Connecticut may be more well-known for its cute little green tree frogs than any other type of amphibian, but there are plenty of other species that call this state home.
When most people think of frogs, they think of the green or brown variety that is popularly depicted in cartoons. But there are actually many types of frogs in Connecticut you may not be aware of.
Frogs are amphibians, which means they spend part of their life cycle in water and part on land, and they come back to life when they dry out! Read on to find out more about these fascinating creatures.
Whether you’re an avid frog watcher or just looking to expand your knowledge, read on to learn about the various types of frogs in Connecticut. Not only that, including their habitats, and what makes them unique!
1. Eastern Spadefoot Toad
The first on the list of the different types of frogs in Connecticut is the Eastern spadefoot toad (Scaphiopus holbrookii).
Initially, they are not native to Connecticut but were introduced around the 1950s. They are usually found close to the water and are rarely seen on land.
Moreso, Eastern spadefoot toads have no teeth, but they have a small bone inside their mouth called a spade. They use this to push food into their throat.
The spade will also help them burrow into the ground when it is time for them to hibernate. Eastern spadefoot toads live near bodies of water.
Consequently, they often become prey for raccoons and other animals who get thirsty after eating frogs or fish. Breeds in vernal pools in sandy areas from mid-April to July.
Furthermore, the adults overwinter in underground burrows from September to March. Toads are most active at night and feed mostly on insects, crickets, worms, spiders, and other invertebrates. Toads prefer open habitats with moist soils.
Examples include meadows, forest openings, grassy swamps, and forests bordering ponds or lakes where they hunt insects under logs during the day.
Terrestrial habitat is needed only during the breeding season, which lasts from April through June, while adults overwinter below ground between September to March
2. Wood Frog
This is also one of the types of frogs in Connecticut. The wood frog ( Rana sylvatica) is a small, brown frog that only grows about 2.5 inches long. They have pale-brown skin, and their eyes are big and red, which makes them look like little bunnies.
Moving on, wood frogs live all over North America, but they can only survive in areas with lots of trees and water that stays cold throughout the year.
They hibernate from November until April under logs or rocks on the ground or under leaf litter on the forest floor. The males call for females during mating season.
Basically, they do this by peeping loudly at night from shallow pools, ditches, and roadside puddles with their bellies sticking out above the surface of the water.
Among the first frogs to breed in the springtime, these frogs also produce an unusual sound known as ribbits or peeps. For this reason, wood frogs are often called spring peepers.
3. Pickerel Frog
The pickerel frog (Rana palustris) is a common species of frog found on the eastern seaboard. They have skin that is often a dark to light green color with blotches or spots along their back and sides.
They are typically about 2-4 inches long but have been known to grow up to 6 inches long.
Further, Pickerel frogs are named for their propensity for sitting on logs and catching prey that swims by, such as small fish and tadpoles.
In the winter, they hibernate under leaves on the ground or snow when it’s deep enough to cover them.
The pickerel frog is one of the first frogs that may be seen after the winter thaw since they emerge from hibernation around March and April. Continue reading to learn more about other types of frogs in Connecticut!
4. Northern Leopard Frog
The northern leopard frog is a large, brown and green frog. It has a dark line along the top of its back that has light spots on it. The spots on the back are often seen as rows of dots or dashes.
They live near ponds, lakes, marshes, streams, and other wet habitats. They are nocturnal animals (active at night) that eat insects and tadpoles (young frogs). These frogs lay their eggs during late spring into early summer.
That being said, eggs hatch into tadpoles which then metamorphose into frogs over the next few months before winter arrives.
Spawns in flooded meadow habitats and grassy vernal pools. The list of the various types of frogs in Connecticut isn’t complete without the Northern Leopard Frog.
5. Atlantic Coast Leopard Frog
Next on our list of different types of frogs in Connecticut is the Atlantic Coast Leopard Frog, also known as Rana kauffeldi. This is a small frog that only grows to be about 3 inches long.
They are usually brown or green, but they may also appear reddish-brown or black. The underside may be lighter than the back, and they have a dark line that runs from their nostrils down to the end of their jaw.
