state current population and range is not known, it is thought that they used to be more widespread than last consensus.
- Prefer slow, cold water with lots of plants.
- Will use temporary or permanent water sources in meadows, woodland and marshes.
- Do not stay in breeding areas when not breeding, can be found in undergrowth away from water.
- Breeding season is March to June, depending on temperature and elevation.
- Eggs are laid in tight masses and many frogs will lay their eggs together in calm shallow water.
- Eggs can hatch in just a few days.
Cool Biology Facts
- Hibernate in winter at bottom of ponds or streams either buried in sediment or under rocks or logs
- In Canada leopard frogs were used in most biology classes at schools as dissection specimens
- When picked up, can utter a very loud ‘scream’
- If frightened they will often jump in a zigzag pattern to the closest water source and dive in.
- Northern leopard frog populations were once widespread throughout the Northern United States and Canada, but current population is decreasing.
- Main threats include introduced nonnative species and habitat loss.
- View their status on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.