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wood frog

wood frog (Lithobates sylvaticus) Photo © Mary Kay Rubey

Features and Behaviors

The wood frog averages about one and one-fourth to two and three-fourths inches in length. The tympanum (eardrum) is smaller than the eye. The body color is tan or red-brown while the belly is light. A dark mask is present on each side of the head.

The wood frog is found in these sections of Illinois: extreme northwestern; extreme northeastern; east central border; southeastern border; southern; southwestern border. It lives in moist woodlands with permanent or semi-permanent pools. This frog tends to be aquatic in spring and fall, but during the summer it spends most of its time away from water. It is difficult to find after the breeding season. It breeds in February and March. The male’s call is somewhat like the clucking of a duck. The female deposits 500 to 3,000 eggs in a globular mass in water. Eggs hatch within two weeks. Transformation to the land form occurs in May and June. The wood frog eats arthropods (spiders, insects, mites and others) and mollusks (snails, slugs and others).

Illinois Range


​Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Amphibia

Order: Anura

Family: Ranidae

Illinois Status: common, native