E-Fauna BC: Electronic Atlas of the Wildlife of British Columbia

Lithobates clamitans Latreille in Sonnini de Manoncourt & Latreille, 1801
Green Frog
Family: Ranidae

Species account author: Brent Matsuda and Rose Klinkenberg.
Photo of species

© Diane Williamson  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #284)

E-Fauna BC Static Map
Distribution of Lithobates clamitans in British Columbia
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Species Information

The Green Frog is an introduced species in British Columbia. It was reported by Carl and Guiget in 1958 from the Victoria area, Hope, Little Mountain, and 90 miles up the Fraser Valley. It is a medium-sized frog that is green or bronze in colour. Green Frogs resemble Bullfrogs, but Green Frogs are smaller, ranging in size from 2-4 inches (5-10 cm). Green Frogs can also be separated from the Bullfrog by the presence of dorsolateral ridges (seam-like skin folds) that run along its sides, which are absent in the Bullfrog. Males have a tympanum (hearing organ) that is twice the diameter of the eye and a bright yellow throat that is obvious from a distance. In females, the tympanum diameter is about the same as that of the eye. According to BC Frogwatch (BC Ministry of Environment 2009), the call of a Green Frog 'is a loud, distinctive call that sounds almost exactly like a stretched rubber band being plucked'.

Identification and Subspecies Information



Green Frogs breed in semi-permanent or permanent freshwater ponds (Wikipedia 2009). BC Frogwatch (BC Ministry of Environment 2009) describes reproduction in Green Frogs as follows: ' females lay eggs in a single layered mass on the water's surface, about 15 to 30 cm across. Each egg mass may contain up to 5000 eggs. Tadpoles hatch out within a few days, depending on water temperature, and develop over the course of the summer; juvenile frogs emerge in late summer if the eggs are laid early in the season, or the tadpoles from later egg masses may overwinter in larval form. Green Frog tadpoles in B.C. probably overwinter as tadpoles, but this has not been studied. Green Frogs reach sexual maturity two to three years after metamorphosis. Their lifespan in the wild is unknown, but Green Frogs in captivity have lived up to ten years.'

Tadpols are indiscriminate feeders (Jennssen 1967). They will attempt to eat any mouth-sized animal they can capture, including insects, spiders, fish, crayfish, shrimp, other frogs, tadpoles, small snakes, birds, and snails. Tadpoles graze on algae and water plants. Although Bullfrogs include juvenile frogs in their diet, juvenile frogs are not an important component of the diet of Green Frogs (Werner et al. 1995).


Green Frogs prefer permanent ponds or slow streams with plenty of vegetation. They are usually found on land within two or three meters of water, while Bullfrogs are usually found in water (Werner et al. 1995). In the fall, Green Frogs move away from summer breeding ponds to areas of flowing water in streams and seeps, possibly because these areas don't freeze (Lamouroux and Maddison, 1999). Dispersal from natal ponds is influenced by physiography, with little homing response to natal ponds the following summer (Schroeder, 1976).


The Green Frog is native to the eastern half of North America, and is introduced in British Columbia


Conservation Concerns

Adult Green Frog populations are significantly smaller on shorelines with house and cottage development, which seems results in habitat degradation (Woodford and Meyer 2002).

Status Information

Origin StatusProvincial StatusBC List
(Red Blue List)
ExoticSNAExoticNot Listed
BC Ministry of Environment: BC Species and Ecosystems Explorer--the authoritative source for conservation information in British Columbia.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Rana clamitans (Latreille, 1801)

Additional Range and Status Information Links

Additional Photo Sources

Species References

Matsuda, Brent, David M. Green, and Patrick T. Gregory. 2006. Amphibians and Reptiles of British Columbia. Handbook. Royal BC Museum, Victoria.

General References

Recommended citation: Author, Date. Page title. In Klinkenberg, Brian. (Editor) 2021. E-Fauna BC: Electronic Atlas of the Fauna of British Columbia [efauna.bc.ca]. Lab for Advanced Spatial Analysis, Department of Geography, University of British Columbia, Vancouver. [Accessed: 2024-05-23 12:06:35 AM]
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