14 Different Types of Frogs in Michigan

Different Types of Frogs in Michigan
Photo by David Clode

Frogs may not be the first animals that come to mind when you think about Michigan, but there are several different types of frogs in Michigan, including some pretty strange ones!

Most frogs don’t like the cold and require warm habitats, so finding them in Michigan during the winter can be difficult, but if you spend time around ponds and lakes during the warmer months, you might come across one of these unique amphibians.

1. Mink Frog

Perhaps one of the best-known frogs in all of America, you’re guaranteed to see a mink frog(Lithobates septentrionalis) if you ever spend time along a pond or stream on a cool summer night.

The adults are large, about three inches long, and can be easily distinguished from other frogs by their dark bodies with light spots, short hind legs, and long, sticky toes that allow them to move on land like an inchworm. 

These types of frogs in Michigan have even been known to climb waterfalls! However, if you take them out of the water for too long, they will die, so make sure your froggy adventure ends before midnight.

Mink frogs are found throughout most parts of southern and central Michigan but are less common towards northern portions of the Lower Peninsula.

2. Wood Frog

The wood frog(Lithobates sylvatica) is one of Michigan’s most common types of frogs. It is found throughout the state but is not as likely to be spotted during winter.

These types of frogs in Michigan prefer moist habitats, such as wetlands and marshes, and can often be found near vernal pools where they can lay their eggs. 

The wood frog hibernates underground during the winter and typically emerges from its nest when temperatures reach 45 degrees Fahrenheit or above.

3. Green Frog

The green frog(Lithobates clamitans) is a common species throughout much of North America. These types of frogs in Michigan are often nocturnal and tend to stay hidden during the day, but when it gets dark, they come out to feed on insects.

They have a distinctive green or brown back with yellow or white spots down their sides, and their belly ranges from yellow to orange. 

Green frogs are small frogs that grow up to three inches long. These frogs are mostly aquatic and prefer to live near water sources, such as ponds, lakes, marshes, swamps, and streams.

Green frogs breed between March and May by laying eggs that typically hatch nine days later into tadpoles.

4. Bullfrog

Bullfrogs(Lithobates catesbeianus), also known as Lithobates catesbeianus, are one of the largest types of frogs in Michigan.

They are sometimes referred to as giant or American bullfrogs because they can grow to be 8 inches long. The bullfrog’s name comes from its distinctive deep voice that sounds like a bull.

Bullfrogs can live throughout much of North America and are found in every state except Alaska, Hawaii, and Nevada.

These types of frogs in Michigan prefer slow-moving or still bodies of water, such as ponds and marshes, with vegetation along the shoreline for cover. In Canada, bullfrog populations are concentrated around the southern Ontario area.

5. Northern Spring Peeper

The Northern Spring Peeper(Pseudacris crucifer) is a small frog species native to the Midwest and the Eastern United States.

This frog is an expert at camouflage, and it can often be difficult to spot one. These types of frogs in Michigan are found primarily in moist environments but have been sighted as far north as Canada. 

The Northern Spring Peeper is a nocturnal species, which means it will be most active at night. However, they are heard more often than they are seen because their mating call can be quite loud!

6. Blanchard’s Cricket Frog

Blanchard’s cricket frog(Acris blanchardi), or northern cricket frog, is a small frog found throughout the eastern and central United States.

These frogs are typically brown, greenish-brown, black, or dark olive with a pattern of darker blotches onscarsack. Blanchard’s cricket frogs can be found near water sources such as wet meadows, marshes, and ponds. 

The female can lay 3,000 eggs at a time and will guard them until they hatch into tadpoles. These tiny amphibians will eat anything, including insects and spiders.

7. Cope’s Gray Tree Frog

Cope’s Gray Tree Frog(Hyla chrysoscelis) is a small species found in the eastern United States and parts of Canada and Mexico.

These types of frogs in Michigan are named after Edward Drinker Cope, a noted naturalist, and herpetologist who also discovered the Gray Tree Frog.

Cope’s Gray Tree Frog is usually dark gray or brown with light yellow or green spots on its back, but it can vary from light brown to black. 

The color variation depends on the environment: darker colors are seen when they live near streams, and lighter colors are seen near forests.

