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

Wood Frog

Family: True Frogs (Family Ranidae)

Common Name:

​Wood Frog

Scientific Name:
Lithobates sylvaticus

Adult Wood Frog, photo courtesy of John White
Adult Wood Frog, photo courtesy of John White

  • 1⅜ - 2¾ inches 
  • Record - 3¼ inches

  • Appearance:
  • Our only frog with a dark “robber’s” mask extending through the eye downward to the upper lip.
  • Body color is typically tan but highly variable, from pinkish tan to brown to almost black.

  • Habitats:

    Photo of  habitat for Wood Frog courtesy of Rebecca Chalmers
    Photo of  Habitat for Wood Frog courtesy of Rebecca Chalmers

  • May be found anywhere in moist deciduous and mixed woods, even far from wetlands. 
  • Breeding ponds are typically vernal pools or semi-permanent shallow water bodies without fish, both surrounded by or on the edge of woodlands, the wetland having some open canopy.

  • How to Find:
  • Listen for its distinctive call on rainy or humid nights in February and March, which has been likened to the hoarse quacking of ducks.
  • Usually in large choruses.
  • Look for a raft of large gelatinous softball-sized egg masses floating on the surface, as egg laying is typically concentrated in one area of the wetland.
  • Each embryo is a separate bulge in the exterior surface of the egg mass, giving them a rough appearance.
  • Egg masses may also be attached to sticks or other vegetation just below the surface.

  • Distribution in Maryland: