Lithobates pipiens

Common Names: Northern Leopard Frog
Category: Amphibians
Sub-category: Frogs

A species of leopard frog from the true frog family, native to parts of Canada and United States. It is the state amphibian of Minnesota and Vermont.

The Northern Leopard Frog is a fairly large species of frog reaching about 11 cm in length. It varies from green to brown in dorsal colour with large dark circular spots on its back, sides and legs. Each spot is normally bordered by a lighter ring. A pair of dorsolateral folds starting from the back of the eye run parallel to each other down the back. These dorsolateral folds are often lighter or occasionally pinkish in colour. There is also a pale stripe running from the nostril, under the eye and tympanum, terminating at the shoulder. The ventral surface is white or pale green. The iris is golden and toes are webbed. The Northern Leopard frog has several different color variations. The most common being the green morph and the brown morph. There is another morph know as the burnsi morph. Individuals with the burnsi morph coloration lack spots on their back, but may or may not retain them on their legs. They can be bright green or brown and have yellow dorsal folds.

Northern Leopard Frogs have a wide range of habitats. They are found in permanent ponds, swamps, marshes and slow moving streams throughout forest, open and urban areas. They normally inhabit water bodies with abundant aquatic vegetation.

Edible Notes: The legs are edible, though not substantial in size like a bullfrogs. Frog legs may be ordered frozen online or thru gourmet specialty stores. Can be found in some Asian or French restaurants.
Warnings: Amphibians, like reptiles, can carry Salmonella, which is a potentially deadly bacteria. It is safer for you (and the amphibian) to not touch them or anything in the area where they live, but if you do: Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water immediately after touching. Use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not readily available.