Wisconsin Sea Grant Frogs: Field Guide

Blanchards Cricket Frog
(Rana palustris)

Call: A low-pitched, snore-like croak

Size: 4.4-8.7 cm in length (1.7-3.4 inches)

Light brown, tan, gray or olive, with squarish brown spots, often outlined in black and arranged in two parallel rows on the back; bright yellow or bright orange color is present on the groin and under the hind legs; whitish belly and throat.

Found in ponds, streams, springs and lake coves where there is cool, clear water and grassy stream banks; uncommon to rare throughout the Great Lakes region; absent from parts of northern Ohio, Illinois, Wisconsin and Ontario, Canada.

Confusing Species:
Northern Leopard Frogs have light-bordered, rounded or oval spots and lack the bright orange or yellow color on the groin area.

Breeding: April to May

FACT: This frog protects itself by producing bad-tasting skin secretions that are possibly toxic to many predators. Usually snakes like to eat frogs, but many snakes seem to avoid Pickerel Frogs. Dogs also seem to steer clear of this frog.

However, the Pickerel Frog doesn't repel all predators -- this frog got its name because it was often used as bait by anglers fishing for pickerel -- a predatory fish.

Did you know?

While all frogs are affected by pollution, the medium-sized Pickerel Frog is particularly sensitive to it.

In fact, you'll find this frog only in relatively unspoiled habitat with cool, clear water. Human activities have reduced or spoiled this sort of habitat in many areas around the Great Lakes, and as a result, the Pickerel Frog is fairly uncommon in the region.






copyright 2001 University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute


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