species is distinguished by the dark mask extending from the eye through
the tympanum to the shoulder. Another dark stripe extends from the eye
to the snout. They're snout-vent length is usually up to 3" (7.6
cm). Color variation exists in this species (as seen in the photo
above) in the same populations. Both frogs pictured are females who have
not deposited their eggs yet. Males have swollen thumbs during the
breeding season and paired vocal sacs.
Wood frogs are usually found in moist, deciduous forests with a lot of
leaf litter. In West Virginia, they are active from mid-February
through early November and can usually be found during the day. They
are also often encountered on roads on rainy nights during the spring and
summer. Wood frogs hibernate terrestrially, usually digging only
a few centimeters into the soil, beneath the leaf litter or under a log.
This species can survive freezing, so it does not need a deep burrow for
These frogs emerge from hibernation in mid to late February in West Virginia,
usually during the first warm rainy nights of the year. They congregate
in large numbers at vernal pools. Males call explosively -- a call
which, from a distance, sounds like the "quack" of a flock of mallard ducks.
Eggs are laid in globular masses about 3 - 4 inches in diameter and are
usually attached to the stems of trees and other vegetation in the pond.
Each mass may contain up to 3,000 eggs.
They deposit their eggs communally, and the ones in the center of the mass
may be 7.2 - 12.6 degrees F above the water temperature. The central
masses have significantly greater hatching success than the peripheral
masses because of the warmer temperature. The eggs hatch within 2
- 3 weeks and the tadpole stage lasts between 6 and 10 weeks. Females
become sexually mature in 3 years, while males are mature in 2 years.
Because of their ability to withstand extreme cold, even freezing, wood
frogs are found as far north as Labrador and Alaska. Their range
also extends south to Minnesota, Wisconsin, Indiana, Kentucky, Georgia,
Alabama, South Carolina, and throughout the Appalachian Mountains. In West
Virginia, Wood frogs occur in every county and up to the highest peaks
of the highest mountains.
listed. Very common and widespread species.