Located in the Northwestern U.S., Washington is a state that encompasses several climates, including a temperate rainforest. Various types of frogs can be found across these climates, including the Northern red-legged frog, the Pacific tree frog, the Cascades frog, the Columbia spotted frog, the Oregon spotted frog and the American bullfrog.
The name American bullfrog, or more simply the bullfrog, most commonly refers to the species Rana catesbeiana. The body of the American bullfrog grows 4 to 8 inches long. It has a white to yellowish underside and a dull green to brown topside with darker bands on its legs. Male bullfrogs have loud, deep croaks, which sounds like a far away bull, giving rise to its name. This species is native to the eastern United States, and has been introduced the western United States including Washington, as well as other parts of the world. Within Washington it is found in the lowlands, in such places as creeks, ponds, rivers and lakes.
Northern Red-legged Frog
The red-legged frog, Rana aurora, is a frog that grows 4 to 5 inches long. On top its coloration ranges from dark brown to gold, and it sometimes has spots. Underneath, its legs and the edges of its abdomen are orange-red to brick colored, and an area around its groin is black and white. It has bulging eyes with a fold extending from each eye down to its tail, and powerful legs. The webbing on its longest toe stops at the first joint. The red-legged frog commonly resides in lowlands and foothills west of the Cascades. Specifically, it lives in ponds or near them, mostly within wooded areas.
Columbia Spotted Frog
This frog, scientifically called Rana luteiventris, is a brown to green frog that has unevenly shaped black spots, upturned yellow eyes and a white stomach and legs. Its call consists of five to 30 notes that sound like a woodpecker. It lives in wooded areas near ponds and streams at elevations ranging from 2,000 to 4,500 feet, and can be found in Stevens, Okanagan, Pend Oreille and Ferry counties.
Oregon Spotted Frog
The Oregon spotted frog tends to be olive or reddish brown on top, though it varies with age, with unevenly shaped spots that grow more ragged with age. Its eyes are upturned. The frog grows to be 1.75 to 4 inches, and females are larger than males. It lives near Puget Sound.
Like the bullfrog, the green frog is an introduced species to Washington. Its abdomen has a copper-like sheen, and it has a fold around its ear which no frog native to Washington possesses. The call of the green frog sounds similar to a plucked banjo. Documented locations of green frogs in Washington include Whatcom County, King County and Stevens County.
Northern Leopard Frog
Scientifically called Rana pipiens, the northern leopard frog is a species that grows to be 4 inches long, and has dark spots with light colored borders on its back, legs and sides. This species forms its call by making low grunts for several seconds at a time. As for its location, the northern leopard frog population has suffered substantial losses across the Pacific Northwest. In Washington State it occurs only in several places on the eastern side in association with ponds.
Pacific Tree Frog
Pesudacris regilla, or the Pacific tree frog, is a frog whose coloration ranges from solid to patterned brown or light green. A "Y" shaped mark can be found on the head of the Pacific tree frog, and dark band starts at the nose, goes across the eyes to the shoulders. Males have darker throats than females. The common size for a Pacific tree frog, not including its legs, is less than 2 inches. Males attain smaller sizes than females. It can be found across Washington State, and is one of the most commonly found frogs there. The species makes its home from mountains at 11,000 feet and dry areas with water to rainforests.
The Cascades frog, Rana cascadae, grows to be 3 to 4 inches long, and has a coloration that ranges from olive to brown on top, and an orange tinted yellow abdomen that turns mottled green tinted yellow or off white with black near the groin. In addition to their basic coloration, evenly shaped black spots are common on the back and the legs. Adult Cascades frogs' legs are yellow underneath. For its call, the Cascades frog repeats a low, grating cluck for several seconds. This frog makes its home in ponds and mountain streams in the Cascade Mountains and Olympic Mountains in moist forests and meadows above 1,500 feet.
- Washington State Department of Natural Resources: Pacific Tree Frog
- Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife: Frogs
- Washington Herp Atlas: Northern Leopard Frog
- Washington State Department of Natural Resources: Northern Red-legged Frog
- Washington State Department of Natural Resources: American Green Frog
- Washington State Department of Natural Resources: Cascades Frog
- Photo Credit Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images
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