Lithobates clamitans - (Latreille, 1801)
Green Frog
Other English Common Names: green frog
Synonym(s): Rana clamitans Latreille, 1801
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Lithobates clamitans (Latreille in Sonnini de Manoncourt and Latreille, 1801) (TSN 775087)
French Common Names: grenouille verte
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.102178
Element Code: AAABH01090
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Vertebrates - Amphibians - Frogs and Toads
Image 11329

© Larry Master

 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Craniata Amphibia Anura Ranidae Lithobates
Genus Size: D - Medium to large genus (21+ species)
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: Frost, D. R. 1985. Amphibian species of the world. A taxonomic and geographical reference. Allen Press, Inc., and The Association of Systematics Collections, Lawrence, Kansas. v + 732 pp.
Concept Reference Code: B85FRO01HQUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Rana clamitans
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G5
Global Status Last Reviewed: 10May2016
Global Status Last Changed: 21Nov2001
Rounded Global Status: G5 - Secure
Nation: United States
National Status: N5 (05Nov1996)
Nation: Canada
National Status: N5 (05Jun2015)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
United States Alabama (S5), Arkansas (S4), Connecticut (S5), Delaware (S5), District of Columbia (S5), Florida (SNR), Georgia (S5), Illinois (S4), Indiana (SNR), Iowa (S4), Kansas (S1), Kentucky (S5), Louisiana (S5), Maine (S5), Maryland (S5), Massachusetts (S5), Michigan (S5), Minnesota (S5), Mississippi (S5), Missouri (SNR), New Hampshire (S5), New Jersey (SNR), New York (S5), North Carolina (S5), Ohio (S5), Oklahoma (S4), Pennsylvania (S5), Rhode Island (S5), South Carolina (SNR), Tennessee (S5), Texas (S5), Utah (SNA), Vermont (S5), Virginia (S5), Washington (SNA), West Virginia (S5), Wisconsin (S5)
Canada British Columbia (SNA), Manitoba (S1S2), New Brunswick (S5), Newfoundland Island (SNA), Nova Scotia (S5), Ontario (S5), Prince Edward Island (S4S5), Quebec (S5)

Other Statuses

Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC): Candidate (Low) (26Jan2015)
IUCN Red List Category: LC - Least concern

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent: >2,500,000 square km (greater than 1,000,000 square miles)
Range Extent Comments: Range extends throughout the eastern United States and adjacent southeastern Canada (Conant and Collins 1991). This species has been introduced in Newfoundland, British Columbia (Matsuda et al. 2006), Washington (Jones et al. 2005), Utah, and probably elsewhere.

Number of Occurrences: > 300
Number of Occurrences Comments: Represented by many and/or large occurrences throughout most of the range.

Population Size: >1,000,000 individuals
Population Size Comments: Total adult population is unknown but likely exceeds 1,000,000.

Number of Occurrences with Good Viability/Integrity: Very many (>125)

Overall Threat Impact: Low
Overall Threat Impact Comments: Locally threatened by habitat loss/degradation.

Short-term Trend: Relatively Stable (<=10% change)
Short-term Trend Comments: For an example of stability on a large scale, see Hecnar and M'Closkey (1997).

Long-term Trend: Decline of <30% to increase of 25%

Intrinsic Vulnerability: Moderately vulnerable

Environmental Specificity: Moderate to broad.

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: (>2,500,000 square km (greater than 1,000,000 square miles)) Range extends throughout the eastern United States and adjacent southeastern Canada (Conant and Collins 1991). This species has been introduced in Newfoundland, British Columbia (Matsuda et al. 2006), Washington (Jones et al. 2005), Utah, and probably elsewhere.

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces
Color legend for Distribution Map
Endemism: occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States AL, AR, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, NC, NH, NJ, NY, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, UTexotic, VA, VT, WAexotic, WI, WV
Canada BCexotic, MB, NB, NFexotic, NS, ON, PE, QC

Range Map
Note: Range depicted for New World only. The scale of the maps may cause narrow coastal ranges or ranges on small islands not to appear. Not all vagrant or small disjunct occurrences are depicted. For migratory birds, some individuals occur outside of the passage migrant range depicted. For information on how to obtain shapefiles of species ranges see our Species Mapping pages at www.natureserve.org/conservation-tools/data-maps-tools.

