*Does not include all Michigan Species of Frogs
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                                                            TEAM REPTILE
                                              
                                                
MICHIGAN FROG INFO PAGE

FROGS
All Michigan frog species begin life in the water as tadpoles that hatch from jelly-like eggs.  They breathe
through gills originally, and feed on algae and other small particles in the water.  Over time they will
develop hind legs, and then front legs.  As this happens they will also begin to develop lungs, and their
tiny fish-like mouth will widen to allow them to eat insects and other animals.  Once the metamorphosis is
complete, or near completion, the juvenile frog will begin to lose (absorb into its body) the rest of its tail
and will start venturing more onto land.  The length of time it takes to go through this metamorphosis
varies, depending on the species and environmental factors.  It can be as short as a few weeks for some
species, and up to a couple years for others.

Green Frog:  The most common species of frog in Michigan.  They are mostly aquatic, and can be found
in almost any type of water source, including large puddles.  This frog is named for its green coloration,
although they can also be brown or bronze.  They have two ridges that run down each side of their back,
and often have a more “pointy” snout then that of a Bullfrog.

Mink Frog:  This frog is very similar to the Green frog in appearance.  It is generally found in the northern
part of Michigan, usually in the U.P., although we have found some in the Cheboygan area.  They are
named for their musky odor, which is said to resemble that of a Mink.

Bullfrog:  This is Michigan’s largest species of frog.  It can, and will eat just about any other animal it can
fit in its mouth, including other frogs and even small birds.  They can usually be found in larger bodies of
water, such as ponds and lakes.

American Toad:  This toad is easily recognized by its gray to brown coloration, along with the dark
“warts" on their back.  They are mostly terrestrial, and can often be found close to where humans live.  
Although their warts can be dangerous to predators who eat them, they are not harmful to humans.  You
can not get warts from handling them, even if they urinate on you, which they tend to do when handled.

Spring Peeper:  This very small frog is usually gray to white, with tan, brown, or gray markings on the
back, often forming an ‘x’.  They quite often have a ‘v’ mark, or something resembling this between their
eyes.  We very rarely find this frog in water, other than during the breeding season, and instead tend to
find them in wooded areas near ponds and swamps.  They are named after the high pitched “peep” the
male makes during breeding season.

Gray Treefrog:  Treefrogs are very unique compared to all other Michigan frogs.  There are actually two
different species of Gray Treefrogs in Michigan, the Cope’s Gray Treefrog and the Common Gray
Treefrog.  The two species are so similar that it is extremely difficult to tell the difference between the
two.  Gray Treefrogs have the ability to change their color to closely resemble the habitat they are in.  We
have seen them change colors; being gray, green, yellow, brown, and a variety of shades in between.  
Their large, sticky toe pads allow them to climb a variety of surfaces.

Wood Frog:  This frog is usually tan, brown, or even red, with a dark mask that runs across its eyes.  
They are named for the fact that they tend to live in wooded areas around ponds and swamps.  The male
sounds like it is making a fast “duck” call during its spring breeding season.

Chorus Frog:  This reclusive frog looks as if it is a long, thin-bodied combination of the Wood Frog and
the Spring Peeper.  It is usually tan, brown, or dark gray, and has a dark mask around its eyes similar to
the Wood Frog. It also has darker lines on its back, as well as on its head similar to the Spring peeper.  
The Chorus Frog’s lines are usually straight, and do not usually form the ‘x’ that the Spring Peeper often
has.  The Wood Frogs ‘mask’ is usually thicker, and they have a ridge on each side of the back that the
Chorus Frog lacks.  The Chorus Frog is named for the loud call that is made by many simultaneously in
the early spring.

Leopard Frog:  This frog is named for the round dark spots that cover its body, which help to break up
its color when it is away from the water.  This species of frog tends to spend the spring and fall in or near
the water.  During the summer, these frogs tend to move further away from the water, out into more
grassy regions.  Their leopard-like spots on their green or tan body, as well as their incredible leaping
ability, help them to avoid predators when they have ventured far away from the water.

Pickerel Frog:  This frog is very similar in appearance and behavior to the Leopard Frog.  Their spots
are usually more square than the Leopard Frogs, and they tend to not have the bright green coloration
that the Leopard Frog sometimes has.  They can be poisonous to some animals that try to eat them,
although they get their name from the species of fish that is a major predator of them in larger bodies of
water.
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