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Green Frogs

Last Updated: 2/21/17

A pair of green frogs on the waterfall, early July, 2000.

Introduction
Breeding
My Green Frogs
Photos of my Green Frogs
Videos of my Green Frogs
Photos of Other People's Green Frogs
Web Sites


Introduction

Rana clamitans is the common green frog. These frogs are like mini versions of bullfrogs that only grow to about 3 inches. Tadpoles laid in early spring may emerge as adults in the fall but most eggs are laid during the mid-summer to early fall and emerge as adults the following spring and summer. The males sing with a banjo twang. At my ponds females are larger and have brown, spotted bodies whereas males are all green and have larger tympanic membranes. In other parts of the country, the coloration may vary. The males also have yellow throats and swollen thumbs. Tadpoles eat algae and plants and grow up to 1.5 inches or so. They emerge from the water a little under 1 inch in length and may have female (despite sex) coloration until mature. Adults eat mostly insects but other small animals as well. They only eat small or sick fish when they eat fish, much preferring insects, like the tiger swallowtails that used to land on my lilies! When they get too cold, green frogs may turn black (mine did anyway). Males sound like a banjo twang when they call all summer long. Green frogs are most active from May to September with peak activity in June and July in Zone 7 of the USA. Reported to be nocturnal, my green frogs are very much active during the day.


Breeding

Refer to the last section.

Go here for my guide on raising green frogs from eggs to adults.

More on breeding in general can be found on the frog love page.


My Green Frogs

I added green frog tadpoles to my pond in 1997 and their progeny have been in my ponds ever since. The population has fluctuated over the years as this next paragraph indicates.

In the spring of 2003, only an adult male and one sickly juvenile green frogs were left at my ponds. I still had hundreds of tadpoles though to replenish future generations but am not sure why literally 30- some frogs vanished. They were not dead in the bottom of my ponds (except one and a few bones) so they died before winterizing which means they died during the summer and fall of 2002. I do not know if predators got them or if it was lack of food due to the worst drought in 100 years. Because of the drought, many fewer insect prey were around. The one young frog I found in April 2003 was emaciated and barely alive. I feel very sad about losing my froggy buddies but knowing their babies will turn into frogs and hopefully grow to be full adults lightens the loss. See my April 2003 newsletter for more details. On 4/30/03, I found my last adult male green frog with his body bitten off from a predator (bullfrog, raccoon?). There are at most two smaller green frogs left and, of course, the tadpoles.

In 2010, I have just a few green frogs around but they are still laying eggs, and at least one male is calling. I see the newly morphed froglets too.


Photos of My Green Frogs

Photos of my green frogs from oldest to newest:

1998:

Here is a photo of one of my male green frogs (arrow pointing towards him) surrounded by toad tapoles on 4/12/98.
Male green frog on lily pad, 5/16/98.
A female green frog at the edge of my pond, July 1998.

2000:

See a male green frog by my 153 gallon pond on 9/4/00.

2001:

Look in on this green frog meeting around my 153 gallon pond on 6/6/01, and this green frog tadpole in the 153 gallon pond taken 7/4/01 (this one was more than a year old and nearing metamorphosis).

2002:

On 3/29/02, I cleaned out my 153 gallon pond. You can see some of the green frogs I collected (13 of them but the photo shows 6 heads) and also some of the green frog tadpoles waiting in a kiddie pool.
Here is a photo of green frog eggs in my 20 gallon lotus tub pond full of duckweed on 6/22/02.
This photo of a female green frog is quite excellent! It was taken as she sat on my sandstone bridge across my 153 gallon pond on 9/21/02.
My ponds are a frog love hangout. Here is a photo that I call frog love. Taken on 9/21/02 right after the previous photo, you can see the female green frog on the bridge, and one of the resident male's heads down in the pond water among the hair algae and hornwort. It is like Romeo and Juliet! I boxed in the two frogs so you can find them faster.