Range Map Compilers: IUCN, Conservation International, NatureServe, and collaborators, 2004


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
IA Delaware (19055)*, Dubuque (19061)*
KS Cherokee (20021), Miami (20121)*
MS Choctaw (28019)*, Prentiss (28117)*, Tishomingo (28141)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
03 Upper Tombigbee (03160101)+*, Noxubee (03160108)+*, Upper Pearl (03180001)+*
06 Pickwick Lake (06030005)+*, Bear (06030006)+
07 Turkey (07060004)+*, Maquoketa (07060006)+*
10 Upper Marais Des Cygnes (10290101)+*, Lower Marais Des Cygnes (10290102)+*
11 Spring (11070207)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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General Description: Green frogs are green, greenish brown, brown, or bronze (nearly black when cold), often with numerous dark spots or blotches. A straight ridge that extends along each side of the back begins behind the eye and ends on the back and does not extend to the groin. The hind legs are crossbanded when the legs are folded. In adlut males, the eardrum is much larger than the eye and the throat may be yellow. In adult females and juveniles the eardrum is about the same size as the eye. The webbing on the hind toes does not reach the tip of the 5th toe and barely extends past the second joint of the 5th toe. Maximum size is around 4.3 inches (10.8 cm) snout-vent length. The breeding call is a single croak or series of croaks; each croak sounds like a loose banjo string being plucked. The elongate larvae are olive-green with irregular dark marks (not sharply defined black spots) on the body; the tail is usually heavily dark mottled. The papillae around the mouth are large, somewhat flattened, and heavily pigmented. Larvae may grow as large as 4 inches (10 cm) long. Eggs are laid in masses of up to several thousand eggs, initially floating at the water surface and/or partially tangled in vegetation, later sinking.
Reproduction Comments: Breeding occurs in spring or summer. In the north, males call mainly in late spring and early summer (mostly May to August). In the south, breeding may occur as early as March. Adult females deposit 1-2 clutches of up to several thousand eggs. Larvae emerge from jelly in 3-7 days. In the south, larvae from early clutches may metamorphose in a few months, larvae from late clutches overwinter before metamorphosing, as do most larvae in the northern part of the range.
Ecology Comments: See Hecnar and M'Closkey (1997) for information on the dynamics of populations in 160 ponds in Ontario.

When approached along the edge of a pond, green frogs often leap into the water while emitting a loud squeenk call. Usually they soon return to shore and then often allow close approach if one moves slowly.

Non-Migrant: Y
Locally Migrant: Y
Long Distance Migrant: N
Mobility and Migration Comments: In New York, migrates up to 560 m from breeding ponds to overwintering sites (Lamoureux and Madison 1999). Daily movements <10 m for 80% of recaptures in one study. See Mazerolle (2001) for information on activity, movement patterns, and body size of frogs in fragmented peat bogs in New Brunswick.

Riverine Habitat(s): CREEK, Low gradient, MEDIUM RIVER, Moderate gradient, Pool, SPRING/SPRING BROOK
Lacustrine Habitat(s): Shallow water
Palustrine Habitat(s): Bog/fen, FORESTED WETLAND, HERBACEOUS WETLAND, Riparian, SCRUB-SHRUB WETLAND, TEMPORARY POOL
Special Habitat Factors: Benthic, Fallen log/debris, Standing snag/hollow tree
Habitat Comments: Green frogs inhabit virtually any body of permanent or semipermanent water, as well as vernal pools, and juveniles regularly use nearby small temporary pools and puddles. Individuals may disperse from water in wet weather, especially at night. In winter, they shelter under objects on land, underground, or in water. Many overwinter in flowing water of small streams. Wintering sites may be in breeding areas or commonly several hundred meters away. Breeding sites are in shallow, slow- or nonflowing water.
Adult Food Habits: Invertivore
Immature Food Habits: Herbivore
Food Comments: Metamorphosed frogs eat various small, mainly terrestrial, invertebrates; occasionally small amphibians. Larvae eat suspended matter, organic debris, algae, plant tissue, and minute organisms in water.
Adult Phenology: Circadian, Hibernates/aestivates
Immature Phenology: Circadian, Hibernates/aestivates
Phenology Comments: Green frogs are inactive during cold weather in winter.
Length: 10 centimeters
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Delineation
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Group Name: Ranid Frogs

