formerly Rana palustris
Pickerel Frog / Grenouille des marais
This is a moderate sized, true frog with smooth tan skin. It has prominent yellow
dorsolateral ridges and bright
yellow on the belly and undersides of the hind legs.It is distinguished from other
frogs by the parallel rows of dark, squarish spots down the back. Adults can grow to
almost 9 cm.
of the Pickerel Frog is a low snore somewhat like the lowing of a cow.
It does not carry very far and is often missed in calling surveys. Pickerel
Frogs sometimes call from under water. It is similar to that of the
Northern Leopard Frog but lacks the short
grunts of a full Northern Leopard Frog call.
The Pickerel Frog is most similar to the Northern
Leopard Frog, however the Northern Leopard Frog may be either green or brown and
lacks the bright yellow underside. In addition, the spots on a Northern Leopard Frog
are more round or oval.
The Pickerel Frog is distributed throughout much of eastern North America including
southern Ontario, southern Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. It is more common
than the Northern Leopard Frog in the Maritimes but less common in the western part of its
Pickerel Frogs prefer ponds and streams with stable water temperatures.They
particularly like springs and cold seepages. In some parts of the United States they
even occupy caves. They spend part of the summer foraging in fields and meadows.
Pickerel Frogs breed from mid to late spring, somewhat later than Northern Leopard Frogs
in the same area. Egg masses of 2-3,000 eggs are laid in still waters and hatch in 11-21
days. Tadpoles transform after about 80 days.
Pickerel Frogs take two to three years to reach maturity and they typically live to
age four. Pickerel Frogs feed on snails, small crayfish and a variety of insects.
Local declines of Pickerel Frogs have been reported from Ontario and Quebec. There is
no evidence for declines in New Brunswick or Nova Scotia.