Discover Maryland's Herps

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

True Frogs (Family Ranidae)

Pickerel Frog
Lithobates palustris

Adult Pickerel Frog, photo courtesy of Scott A. Smith
Adult Pickerel Frog, photo courtesy of Scott A. Smith

Size

  • 1 - 3 inches
  • Record - 3 inches
  • Appearance

  • Similar to Leopard Frog, but instead of spots, has paired rows of dark squares or rectangles down back, separated by a beautiful creamy tan or green centerline. 
  • Dorsolateral ridges are also creamy tan or green and reach to groin. 
  • Diagnostic feature is the bright yellow or orange inner thigh. 
  • Adult Pickerel Frog, photo courtesy of Paul Kazyak
    Adult Pickerel Frog, photo courtesy of Paul Kazyak

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

    Photo of  habitat for Pickerel Frog courtesy of Rebecca Bourquin
    Photo of Habitat for Pickerel Frog courtesy of Rebecca Bourquin

    Habitats

  • A variety of wetland habitats, particularly along streams, but may be found in sphagnum bogs and floodplain swamps. 
  • Can be found away from wetlands in summer, within grassy fields or weedy areas. 
  • How to Find

  • Listen for the distinctive low pitched snore in March and April, usually heard in 1-2 second intervals. 
  • Typically only one or few individuals calling at any one site. 
  • Can be caught by hand or dipnet, as will often “freeze” on approach. 
  • Calls day or night.
  • Maryland Distribution Map
    Maryland Distribution Map for Pickerel Frog

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    Maryland Amphibian
    and Reptile Atlas Project

    "A Joint Project of the Natural History Society of Maryland, Inc. and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources"

    For monthly newsletters of the Maryland Amphibian & Reptile Atlas Project click on Recent Newsletters and scroll down to the MARA Newsletters.

    The Maryland Herpetology Field Guide is a cooperative effort of the MD Natural Heritage Program and the MD Biological Stream Survey within the Department of Natural Resources and their partners. We wish to thank all who contributed field records, text, and photographs, as well as support throughout its development.