Pickerel Frog- Lithobates palustris
The pickerel frog is 1¾-4 inches in length and has smooth brown or tan skin. It has rows of square, dark brown spots on its back; a light belly; and patches of bright yellow or orange on the inside of its thighs. It has a light stripe on its upper lip and two light gold colored folds of skin called dorsolateral folds that run from the back of its eyes down along the sides of its back. The male has a pair of vocal sacs.
The pickerel frog is sometimes confused with the northern leopard frog. The northern leopard frog looks similar, but its spots are round and randomly scattered on its body, and it doesn't have patches of bright yellow or orange skin on the inside of its thighs.
The pickerel frog is found from southeastern Canada south to South Carolina and northern Georgia, and Alabama and west to Wisconsin, Missouri, Arkansas, and eastern Texas. It is found in New Hampshire.
The pickerel frog eats insects, spiders, and other small invertebrates. The pickerel frog tadpole eats algae and plant matter.
Breeding season runs from March to May. Males gather in breeding pools and call to females with a low-pitched, snore-like call. The female lays an egg mass of up to 3,000 eggs in shallow water. The egg mass is usually attached to submerged vegetation. The tadpoles begin to turn into frogs in about 3 months. In the winter, the pickerel frog burrows into the mud on the bottom of a pond or stream and hibernates.
The pickerel frog produces a bad-tasting toxic secretion that protects it from some predators, especially snakes.