23 Different Types of Frogs in Kentucky

Different Types of Frogs in Kentucky
Photo by David Clode

Kentucky is home to more than 23 species of frog, from tiny tree frogs that measure less than half an inch long to massive bullfrogs that can weigh up to five pounds.

The eastern tiger frogs and the pickerel frog are commonly found in Kentuckians’ backyards.

Still, other types of frogs in Kentucky also make their homes here, including the rare hellbender frog and red-spotted newt.

If you want to start your selection of these fascinating amphibians, keep reading to learn about seven types of frogs in Kentucky and where you can find them.

1. American Toad

American Toads are one of the most commonlKentucky’seen types of frogs in Kentucky. These types of frogs in Kentucky can often be found near ponds, vernal pools, wetlands, rivers, and other bodies of water.

They are typically brown or green with a white underside. American Toads will produce a croak instead of a call like other types of frogs have been known to make.

2. Fowlers Toad

Fowlers Toad (Bufo woodhouse) is a medium-sized, light-colored frog with a dark blotch on its back. It has webbing between the toes on its hind legs, which is not as wide or full as the webbing found on other species.

The Fowlers Toad is fairly common statewide but most abundant in the mountains. Unlike other species of frogs, it will remain active throughout the winter months.

These can be found at night near small bodies of water, such as ponds and ditches with vegetation around them.

3. Eastern Spadefoot

The Eastern Spadefoot is a small frog that spends its full time buried underground. Its skin is typically dark brown or black with a cream stripe on each side.

The spade-shaped toes are responsible for giving this species its name, as they help it dig into loose soil. 

This frog can be found throughout Kentucky, though it prefers areas with moist soil so that it can burrow underground when necessary. The Eastern Spadefoot can also be identified by its large eyes and short, wide mouth. 

While these types of frogs in Kentucky are not typically seen during the day (they’re nocturnal), they will come out at night during a full moon to hunt for insects, worms, spiders, slugs, snails, and small fish.

4. Upland Chorus Frog

The Upland Chorus frog is a small frog throughout the Eastern United States. It is nocturnal, meaning it spends the day hidden in caves or below leaf litter, coming out at night to feed.

They are usually brown with darker spots on their backs and lighter spots on their undersides. 

These types of frogs in Kentucky have a distinctive clicking call that sounds like a cricket rubbing its wings together. If you hear this sound at night, you’ll likely find an Upland Chorus frog nearby!

5. Western Chorus Frog

The Western Chorus Frog is one of the most easily recognizable frogs on the list, with its distinctive green back, yellow stripes down its sides, and a red underbelly.

These types of frogs in Kentucky are primarily found in woodlands near creeks or other water sources such as ponds, lakes, or rivers.

However, these types of frogs in Kentucky can also be found near residential areas if they have access to those types of habitats. 

Western Chorus Frogs are active at night during wet weather or when temperatures rise above 60 degrees Fahrenheit. While hibernating through cold winter, these amphibians will burrow into leaf litter on the forest floor.

6. Spring Peeper

Spring peepers are the first frogs that start singing after their long winter nap. Their song is a loud, shrill call that can be heard up to a mile away.

These types of frogs in Kentucky are most active at night but can also be seen during the day when they are sitting on logs or leaves, eating bugs caught on the surface. 

One way you can tell spring peepers apart from other frogs is by looking at their toes: spring peepers have two toes pointing backward and two pointing forwards; other types of frogs have four toes pointing the same way.

7. Mountain Chorus Frog

Mountain Chorus Frogs are commonly found near the Appalachian Mountains, usually at elevations between 2,000-3,500 ft. The Mountain Chorus frog is a large species that can reach up to 4 inches long. 

These types of frogs in Kentucky are most active during the day but can be spotted in the evening as well. When threatened, this frog will produce a loud call. The call is typically described as ribbiting or croaking.

8. Gray Treefrog

This species can be found across the state and is the most common frog in Kentucky. These types of frogs in Kentucky range from light gray to dark gray, with a white belly, greenish-yellow eyes, and a cream or yellow stripe down their back.

Gray tree frogs are nocturnal, so they typically spend their days high up on trees, coming down at night for food. 

This species is fairly easy to find if you look up into trees at night with a flashlight. They are sometimes mistaken for green tree frogs because they have similar colors; however, gray tree frogs have two white stripes on each side of their body, while e green tree frogs only have one.

