Description: Southern Leopard Frogs (Rana [Lithobates]
spenocephala) are mid-sized frogs -- 2 - 3.5 in (5.1 - 8.9 cm), that
are brownish to green in ground color with large dark green to brown spots
on its back, sides, and legs (spots on the sides and legs may be smaller than
those on the back). The upper jaw has a light, sometimes yellow stripe. The similar
Pickerel Frog (Rana [L.] palustris) has square spots that are generally
arranged in rows and bright orange coloration on the inside of the legs.
and Habitat: Leopard Frogs are found throughout the Southeast, including all
of Georgia and South Carolina. They breed in virtually any shallow freshwater
habitat, particularly wetlands that do not have fish and can also be found in
slightly brackish water.
Habits: Although Leopard Frogs are often
found close to water, they are more terrestrial than other ranid frogs and can
often be found far from water. They are active both by day and night and can be
seen in large numbers on rainy nights. Leopard frogs breed primarily in the winter
and spring but sometimes breed again in the fall. Often a heavy winter rain will
prompt explosive breeding in this species.
Call: The call of the
Lepoard Frog is a chuckling croak.
Conservation Status: Leopard Frogs
are common throughout our region and are not protected.
Carmel Norman, University of Georgia - edited by J.D. Willson