In addition, the Atlantic Coast Leopard Frog spends most of its time on land and leaves the water during the breeding season (May-June) or when it rains heavily.
This species breeds in wetlands with sandy soil, and female frogs will lay eggs at the edge of pools after mating with males.
They are excellent swimmers and can jump up to ten feet from pool to pool if necessary to escape predators like raccoons or snakes.
6. Green Frog
Green frogs ( Rana clamitans) are one of the common types of frogs in Connecticut. They can be found from the eastern shoreline to the west coast. These frogs are brownish-green on top with a lighter green or cream color on their belly.
Also, their bellies have black spots scattered about, which is an adaptation for them to blend into their environment.
Green frogs are well known for their ability to live near water sources, but they can also be found near water bodies like ponds or lakes.
Eggs are laid in nearly any body of water, and tadpoles grow into adult frogs. The green frog’s diet includes insects, slugs, worms, and other small invertebrates.
7. The American Bullfrog
The American Bullfrog is the largest frog found throughout North America. The average size of this frog is about 8 inches long, and it is a dull green color.
They are semi-aquatic and can be found near ponds, lakes, marshes, pools, and other similar environments.
Generally, they will eat just about anything they can fit into their mouths, including insects, mice, frogs, and snakes.
Breeding occurs from late spring to early summer, with males calling from pond margins or underwater plants. Females release eggs, which the males fertilize.
Then, the eggs attach themselves to aquatic vegetation, where tadpoles develop before emerging as juvenile frogs.
8. Spring Peeper
Speaking of one of the types of frogs in Connecticut, the Spring Peeper is a small frog, measuring 2 to 3 inches from nose to base of the tail.
Usually, it is greenish with brown or olive blotches on its back and sides. The belly is white with dark spots and usually has a light line running down its side.
Typically, this frog (Pseudacris crucifer) is found near water and lives at ground level or on low vegetation. They are most active during the rainy season: March through June.
Basically, this is when they can be heard calling for mates by making loud peep sounds that sound like someone blowing across the top of an emptied bottle.
9. Gray Treefrog
Without leaving out the Gray Treefrogs (Hyla Versicolor) on our list of the different types of frogs in Connecticut, these are small, light green frogs.
Not only do they have dark spots on their backs, but they also have long, slender toes to climb and grip tree branches.
They’re called gray tree frogs because they live high up in trees and mostly come out at night when it’s raining.
Gray Treefrogs don’t make good pets because they’re not social and will try to escape from captivity. They also don’t tolerate being handled for long periods or being held tightly against the body.
10. American Toad
The American toad (Anaxyrus) Americans is a large, gray-to-brown frog that lives in eastern North America. It’s called American because it lives on the continent of North America.
This toad can be found just about anywhere there is water, including ponds, marshes, streams, lakes, and rivers.
The average adult American toad weighs between one and four ounces (28-113 grams). Also, it has a body that’s three inches long from the tip of its nose to the end of its back legs (8-20 cm).
The males are usually smaller than females, with more developed forelegs for holding females during mating.
Unlike other types of frogs in Connecticut, the skin on the upper part of their body is rough and warty, with a light-colored belly.
11. Fowler’s Toad
The Fowler’s toad, also known as Bufo fowler, is native to eastern North America. They are green and brown, with a darker patch on their back and skin that has bumps.
The Fowler’s toad can grow up to 3 inches long, with females larger than males.
Also, females have brighter colors and bigger heads when compared to males. These frogs are diurnal (active during the day) and typically found near water sources like streams or ponds, where they feed on insects or small invertebrates. Females lay eggs on land during breeding, which hatch into tadpoles.
These tadpoles go through metamorphosis into juvenile frogs after about two months of living in freshwater.
Connecticut is home to more than 20 species of frogs. Frogs play an important part in the ecosystem and are also fascinating creatures!
More so, most people think of frogs as small, green, smooth-skinned animals that live in water; however, there are many different types of frogs in Connecticut.
Listed above are some species you may not have known about. We hope you picked one or two new and interesting facts up there!