Southern Leopard Frog
The genus Lithobates was split from Rana by Frost et al in 2006. This has been a controversial change ever since, and many authorities continue to use Rana.
Subspecies I've seen:
Lithobates sphenocephalus sphenocephalus
Florida Leopard Frog
Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Refuge, DeLeon Springs, Volusia County, Florida—September 19, 2001
The banks of the dikes at Lake Woodruff NWR were festooned with leopard frogs. The only hard part in photographing them was to find a frog sitting still before it leaped into the water. When I walked along the bank there was constant splashing as the frogs dove for safety.
The first two frogs above are juveniles. The third one is a nice big adult. The frogs range from dark brown to bright green, with every mixture in between. One study showed that they tend to be browner when away from water for awhile, though they also tend to be darker when in cold water.
For more about the wildlife of Lake Woodruff, check out Dr. Peter May's web guide to this refuge.
Nokomis, Sarasota County, Florida—April 9, 2004
I was wandering around near our campground in the late afternoon, looking for herps to chase around with my camera, when I noticed some froggy splashing in the puddles of remaining water in a small drainage canal. I clearly saw at least twenty small frogs leap for safety into the water or the surrounding foliage. The only problem was, they were hopping so quickly that I could never get a good look at one. Finally I saw clearly where one had dove for safety in an inch or two of water, and I managed to grab it. It turned out to be a recently transformed Florida Leopard Frog, and it allowed me to get a few pictures on the bank of the canal before it bounded away.
Loop Road, Big Cypress National Preserve, Collier County, Florida—April 2, 2011
This handsome young frog camouflaged itself well in the dark brown wet leaf litter.
Main Park Road, Everglades National Park, Miami-Dade County, Florida—March 23, 2013
And this pretty older frog wasn't the slightest bit camouflaged on the pavement at night.
Lithobates sphenocephalus utricularius
Southern Leopard Frog
Suwannee Canal Recreation Area, Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, Charlton County, Georgia—May 2, 2004
This beautiful frog was sitting perfectly still a few feet from the boardwalk. I was surprised it didn't leap away when I got near, but perhaps it realized that it was in an inaccessible spot, where I could see it but not quite get close enough for an unobstructed photo.
Snake Road, La Rue-Pine Hills Ecological Area, Union County, Illinois—April 23, 2008
These were perhaps the most attractive frogs inhabiting the water and water's edge on and around Snake Road. They had a displeasing tendency to leap prodigiously away when approached, and I didn't want to spend too much time chasing them around because I was too busy looking for more snakes
- Ashton, R. E. Jr., Ashton, P. S. 1988. Handbook of Reptiles and Amphibians of Florida, Part Three: The Amphibians
- Bartlett, R. D., Bartlett, P. B. 1999. A Field Guide to Florida Reptiles and Amphibians
- Behler, J. L., King, F. W. 1979. The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Reptiles & Amphibians
- Carmichael, P., Williams, W. 1991. Florida's Fabulous Reptiles & Amphibians
- Conant, R., Collins, J. T. 1998. Peterson Field Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians of Eastern and Central North America, Third Edition, expanded
- Crother, B. I. (ed.) 2017. Scientific and Standard English Names of Amphibians and Reptiles of North America North of Mexico, with Comments Regarding Confidence in Our Understanding, Eighth Edition
- Jensen, J. B., Camp, C. D., Gibbons, W., and Elliott, M. J. 2008. Amphibians and Reptiles of Georgia