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Amphibians of Washington


Northern red-legged frog
(Rana aurora)

 

What they look like

  • Males up to 7cm,  females twice as big, up to 14cm
  • Red to brownish coloring sometimes with black splotches and black flecks
  • Have a black ‘mask’  with a white jawline that doesn’t extend to shoulders and eyes that turn outward
  • Long legs with black bands and red on underside
  • Have folds in skin on their back and along sides

Where they live

  • Found primarily west of the Cascade Mountains in Washington State
  • Prefer forest wetlands and quiet, permanent water
  • In wet, humid weather have been known to venture from water sources into well-shaded vegetation

Breeding

  • They have an unusually short breeding period of 1-2 weeks, sometime between January and April
  • Need cool water for breeding and sometimes will start breeding before water has completely thawed out from winter freezing.
  • Eggs are attached to branches near water surface a few feet from the shoreline

Cool Biology Facts

  • Have very quiet voices and are not often heard by humans, sometimes calling underwater
  • They have been known to live as long as 15 years in the wild (in colder areas of range). 

Photo

Distribution Map

Threats

Major threats are introduced species and habitat destruction.