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Northern (Spotted) Leopard Frog

Rana pipiens

Spotted Leopard Frog

Appearance

Also known as the spotted leopard frog, these frogs are green and brown. They are covered in spots, like a leopard, and can be as large as ten centimetres in length. They also have a white belly underneath their rough backside.

Range & Habitat

These frogs live in the mountainous habitat of the southern interior mountains and can also be found in northern B.C., Alberta, and the United States. They like cold lakes, marshes, and streams. They spend most of their time in the summer months gathering food.

Diet & Behaviour

Spending most of their time foraging at night in mountainous regions, northern (spotted) leopard frogs likes to munch on insects, worms and crustaceans. During the winter, these frogs burrow into the ground and can receive enough oxygen to survive through their skin and throat glands.

Lifecycle & Threats

Because their mountain home warms slowly in the spring, the northern (spotted) leopard frogs have to wait for the ice to melt before they can begin mating in May and June. If you are there at that time, you might think many helicopters are landing and taking off around the lake, but the sound is actually the call of the male bullfrog looking for a mate. Females lay 1000 to 1500 eggs, which hatch within a week. Predators such as carp, mosquito fish and other predatory fish, competitors such as exotic bullfrogs, and habitat degradation from pesticides and chemical fertilizers all pose large threats to these frogs.

Status

COSEWIC: Not at Risk
CDC: Yellow

More Information

www.env.gov.bc.ca

Photo: Patrick Dockens