Northern Green Frog
(Rana clamitans melanota)
Green frogs were among the first amphibian species to discover the BFEC ponds. They are large frogs ranging from 2.5 to 4.5 inches from snout to vent. In all stages the back is some shade of green and the belly tends to be white. The frog on the left is a breeding male. During the breeding season the vocal sac of the male becomes bright yellow and the thumb pads become swollen. At other times of year males can be distinguished from females by the size of their tympanic membranes (the circular patch of skin behind the eye that covers the ear). In males the tympanic membrane is larger than the eye while in females it is about the same size. Young green frogs often have some black mottling on their throats as seen in the picture on the right. In both photos note the dorsolateral fold that extends above the tympanic membrane and down the side. This helps distinguish green frogs from the American Bullfrog another large frog that is becoming common in Ohio ponds. They will feed on algae and grow quite large. Some will change into small frogs late in the summer, while others overwinter as tadpoles and transform into frogs the following spring. As transformation begins the hindlegs develop followed by the forelegs. As metamorphosis is completed the tail gradually gets shorter and finally disappears. The young frog is ready to leave the pond.
Males begin calling in May. The female will deposit a floating mass of eggs on the surface of the pond. The tadpoles develop rapidly. Depending on water temperature tadpoles hatch in less than a week.