9. Blanchard’s Cricket Frog

The Blanchard’s cricket frog is a medium-sized frog approximately two inches long. These types of frogs in Kentucky have cream-colored bodies with dark brown stripes on the sides. The frog’s underside is light brown or cream-colored, but there are no markings. 

This particular species does not like to be touched and will release a strong-smelling secretion if disturbed. These types of frogs in Kentucky can be found near ponds, streams, and wet meadows.

If you find one of these frogs, you may also want to look for tiger salamanders and gray tree frogs.

10. Eastern Narrow-mouthed Toad

The Eastern narrow-mouthed Toad is a small, brown frog with a white or yellow line on its back. This amphibian can be found near bodies of water, such as lakes, ponds, marshes, and rivers. They usually come out at night for the March to November breeding season. 

These types of frogs in Kentucky are not poisonous but will release a foul-smelling odor if threatened. The Eastern narrow-mouthed Toad’s diet consists mostly of insects and worms.

11. Cope’s Gray Treefrog

Cope’s Gray Treefrog is found throughout the eastern and central portions of the United States. It is a small tree frog, with males reaching up to two inches.

The Cope’s Gray Treefrog is typically dark gray or brown, with light markings on its body that look like polka dots. 

These types of frogs in Kentucky have rounded toe pads for climbing and short toes for gripping branches or leaves.

They are active at night during wet weather, so you can often find them near water sources such as ponds or streams.

12. Northern Cricket Frog

The Northern Cricket Frog is a small, green frog with large, round toes on its hind feet. These frogs can often be found near water sources such as creeks, ponds, or rivers.

These types of frogs in Kentucky are often mistaken for the American Bullfrog because their calls sound very similar. 

However, the American Bullfrog has a yellowish-brown coloration on its back and a dark mask across its eyes.

The Northern Cricket Frog’s most distinguishing feature is that it has ridges from nose to toe on both sides of its body, making it ribbed like a tire.

13. Wood Frog

Wood frogs are a small frog species, with adults averaging about 2.4-3.8 cm (1-1.5 inches) in length. These types of frogs in Kentucky have brown or gray bodies with dark spots or imperfections on the back, which become lighter near the belly. 

The toes are webbed to help the frog swim, but they are not as agile at this as other species like American Bullfrogs and so prefer still bodies of water such as ponds and vernal pools.

Wood frogs hibernate during winter months, burying themselves deep into the ground until spring when they emerge again before breeding season starts in earnest around mid-March.

14. Green Treefrog

The green treefrog is a small amphibian often mistaken for the American bullfrog. The green treefrog is usually found near water, while the American bullfrog prefers wet areas.

The coloration is also different: the green treefrog has a light brown body with darker specks, while the American bullfrog has a dark green body. 

Green treefrogs are most active during breeding when they can be seen calling from shrubs or trees near water.

However, those frogs in Kentucky also like to spend their time on leaves and branches near bodies of water, so if you’re looking for one at night, you may want to try sitting by a pond or lake with a flashlight.

15. Barking Treefrog

The barking tree frog is a small frog that is typically only about two inches long. These types of frogs in Kentucky are typically dark brown with light brown spots on their back, which helps them camouflage themselves among the leaves on trees.

In addition, these types of frogs in Kentucky have a dark line that runs down their body from the eye to the base of their legs. 

The barking tree frog has an interesting mating call, which sounds like a cross between a dog’s bark and an insect’s buzz.

Barkin can is found throughout Kentucky, including in woodlands, forests, streamsides, backyard gardens, orchards, and crop fields.

16. Bird-voiced Treefrog

The bird-voiced treefrog is a relatively small species throughout the eastern U.S., with most populations found in the southeastern states.

These types of frogs in Kentucky frogs are typically green, with black blotches on their back, legs, and sides. Like other tree frogs, it spends most of its time high up on trees, laying eggs that hatch into tadpoles. 

This species can be distinguished from similar frogs by their call, which sounds like a bird’s song. It also has a distinctive white line running down its back from head to tail and long fingers that help them grab onto branches or leaves, so they don’t fall off when sitting still or sleeping.

17. Crawfish Frog

The crawfish frog is one of the more unique animals that can be found in the state. The crawfish frog spends most of its time underwater, which is why it has webbed toes. These frogs are usually brown or greenish with a few spots on them. 