2003:

Again in 2003, I collected hundreds of green frog tadpoles in a kiddie pool while cleaning the 153 gallon pond on 4/2/03.
Two photos (different views) of a 1" green froglet which has both a tail and all legs in my 153 gallon pond on 8/8/03: froglet and froglet.

2004:

A female green frog in my 153 gallon pond on 4/18/04. This is a good photo! She is so pretty!
Female green frog in my 50 gallon lotus tub pond, just her head sticking up on 5/13/04.
Female green frog by my 153 gallon pond on 5/21/04.
Female green frog by my 153 gallon pond on 5/21/04, same female as last photo; she looks fat beyond being egg-laden, perhaps she ate too many cicadas?
Green frog eggs in my 50 gallon lotus tub pond on 5/29/04.

2005:

Female green frog in my Tricker pond on 8/13/05.

2006:

Green frogs in a bucket during my 3/30/06 cleaning of the 153 gallon pond.
Green frog tadpoles in my Tricker pond on 6/8/06.
Male green frog in my 153 gallon pond on 8/6/06.
Young green frog sitting by my 153 gallon pond on 8/6/06.

2007:

50 gallon tub pond after I redid it on 3/25/07. There is a baby green frog on the far right under the water.
Baby green frog on 3/25/07 in the newly-cleaned 50 gallon tub pond, close-up of photo similar to the last one.
Two crane flies and a green frog tadpole sitting in my little bucket after I found them, 3/29/07.
Two crane flies, a green frog tadpole, and a baby rosy red minnow in the bucket, 3/29/07. Video of them is mentioned below.
Two crane flies, a green frog tadpole, and a baby rosy red minnow in the bucket, 3/29/07.
Green frog tadpole waiting in a kiddie pool, 3/29/07.

2008:

On 4/13/08, while working on my pond, I saw this cute green frog hiding in the overflow area of my 1800 gallon pond and took his photo.
Green frog

This darling male green frog was sitting at the edge of my 153 gallon pond on 9/3/08: Male green frog

2009:

Female green frog - 3/8/09

2010:

On 3/21/10, my huge female bullfrog and a male green frog were sitting next to each other in the 1800 gallon pond's overflow. They were still brownish because it was cold.
Two frogs - green frog on the left, bullfrog on the right.
Green frog - close-up from last photo.

2011:

From 4/20/11:
Female green frog in the overflow.

2012:

Here are photos of 15 green frogs, 4 wood frogs, and 2 bullfrogs waiting in a bucket while I cleaned out the 153 gallon pond on 3/14/12. Yes, some were amplexing with each other.
Frog Party
Frog Party - male wood frog amplexing male green frog
Frog Party - frogs all over
Green frogs - back in the pond
Green frogs - back in the pond

Male green frog in my 153 gallon pond on 4/17/12.

I took these photos on 4/21/12 at the 153 gallon pond in order to get photos of the white tree peony flowers but there was a male green frog in there too.
Peonies and green frog
Peonies and green frog
Male green frog - a zoom in of the previous photo.

I took these photos on 4/21/12 at the 1800 gallon pond of a pair of green frogs hanging out.
Two green frogs
Two green frogs - close-up

Male green frog at my big pond on 5/13/12.

Male green frog in the big pond on 6/17/12.

2013:

Here are photos of 9 green frogs, 3 wood frogs, and 2 pickerel frogs waiting in a bucket while I cleaned out the 153 gallon pond on 3/30/13.
Green frog tadpole waiting in a kiddie pool.
Frog party - green frog on the upper right
Frog party
Frog party
Frog party

Male green frog in my 153 gallon pond on 4/26/13.

