Southern Leopard Frog - Rana sphenocephala
- Diagnostic Features:
- Size: 2 to 3.5 inches (50 to 90 mm)
- Brown or green, or combination
- Long, pointed head
- Dark spots on dorsum between light dorsolateral
ridges and on sides of body
- Spots are round and outlined by lighter color
- Distinct light spot on tympanum
- Light line on upper jaw
- Belly white
- Distinct dorsolateral folds extend full length of
- Sexual Dimorphism:
- Males smaller than females
- Males have paired vocal sacs
- Males have enlarged forearms and thumbs
- Similar species:
Frogs have more angular dorsal spots and bright yellow or
orange color on the concealed and ventral surfaces of the hindlegs
- Natural History:
- This frog prefers shallow, freshwater habitats.
- It is sometimes seen in brackish waters along the
- It is well camouflaged in vegetated areas.
- Nocturnal, it hides during the day in vegetation at
the edge of the water.
- It avoids predators by entering the water and
swimming away underwater.
- Typically jumps are high and in groups of threes
- Breeding occurs fall, winter, and early spring.
- Eggs are laid just below the water's surface in a
firm cluster (about 90 mm wide and 40 mm thick)
- Several hundred eggs to the cluster
- Often breeding frogs congregate and lay numerous
clusters of eggs in a small area.
- Newly hatched tadpoles may school at first
- Voice: Sonogram
( Jackson, & Burke Counties )
- Short, guttural trill at rate of 10-12/second
- Paired vocal sacs that are spherical when inflated
- Has a variety of assorted call variations given during
breeding compared to Pickerel
Frog's single call, and calls carry better than that species.
- Newly hatched tadpoles about 20 to 25 mm long
- Reach a length of 65 to 70 mm before transformation
- Tadpole stage: 90 days
- Tail bears prominent dark spots when metamorphosis is
- Transformed size: 20 mm
- LTRF usually 2/3; regardless of size, stage or range
- iris always with iridophores in life; length of one
side of A-2/width of medial gap ca. 0.7; P-2/P-3 ca. 1.5; P-1 without
medial gap; midventral marginal papillae medium; few submarginal
papillae laterally; dorsal fin originates near tail-body junction and
forms low to medium arch; white lip line usually present; coloration
variable from uniformly dark to uniformly pale to considerable subtle
mottling, fins clear to boldly marked; usually a spring breeder in
lentic, often temporary sites north of latitude of north-central
Kentucky for R. pipiens and south of that latitude for R. sphenocephala
(no accurate means of distinguishing between R. areolata and R.
sphenocephala + R. pipiens and between R. pipiens and R. sphenocephala)
- In North America, this frog is found in southeastern
United States, from as far north as New Jersey south and east to Texas,
Oklahoma, and Nebraska.
- In Georgia, it is found throughout the state.
- In Light
Blue: Williamson, Gerald K. & Moulis,
Robert A., Distribution of Amphibians and Reptiles in Georgia, Special
Publication No. 3, Savannah Science Museum, Inc. Savannah, Georgia, 1994
- In Green:
- In Yellow:
From Both '94 study and Sound Recordings
- In Magenta:
Photograph, not found by '94, may or may not be sound record
- In Medium
Blue: Photograph and in '94 study, may or may
not be sound record
- In Orange:
County Record by other Herp Atlas Volunteers
- In Red:
US Distribution from various sources
May 25, 2008 - firstname.lastname@example.org