Like other tree frogs, Copes typically inhabit trees where they make their homes in crevices and holes between the bark, mosses, and lichens.

8. Eastern Grey Tree Frog

The Eastern Grey Tree Frog(Hyla Versicolor) is common in eastern and central North America. These types of frogs in Michigan range from green to brownish-gray, with a dark stripe across their backs. These frogs typically live near water sources and are known for their distinctive mating call. 

The Eastern Grey Tree Frog can grow up to four inches long, which makes them one of the larger tree frogs.

Another distinguishing characteristic is their large toe pads, which make them very good climbers and help them grip onto tree branches, so they don’t fall into the water below. 

Since these frogs live close to water sources, you will often hear their mating call deep within forests during springtime when males look for females to mate.

9. Pickerel Frog

Pickerel frogs (Lithobates palustris) are medium-sized and have a dark greenish brown back with a light belly.

These types of frogs in Michigan measure about 2.4 to 4 inches long, and their feet are webbed for swimming. The pickerel frog is found throughout the eastern United States and southern Canada. 

It prefers habitats that have both water and land, like swamps, ponds, marshes, lakes, rivers, estuaries, or vernal pools.

Pickerel frogs are mostly nocturnal animals meaning they come out at night to eat while hiding during the day.

These can be seen hunting on land or near water at night, where they prey on insects such as beetles and crickets or smaller amphibians like salamanders or newts.

10. Northern Leopard Frog

The Northern Leopard Frog(Lithobates pipiens) is a medium-sized frog with a dark green or gray body, a light-colored belly, and an orange or yellow-orange patch inside each eye.

It has large back legs that are used to hop and propel them into the water, where they spend most of their time.

These types of frogs in Michigan are native to Michigan and have been found as far north as Canada and the northern United States. 

These types of frogs in Michigan can be found in ponds, marshes, streams, lakes, woodlands, wet meadows, and urban gardens.

During the breeding season, males will call females from the water’s edge by making loud croaks that can be heard up to 1/2 mile away.

11. Boreal Chorus Frog

The Boreal chorus frog(Pseudacris maculata) is a common species found throughout the northern United States and Canada.

These types of frogs in Michigan can be found inhabiting ponds, lakes, marshes, and slow-moving streams. The males have a call that sounds like ribbit, while females have a quack call. 

Their coloration ranges from dark brown to light green, with dark blotches along the back and sides. These types of frogs in Michigan are small frogs with adults reaching lengths of 3-5 inches.

Females will lay their eggs in masses of up to 100 tadpoles on vegetation near water sources, where they can eventually metamorphose into frogs.

12. Western Chorus Frog

The Western Chorus frog(Pseudacris triseriata) is a small, thin frog with two stripes on each side. It prefers to live near water and can be found from the Pacific coast to the Rocky Mountains and Canada. They are usually between 1-1.5 inches long but can grow up to 2 inches long. 

These types of frogs in Michigan are nocturnal and make a loud call that sounds like someone running their fingernails down a chalkboard, earning them the name chorus frogs.

In addition to being popular among herpetologists, they are also popular among people who keep pet amphibians, as they are one of the few species that will eat insects.

13. Fowler’s Toad

Fowler’s toad(Anaxyrus fowleri) is a type of toad that spends most of its time underground during the day and comes out at night.

These types of frogs in Michigan have a very wide range but are most common in the eastern United States. Their skin is usually brown or green with small bumps on it. 

The only time you are likely to find one is when they’re on the surface during mating season from late February to early March.

The Fowler’s Toad species has a wide range but is most common in the Eastern United States. It will give more information about their lives and make them more interesting and factual.

14. Eastern American Toad

The Eastern American toad(Anaxyrus americanus americanus) is a small, brown toad found along the eastern United States.

It has a black spot on each side of its head and is usually between two to three inches long. The Eastern American toad’s diet consists of worms, insects, slugs, and snails. 

It doesn’t have teeth for chewing, so it swallows its prey whole. In addition, these types of frogs in Michigan are nocturnal, which means they only come out at night and hide during the day.

Conclusion

Many types of frogs live in Michigan. Some are not found anywhere else, but others are widespread across the country.

These frogs in Michigan are an important part of the ecosystem because they eat insects and can harm crops and children. So next time you see a frog, it may be one you’ve never seen before.

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