Anura

Field Guide to Maryland's Frogs and Toads (Order Anura)

Carpenter Frog

Family: True Frogs (Family Ranidae)

Common Name:
Carpenter Frog
Scientific Name:
Lithobates virgatipes

Adult Carpenter Frog, photo courtesy of Corey Wickliffe
Adult Carpenter Frog, photo courtesy of Corey Wickliffe

Size:
  • 1⅝ - 2⅝ inches

  • Appearance:
  • Four golden brown lateral stripes run down its back and sides, two per body half, and
  • No dorsolateral ridges (a ridge running from behind the eye down the back separating back from side in many ranid frogs) are the key diagnostic features.

  • Habitats:
  • Closely associated with sphagnum bogs, it may also be found in emergent stands of herbaceous vegetation.
  • Only found on the Delmarva, this species is primarily found in Delmarva (Carolina) Bays, which are seasonally-wet elliptical-shaped depressional wetlands.
  • Photo of Habitat for Carpenter Frog, courtesy of Jay Killian
    Photo of Habitat for Carpenter Frog, courtesy of Jay Killian


    How to Find:
  • Listen for their call “ric-up, ric-up, ric-up” usually repeated 2-3 times, which has been likened to the sound of a carpenter’s hammer from a distance.
  • Breed from mid-April through June.
  • Very hard to find in the water, as they lie submerged with only eyes exposed, then quickly dive when threatened. 
  • May call while submerged.
  • Calls day or night.

  • Distribution in Maryland:
    Maryland Distribution Map for Carpenter Frog