Tailed Frog

Photo: Heidi Rockney
Photo: Heidi Rockney

Ascaphus truei

What they look like

  • Coloration usually matches the rocks they live in, can be brown, gray, green, red, or yellow
  • Have a triangle on nose and a darkish eye stripe
  • Males have a ‘tail’ which is actually the male reproductive organ
  • Granular roughish skin 

All About Amphibians

Name: Tailed frog (Ascaphus truei)
Order: Frogs (Anura)
Family: Tailed Frog (Ascaphidae)

Fast Facts

Where they live

  • View a map of where they live
  • In Washington State are found from the Cascade mountains to the coast, in higher mountain elevations, the population in Southeastern Washington has recently been separated into a different species, Ascaphus montanus
  • Rocky forest streams, prefer fast moving clear water, rarely found away from water and only on really wet nights

Breeding

  • Breeding season is in the Fall and eggs are laid in the Spring/Summer
  • Eggs are laid in strings underneath big rocks
  • Tadpoles have a large sucker mouth to cling on the rocks in fast water streams and feed on algae
  • Can take up to four years for tadpoles to complete metamorphosis

Cool Biology Facts

  • One of the most primitive of all frogs and their closest living relatives are in New Zealand!
  • One of the only frogs in the world that have internal fertilization
  • Males do not vocalize, possibly because the females cannot hear calls over fast-moving water in streams
  • Have reduced lungs (breathe mostly through skin) which helps to limit buoyancy in water
  • Fingertips are hardened like claws to help move around and the rocks on the fast moving water
  • One of the longest living species of frogs can live up to 15-20 years!

Threats

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.