Similar in appearance to the larger American Bullfrog, the Green Frog is a handsome species that occurs throughout Tennessee.
Description: Green Frogs range in size from 2 to 3.5 inches long. They are green to brown in color, and are characterized by ridges around the tympanum (ears) and folds of skin extending down the middle of the back (dorsolateral ridges).
Similar Species: The larger American Bullfrog lacks dorsolateral ridges.
Voice: Their call sounds like a banjo string being plucked-a short, explosive "glunk"-and is generally heard from March through September.
Habitat: Green Frogs live in semi-permanent to permanent shallow bodies of water (lakes, ponds, streams or ditches) across Tennessee.
Diet: Green Frogs are primarily carnivores and consume a wide variety of insects and other invertebrates such as slugs, snails, crayfish, spiders, flies, caterpillars, butterflies, and moths from both land and water. They also eat other vertebrates such as small snakes and frogs. Green Frogs are sit-and-wait hunters and eat whatever comes within reach.
Breeding information: Females lay 1,000 to 4,000 eggs on the water's surface. Metamorphosis of tadpoles takes 2 to 3 months. Maturity is reached in 2 years after completion of metamorphosis.
Status in Tennessee: Common statewide.
- In some parts of their range Green Frogs mimic Mink Frogs which produce a foul-tasting musk that deters predators
- Captive specimens have lived as long as 10 years
- Green Frogs are often used for research and education in biology classes
Best places to see in Tennessee: Found statewide
For more information:
The Frogs and Toads of Tennessee web site
LEAPS Consulting web site on frogs and toads
Animal Diversity Web - The University of Michigan Museum of Zoology
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