On 11/17/13, it was 60 degrees F outside, and these two green frogs were watching me do chores, and they never moved the entire time. I was very close to them. They would have stayed there unless I touched them which I did not feel like doing. They were staring at me. The bigger one is female, and the smaller, more green one is a young male.
Green frogs
Green frogs
Green frogs

2015:

These photos are from 4/8/15 when I cleaned the 153 gallon pond.
Hiding green frog - larger marginal shelf, mostly drained with a green frog sitting there.
Green Frog Tadpole

2016:

I found this sickly green frog while cleaning the 153 gallon pond on 3/30/16.
Anorexic green frog
Anorexic green frog


Videos of My Green Frogs

Pond animals - 1463 KB, mpg movie.
This shows two crane fly larvae (the worm-like animals), a medium-sized green frog tadpole, and a baby rosy red minnow (at the bottom near the end of the video). This video is from 3/29/07 when I was cleaning out my 153 gallon pond (see this page for details).

On 4/22/07, I took this video of the goldfish spawning. As I zoom in on the goldfish slamming each other out of the water in the shallows, a green frog also jumps from the left of the screen to the right.
Spawning Goldfish with Green Frog- 2740 KB, mpg movie.

While I was approaching the 1800 gallon pond on 6/6/11, a male green frog was calling.
Greenfrog Calling - 1218 KB, mpg movie.

Video of the Frogs in the bucket on 3/14/12 during the cleaning of the 153 gallon pond. There were 15 green frogs, 4 wood frogs, and 2 bullfrogs.


Photos of Other People's Green Frogs

Photos are listed from newest to oldest.

Geneva sent this photo to me on 7/2/10. She wanted to know what the red thing hanging out of the green frog is. I did not think it was a cyst. I thought it might potentially be a rectal prolapse. What do you think? [On 3/16/14, a biologist that studies green frogs agreed that it was a prolapsed cloaca (rectum equivalent).]
Green frog with a problem

On 3/27/08, Terry sent me these photos and a video of a male green frog that has a LOT of blue on him. He is unique but not unheard of (photos of another partially blue green frog are below).
Male green frog who is partially blue, top view.
Male green frog who is partially blue next to a normal male green frog, top view
Male green frog who is partially blue, head on view.
Male green frog who is partially blue next to a normal male green frog, being held.
Male green frog who is partially blue, bottom view, being held.
Male green frog who is partially blue, bottom view being held next to a normal male green frog (the left frog).
Youtube Video of the Blue Green Frog

Barbara sent these photos of her female green frog on 9/24/07.
Female green frog
Female green frog

Cheryl sent these photos of a green frog that has blue on it on 7/10/07. The two green frogs in the photos appear to be females.
Green frogs - one with a blue head and one with a green head. They are surrounded by water lettuce.
Green frog with a blue head.
Green frogs - one with a blue head and one with a green head.
Green frogs - one with a blue head and one with a green head.

I took these photos at Ladew Topiary Gardens on 6/14/06.
Male green frog and white water lily flower
Male green frog and white water lily flower

On 7/12/05, Dave sent me photos of a couple of green frogs were unique coloration. These anomalies have metallic blue colors. I do not know that I can believe they are real! Here is one of a solid metallic blue male green frog. Then, there are these photos of a blue splotched female green frog and another of the same female from another angle.

Here are some interesting links that Dave sent me about strange colored green frogs:
University of Michigan Museum of Zoology - blue green frog photo
Albino frogs - includes an albino green frog. It is totally yellow.

In April of 2003, Richard and Debi sent this photo:
Frog. I am not positive which species it is. It may be a different color phase of a male green frog.


Web Sites

These links were last checked on 6/22/10.

To see a photo of a male green frog and hear the male's call, go to this frog site .

To see another photo of a male green frog and hear the call, go to the Toronto Zoo site.

The Herps of Texas web site has a photo, call, and information on the bronze frog which is a variant of the green frog.

There is a photo and call at this site too.

You can hear and see a green frog at Frogs & Toad of Virginia & Maryland - this is an archived version as the site is gone now.

These two sites also have photos, calls, and information on the green frog:
The Frogs & Toads of Tennessee
The Frogs & Toads of Georgia

Here is a article about telling bullfrogs and green frogs apart.

More information on green frogs can be found on my frog and toad information page.


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