A frog of the eastern and north central portion of Tennessee, the Wood Frog is one of the earliest breeders, and the first frog to begin calling, often beginning before ice has completely left its breeding ponds.
Description: Wood Frogs are typically 1.25 to 3 inches long. They range from brown to pink and are characterized by a dark mask extending from the eye backwards across the tympanum.
Similar Species: None.
Voice: A harsh quacking sound.
Habitat: Wood frogs are found in moist woodlands in eastern to north central Tennessee. Breeding may take place in open water ponds to roadside ditches.
Diet: Wood frogs eat a variety of insects and other small invertebrates, including spiders, beetles, bugs, moth larvae, slugs and snails.
Breeding information: Explosive breeders, females lay large globular masses of up to 3,000 eggs and anchor them to submerged vegetation. Wood frogs are communal breeders so many egg masses are often laid at one time. Eggs hatch within 3 weeks. Metamorphosis of tadpoles takes about 2 months, and maturity is reached in 2 to 4 years.
Status in Tennessee: Common in the appropriate habitat.
- Wood Frogs are found as far north as Alaska and are the only frogs found north of the Arctic Circle
- In the winter, as much as 35-45 percent of the Wood Frog's body may freeze, and turn to ice. During this time their breathing, blood flow and heart beat ceases
Best places to see in Tennessee: Found in the eastern half of the state in moist woodlands.
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