These types of frogs in Kentucky have a thick body, a snout that looks like a tadpole’s nose, big eyes, and large hind legs for jumping into the water to catch their prey. Crawfish frogs also have long toes for catching food underwater. 

These types of frogs in Kentucky are most active at night when they come out from under rocks or logs, where they hide during the day.

In addition, these frogs prefer fast-moving streams and waterways with lots of vegetation.

18. Southern Leopard Frog

The Southern Leopard Frog is a large frog, with males reaching lengths up to 4.5 inches. The coloration of the Southern Leopard Frog ranges from brown to green, with black spots scattered across its back. Males tend to be more brightly colored than females and have dark throat patches. 

These types of frogs in Kentucky are found throughout the eastern United States but are less common south of Texas or east of Florida.

Southern Leopard frogs can be found both near water sources and farther away from them in moist woodlands near ponds, marshes, vernal pools, or even farm ponds.

They breed earlier than most other frogs, typically around January when it is cold enough for standing water to remain unfrozen for long periods.

19. Plains Leopard Frog

The Plains Leopard Frog is a small species, with adults averaging 5.5 cm (2.1 inches) long. The frog has a brown, dark green, or black dorsal area with a bright orange or yellowish-orange ventral region.

These types of frogs in Kentucky are typically found near slow-moving streams, wetlands, and marshes, where they feed on aquatic insects such as dragonflies, crickets, water beetles, and tadpoles. 

Females lay eggs that hatch into tadpoles that live in still or slow-moving water for two to three months before transforming into adults. Unlike other types of frogs with dry skin, the Plains Leopard Frog’s skin is moist. 

20. Northern Leopard Frog

Despite its name, the Northern Leopard Frog is not found anywhere near Northern Africa or Central Asia. Instead, it can be found across the eastern half of the United States, with a southern range that extends into South America.

They are found in most types of wetland habitats, including ponds, lakes, streams, marshes, puddles, and ditches. 

These types of frogs in Kentucky have a broad diet that includes aquatic insects, small fish (which they hunt at night), tadpoles, salamanders, and amphibian eggs.

Unfortunately, like most frogs, they are mostly nocturnal, so it isn’t easy to find them during the daytime.

21. Pickerel Frog

Pickerel frogs are typically found near a body of water. These types of frogs in Kentucky grow up to 5 inches long and have a brown, green, or gray back with stripes or spots that range from light orange-yellow to dark brown or black.

These frogs live near ponds, lakes, streams, marshes, rivers, swamps, and ditches. Pickerel frogs can be found throughout the eastern United States. 

Pickerel frogs need places to get out on land and water when they hibernate during wintertime. They use small bushes and shrubs for cover when they come out at night to feed on insects like ants and crickets.

22. Green Frog

Green frogs are the most common frog found in Kentucky. These types of frogs in Kentuck are found throughout the state, but they appear to be more plentiful near bodies of water. They are most active at night when they will come out to hunt. 

These types of frogs Kentucky their diet consists mainly of insects like flies and crickets, which they capture by jumping out of the water onto land or flicking their tongues out at bugs that fly past them. In addition to insects, green frogs also eat small fish that live near ponds or streams.

The green frog’s skin is dark green on top, with a lighter shade on its belly, usually white or yellowish-white. The males have brown throats, while the females have white throats.

23. American Bullfrog

The American Bullfrog is found everywhere in the state. These types of frogs in Kentucky are opportunistic feeders who eat anything they can catch, including small mammals, amphibians, reptiles, insects, fish, and other invertebrates. As a result, they are usually found near water sources such as streams or ponds. 

The American Bullfrog’s skin is bumpy, ranging from dark brown to greenish-brown, with dark spots on its back. It also has a pointed head that sticks out farther than the rest of its body. 

Adults have thick folds on their necks that act as suction cups for climbing up steep banks or trees. Adult males are usually larger than females because they vocalize by inflating air sacs on their throats during mating season.


Did you know that Kentucky has at least 23 different types of frogs? No two frogs are alike, which means these little creatures have lots to offer. Some frogs stay close to water, while others live high up in the trees. 

All types of frogs in Kentucky eat insects, but some also like fruits and berries. Look at the list below of frog species you can find on your next walk through the woods or a stroll around a pond. 

A good time to spot them is during the evening when they come out after dark! Southern Leopard Frog Green Tree Frog Northern Cricket Frog American Bullfrog Eastern Spadefoot Toad Marbled Frog

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like