USGS - science for a changing world

Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center

  Home About NPWRC Our Science Staff Employment Contacts Common Questions About the Site

Checklist of Amphibian Species and Identification Guide

Northern Leopard Frog, Rana pipiens

leopard frog leopard frog
The Northern Leopard Frog is a wide ranging and abundant species. It is also one of the more cold tolerant anuran species in Northe America, though it is not known to be freeze tolerant and thus requires a freeze free hibernation site. It is a medium sized frog reaching sizes of 3 1/2 inches in length. It receives its name from its dark spots which are usually circular in shape and irregularly placed throughout the body. The background color can be green, brown or both. There are also two light colored dorsolateral folds, lines of raised glandular skin in an area between the back and the sides.
The Northern Leopard Frog's range extends from much of Canada south to 
Massachusetts in the east to northern Nebraska and then south to New Mexico and Arizona, and then west to Nevada, and 
up through parts of Idaho and most of Montana.
Northern Leopard Frog color morphs
northern leopard frog northern leopard frog

kandiyohi leopard frog kandiyohi leopard frog
In addition to the two different common colors, there are also two other pattern variations found in the Northern Leopard Frog. These are the Kandiyohi (pictured directly above) and the the Burnsi (see below) forms. The Kandiyohi form has a light tan background and the usual spots. There is, however, black pigment in a mottled pattern found throughout the background, making the spots hard to see and giving the frog a speckled appearance.
Burnsi Leopard Frog Burnsi Leopard Frog
This is the Burnsi phase of the Northern Leopard Frog. It lacks spots altogether and is usually just one solid color. The legs of a Burnsi may still display the bands however.

A Northern Leopard Frog with inflated vocal sacs.

Notice:  All images contained hereafter are the property of the said photographer. They are not to be reproduced, copied, printed, stored, or distributed without written permission of the photographer.

Return to checklist:   family/species   species only
Return to Contents

Accessibility FOIA Privacy Policies and Notices

Take Pride in America logo logo U.S. Department of the Interior | U.S. Geological Survey
Page Contact Information: Webmaster
Page Last Modified: Saturday, 02-Feb-2013 05:02:49 EST
Sioux Falls, SD [sdww55]