Its color varies from tan to several shades of brown to green. The dorsum (back) is usually covered with irregular dark brown spots between distinct light colored areas. Large dark spots on its legs may create the effect of bands. Other distinguishing characteristics include a light line along its upper jaw, light spot on its tympanum (ear), and long hind legs and toes. It is slender, with a narrow, pointed head. Males are smaller than females, but with enlarged forearms and thumbs and paired vocal sacs that look like balloons when inflated.
Ten Facts about Southern Leopard Frog
- Shallow freshwater areas are preferred habitat for the southern leopard frog, but they may be seen some distance from water if there is enough vegetation and moisture to provide protection.
- Southern leopard frogs range throughout the eastern United States, from New Jersey east as far as Nebraska and Oklahoma and south into the eastern third of Texas.
- These frogs are great jumpers, traveling high and far in just a few jumps.
- Predators such as fish, raccoons, skunks and aquatic snakes feed on the leopard frog.
- They consume insects and small invertebrates.
- It reaches sexual maturity in the first spring after hatching.
- Tadpoles hatch in about seven to ten days.
- Newly hatched tadpoles are only about 20 to 25 mm long.
- Southern leopard frogs have a lifespan of 3 years.
- The mating call is a series of abrupt, deep croaks, creating a guttural trill. The trill rate may be as many as 13 per second.