WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE

The leopard frog is a large frog. The body of a leopard frog can be as long as 100 mm. With the legs stretched out, it can be 300 mm from the nose to the tip of the toes. Their colour is green, or sometimes light brown, with black spots and a white belly.

The size of a leopard frog .

Look-alikes: A mink frog, green frog or wood frog could be mistaken for a leopard frog. None of these has the big black spots that a leopard frog has and the mink and green frogs are only found in the southeastern part of Manitoba around the Whiteshell Provincial Park. Wood frogs are brown with a black patch under the eye.


NAME

The leopard frog gets its name because it has spots like a leopard.

 


WHERE IT LIVES

Leopard frogs live near lakes, ponds, or other wetlands. Sometimes they will move into grasslands or forests. They are found all across the central part of North America. Leopard frogs are found in most parts of Manitoba, except in the far north.

Where it lives in Manitoba.

 


HABITS

Leopard frogs hunt for food mostly at night and hide in thick grass or other plants in the day time. They will move far away from water in the summer to look for food, but come back to the water's edge by fall. These frogs spend winter on the bottom of large ponds or lakes.

 


FOOD WEB

Leopard frogs eat many kinds of insects, as well as spiders, worms, crayfish and snails. They will eat other frogs, even small leopard frogs, and sometimes young snakes, small mice and baby birds!

Lots of animals will eat leopard frogs. Snakes are their main enemies. In Manitoba, garter snakes and hognose snakes eat leopard frogs. Snapping turtles will catch frogs in the water. Mammals like raccoons, skunks, mink and otters will eat them, too. Many birds eat leopard frogs. Herons, crows, hawks and even owls will make a meal out of them.

Leopard frog tadpoles are eaten by water bugs, painted turtles, snakes and birds like herons or kingfishers.

 


LIFE CYCLE

Leopard frogs breed from late April to early June. They lay their eggs in ponds or streams or small lakes.

Mating call of the leopard frog:
(with some spring peepers, too)

Each female can lay as many as 5,000 eggs in one big clump attached to some floating plants or sticks. The eggs hatch in 5 to 7 days. The tadpoles may change into froglets by late July or early August, after about 60 days as tadpoles. A leopard frog tadpole may be as big as 80 mm long.

Some tadpoles may spend the winter in the pond and change to froglets in the next summer. So, a leopard frog egg can take more than a year (nearly 400 days) to become a froglet. New froglets can be about 25 to 40 mm long.

 


NUMBERS

Leopard frogs were once very common in Manitoba. In the 1970's a sickness spread through North America and killed most leopard frogs. In the 1990's the leopard frog started to become common again. There can be as many as 100 leopard frogs in every hectare of land near a wetland.

 


SPECIAL THINGS

The leopard frog is the largest frog in Manitoba. Its green colour and dark spots help it to hide among the plants near wetlands. The leopard frog's big webbed feet help it to jump on land and swim in water.

 


USE BY PEOPLE

Before the 1970's, when most of our leopard frogs died, people used to make money by collecting and selling them. People still use them today as bait to catch fish.