Use Class: Not applicable
Subtype(s): Breeding Location
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Occurrences are based on evidence of historical presence, or current and likely recurring presence, at a given location. Such evidence minimally includes collection or reliable observation and documentation of one or more individuals (including larvae or eggs) in or near appropriate habitat where the species is presumed to be established and breeding.
Separation Barriers: Busy major highway, especially at night, such that frogs rarely if ever cross successfully; urban development dominated by buildings and pavement; habitat in which site-specific data indicate the frogs virtually never occur.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 1 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Justification: BARRIERS/UNSUITABLE HABITAT: Rivers may or may not be effective barriers, depending on stream width and flow dynamics; identification of streams as barriers is a subjective determination. Ranid frog species vary in habitat use, but even the most aquatic species may traverse upland habitat when conditions are suitable (Pope and Matthews 2001); natural and seminatural upland habitat generally does not constitute a barrier. Here, unsuitable habitat refers to upland habitat devoid or nearly devoid of wetlands, streams, ponds, or lakes. Bodies of water dominated by predatory fishes may be barriers to some species but suitable habitat for others; in most cases, such waters probably should be regarded as unsuitable habitat.

SUITABLE HABITAT: Suitable habitat includes riparian/riverine corridors, wetlands, and wetland/upland mosaics in which wetland patches are separated by less than 1 km of upland habitat; it also includes any upland habitat regularly used for feeding or wintering (e.g., mesic forest for wood frogs).

MOVEMENTS: Available information indicates that individual ranids occasionally move distances of several km (R. luteiventris: Reaser 1996, cited by Koch et al. 1997; R. blairi: Gillis 1975) but most individuals stay within a few kilometers of their breeding sites (R. aurora draytonii: USFWS, Federal Register, 11 September 2000; R. capito: Franz et al. 1988; R. clamitans: Lamoureux and Madison 1999; R. luteiventris: Turner 1960, Hollenbeck 1974, Bull and Hayes 2001). Similarly, maximum distance between capture points generally is a few kilometers or less (R. aurora: Hayes et al. 2001; USFWS, Federal Register, 11 September 2000; R. catesbeiana: Willis et al. 1956; R. luteiventris: Reaser and Pilliod, in press; Engle 2000; R. muscosa: Pope and Matthews 2001). Dispersal data for juveniles are lacking for most species.

Adult and juvenile R. sylvatica readily traveled in excess of 300 m from their pools of origin (Vasconcelos and Calhoun 2004). Bellis (1965) determined that adult and juvenile R. sylvatica in a peat bog had traveled at least 410 m from the nearest breeding pool. Berven and Grudzien (1990) found that dispersing R. sylvatica juveniles traveled an average of 1,208 m from their natal pools. In the Shenandoah Mountains, data for R. sylvatica indicated that ponds separated by a distance greater than 1,000 m should experience little gene flow (Berven and Grudzien 1991). In contrast, populations in Minnesota were very similar in allelic frequencies, even at distances greater than several kilometers (Squire and Newman 2002). However, sample sizes and number of loci examined were small, and genetic patterns do not necessarily reflect movement distances.

The preponderance of data for ranids indicate that a separation distance of several kilometers may be appropriate for suitable habitat and practical for occurrence delineation, despite occasional movements that are longer and that may allow some genetic interchange between distant populations. The movement data for ranids are here regarded as consistent enough to allow the same separation distance to be used for different species; much of the apparent variation in movements doubtless reflects differences in study methods and in the ability to detect long-distance movements.

Date: 01Apr2005
Author: Hammerson, G.
Population/Occurrence Viability
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U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
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Authors/Contributors
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NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 26Jan2010
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Hammerson, G.
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 26Jan2010
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): Hammerson, G.

Zoological data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs) and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

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