WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE

The wood frog is a medium sized frog. Its body is about 50 mm long. With its legs stretched out it is about 150 mm long. They can be reddish brown to dark brown in colour, but always have a black patch under the eye. The belly is cream coloured.

The size of a wood frog .

Look-alikes: Wood frogs look a little like leopard frogs, but the wood frog's brown colour and black patch under the eye lets you tell them apart. Sometimes leopard frogs can be light brown, but they still have black spots all over which wood frogs don't have.


NAME

The wood frog gets its name because it lives in the woods or forests.

 


WHERE IT LIVES

Wood frogs live in forests, but sometimes in meadows or marshes, too. This frog can be found in eastern North America and across the Canadian prairies to the Rocky Mountains. Wood frogs live in all parts of Manitoba.

Where it lives in Manitoba.

 


HABITS

In summer wood frogs hunt for food at night and rest in day time. In spring and fall wood frogs can be active any time of the day. They spend winter under the leaves or under logs on the forest floor where they can freeze solid.

 


FOOD WEB

Wood frogs eat insects, worms and other small animals without backbones.

Wood frogs are eaten by garter snakes, birds such as herons or crows, and mammals such as raccoons, skunks, or weasels. Their tadpoles are eaten by shorebirds, snakes and large insects like giant water bugs and diving beetles.

Giant water bug eating a tadpole .

 


LIFE CYCLE

Wood frogs mate and lay their eggs very early in spring. Sometimes this can be as early as the first week in April. Most of the breeding is from mid-April to early May. They breed in ponds filled by melting snow or in small year-round ponds.

Mating call of the wood frog:

Each female lays about 1000 eggs in a round bunch on plants floating on top of the water. The eggs hatch in 3 to 5 days.

The tadpoles can become froglets by late June, about 40 days after hatching. The new froglets are about 15 to 20 mm long. [In "Life Cycles" you can see more pictures of wood frogs.]


NUMBERS OF WOOD FROGS

The wood frog is very common in all of Manitoba. There may be as many as 100 frogs in every hectare of forest.

 


SPECIAL THINGS ABOUT WOOD FROGS

Wood frogs are the colour of dead leaves so they can hide on the forest floor. Can you see the wood frog in this picture .

They spend winter on the forest floor under the leaves and their bodies can freeze solid. Then in spring they warm up and hop away. Wood frogs can live where there are no lakes, marshes or rivers, because they can freeze in winter and lay eggs in ponds formed by melted snow. Their tadpoles grow so quickly, they become froglets before the ponds dry up.

 


USE BY PEOPLE

Some people study wood frogs. They are trying to find out how these frogs can freeze and stay alive. Maybe this will help doctors to treat people that are sick.