Wood Frog

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​​​​​​​​ 3875 E. Huron River Drive, Ann Arbor, MI 48104


Remy Long,
Deputy Manager

Tina Stephens,
Volunteer and Outreach Coordinator

Becky Hand,
Stewardship Specialist

Rachel Maranto,
NAP Supervisor

Rana sylvatica

Identifying Features:

  • 2 to 2.5 inches long; dark mask through its eye and a white stripe on the upper lip.
  • Fairly common in wooded habitats.
  • Adults are rarely found in water except during breeding.
  • Will migrate across open areas to reach suitable breeding ponds, but otherwise remain under tree canopy.
  • Hibernate on land beneath loose soil, leaf litter, or decaying logs.  They can survive sub-freezing temperatures by making large amounts of glucose. This causes ice to form in the extra-cellular spaces rather than within the body cells.​
  • Tadpoles approaching metamorphosis develop poison glands to repel aquatic insect predators. Their biggest threat, however, is ponds drying before transformation is complete.
  • Adults have toxic skin secretions, which repel shrews, but not snakes, other amphibians or birds.


  • Squawking, duck-like call.


  • Vernal ponds, floodings, wooded swamps, and backwaters are used for breeding. 
  • Breeding season is usually only 1-2 weeks long, in mid to late March or early April.
  • Females deposit from 500 to over 3000 eggs in one or many gelatinous masses. These are usually attached to plant stems ​or twigs near the surface. 
  • It is common for more than one frog to lay eggs in the same spot. This helps maintain moisture and temperatures and reduce predation.


  • Egg incubation ​depends on how hot or cold it is, ranging from four days to four weeks.  Transformation occurs in 6-15 weeks.
  • Large numbers of froglets disperse into the​ woods from late May through early July.
  • Males reach sexual maturity in 1-2 years, females in 2-3 years.

Habitat Type​

  • Permanent wetlands.
  • Forests.