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Amphibians » FROGS AND TOADS
Gopher Frog
Gopher Frog
Lithobates capito

Known only from two records near Tullahoma in Coffee County, the Gopher Frog is unlikely to be seen in Tennessee.

Description: Gopher frogs are 2.5 to 3.5 inches long. They are dark gray in color with dark irregular spots on the back, and a mottled belly. They have prominent folds of skin extending down the back.

Similar Species: The Crawfish Frog has an immaculately white belly and the dark spots on its back are encircled in white.

Voice: A deep snore or growl lasting about two seconds.

Habitat: The Gopher Frog is found in wooded areas where it spends the daylight hours underground in the burrows of other animals.

Diet: Primarily insectivorous.

Breeding information: The dusky gopher frog is an explosive breeder, and all of the mature, healthy adults in a population breed at once. The males usually call to attract females only after heavy rains. Females lay egg masses of up to 7,000 eggs and attach them to vegetation. Metamorphosis of tadpoles takes about 3 to 4 months.

Status in Tennessee: Extremely rare. Known only from two records in the state, both at Tullahoma in Coffee County.

Fun Facts:

  • The Gopher Frog often calls from underneath the water
  • The burrows of Gopher Tortoises are the preferred home of the Gopher Frog

Best places to see in Tennessee: Not likely to be seen.

For more information:

The Frogs and Toads of Tennessee web site

LEAPS Consulting web site on frogs and toads

Sources:

Conant, R. and Collins, J. 1998. Peterson Field Guides: Reptiles and Amphibians (Eastern/Central North America). Houghton Mifflin Company, New York. 616pp.

Recording ©2010, Robert English, Leaps