Wild Profile: Meet the leopard frog

Published: March 26, 2019

By Paul Reeves Photography/Shutterstock

When the air temperature rises to about 10°C, leopard frogs trek from their winter hideaways—the silty or muddy bottoms of lakes, ponds, and streams—to breeding grounds in marshes and wetlands. It’s only a few hundred metres, but that’s a big journey for a frog that’s about the size of a hockey puck. Listen up for their calls, guttural grunts that sound a little like chuckling.

Leopard frogs are mostly nocturnal and completely carnivorous. They’ll eat almost anything they can find and can stuff into their mouths and swallow: spiders, beetles, leeches, ants, snails, worms, flies—plus sometimes birds, snakes, and other frogs.

Female leopard frogs mate only once, and lay between 4,000 and 6,000 eggs. That’s double the amount of eggs laid by a gray treefrog, and it’s a huge number of offspring compared to a snapping turtle: snappers lay only a maximum of 40 eggs. Leopards spend up to 13 weeks as tadpoles before transforming into spotted frogs in July.

 

 

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