Green frog (Lithobates clamitans)

Green frogs are active during the day and at night. They become dormant in cold weather. Though mainly
solitary, during the breeding season they congregate in ponds and can produce as many as six different calls. One of the calls made by the male green frog is said to sound like the twang of a banjo string.

See if you can find our green frog pair on exhibit in the Reptile House of the New England Farmyard area.


Green frogs range in size from two to four inches. Contrary to their name, they can be found in various colors such as bronze, brown, yellowish-green, olive and even blue. The most distinguishing feature of the green frog is the pair of parallel folds which extend about two-thirds of the way down their back called the dorsolateral ridges. Green frogs are generally brighter in front with small irregular black spots on the chin, breast and underside of legs. The legs also have dark bands. The tympanum, or eardrum, is larger than the eye in males and about the same size as the eye in females. The frogs have excellent vision. Males have a yellow throat and females white. The green frog has strong, powerful hind legs and their toes are well-webbed for swimming. Their skin is very smooth and moist.


In and near shallow water of swamps, springs, brooks, ponds and lakes which have a considerable amount of vegetation. Juveniles may disperse into wooded areas or meadows during heavy rain. Green frogs overwinter in the water usually buried in the substrate.


Most of eastern North America.


A wide variety of insects and both land and water invertebrates. Green frogs also eat other vertebrates such as small snakes and frogs. Tadpoles eat diatoms, zooplankton, algae and other water plants.

Life Span: 

Up to 10 years.

Family Life: 

The breeding season for green frogs is from early spring to late summer. Females can lay between 1,000 and 6,000 eggs which are connected in a thin gelatinous mass that floats on the water’s surface. Embryos take about a month to hatch and transform into tadpoles. Metamorphosis from tadpoles to adult body form can take over a year, depending on water temperature and food availability.


Green frogs are abundant throughout their range, though some populations are affected by water pollution.