Northern Red-legged Frog

Photo: Heidi Rockney
Photo: Heidi Rockney

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

All About Amphibians

Name: Northern Red-legged Frog (Rana aurora)
Order: Frogs (Anura)
Family: True Frogs (Ranidae)

Fast Facts

Where they live

  • View a map of 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


  • 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).


small brown salamander on bright green vegetation

Amphibians & Reptiles of Washington

Do you know where rattlesnakes live in our state? Or which salamander breathes through its skin? Explore the fascinating diversity of the 26 species of amphibians and 28 reptiles found in Washington state.