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22 Frogs Found in Virginia

Nicole Cosgrove

Frogs are thought to be one of the groups of animals most at risk of extinction. As well as the continued threat of a loss of habitat to human development, they are also plagued by the fungus chytrid. However, several groups in Virginia, including the North American Amphibian Monitoring Program and the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, have been restoring habitat and developing new grounds for their amphibian friends. As such, Virginia is something of a mecca for frog lovers. There are 29 species of frogs, treefrogs, and toads.

Below, we have detailed the 22 species of frogs and tree frogs.

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22 Frogs Found in Virginia:

Big  Frogs In Virginia

1. American Bullfrog

american bullfrog on water
Image Credit: Nazish Sabah, Pixabay
Species: Lithobates catesbeianus
Longevity: 7-9 years
Good to own as a pet?: Yes
Legal to own?: Yes
Adult size: 10-15 cm
Diet: Carnivorous

The American Bullfrog is the largest species of frog in North America and will inhabit any permanent body of water including ponds. When grabbed, they can emit a loud screaming noise, which is believed to attract birds and other predators that might break up an attack and save the frog.

The American Bullfrog can make a very good observational pet. They can’t be handled, shouldn’t be released back into the wild, and do require a specific habitat.


2. Coastal Plains Leopard Frog

Species: Lithobates sphenocephalus utriculariu
Longevity: 3-6 years
Good to own as a pet?: Yes
Legal to own?: Yes
Adult size: 6-9 cm
Diet: Carnivorous

The Coastal Plains Leopard Frog lives in the Coastal Plains and in any body of water. During the summer months, it can live away from water.  Leopard frogs, in general, are considered good pets. Tadpoles and frogs require clean water, which means that tank maintenance can take a couple of hours per week: potentially more if the water starts to look cloudy.


3. Green Frog

American green tree frog
Image Credit: LorraineHudgins, Shutterstock
Species: Lithobates clamitans
Longevity: 5-10 years
Good to own as a pet?: Yes
Legal to own?: Yes
Adult size: 6-9 cm
Diet: Carnivorous

The Green Frog is another good choice of amphibian pet. It is hardy and usually takes well to captivity, even if it was wild-caught. Found in any body of water, the Green Frog prefers water that is surrounded by woodland. Pet frogs enjoy live and plastic plants, using this water décor as cover and for a perch. They can adapt to various water conditions, including temperatures, although you should monitor to ensure that the water is not too high in ammonia or too hot.


4. Mid Atlantic Coast Leopard Frog

Species: Lithobates kauffeldi
Longevity: 3-6 years
Good to own as a pet?: Yes
Legal to own?: Yes
Adult size: 6-9 cm
Diet: Carnivorous

The Mid Atlantic Coast Leopard Frog is a relative newcomer to Virginia: confirmation of its existence in the state only coming in 2017. It is similar in appearance to the Coastal Plains Leopard Frog except not as pronounced. It has a more rounded snout and duller colors. But, because this species is a leopard frog, it makes a good amphibian to keep as a pet.


5. Pickerel Frog

pickerel frog on plant
Image Credit: Jan Haerer, Pixabay
Species: Lithobates palustris
Longevity: 5-8 years
Good to own as a pet?: Yes
Legal to own?: Yes
Adult size: 6-9 cm
Diet: Carnivorous

Found through most of the state, the Pickerel Frog looks similar to a leopard frog. This species’ blotches are squarer than those of leopard frog species. Although there are no poison frogs in Virginia, the Pickerel Frog is one species that does secrete a noxious chemical from its skin, deterring predators.


Small Frogs In Virginia

6. Carpenter Frog

Species: Lithobates virgatipes
Longevity: 3-6 years
Good to own as a pet?: Yes
Legal to own?: Yes
Adult size: 4-7 cm
Diet: Carnivorous

Carpenter frogs are among the smallest true frogs in Virginia and are found primarily on the Atlantic coast. Brown with yellow stripes, this species can be found in boggy marshland and will require a similar habitat in captivity. This species prefers the company of other frogs so may do best when kept in groups.


7. Wood Frog

Wood Frog side view
Image Credit: Viktor Loki, Shutterstock
Species: Lithobates sylvaticus
Longevity: 1-3 years
Good to own as a pet?: Yes
Legal to own?: Yes
Adult size: 4-7 cm
Diet: Carnivorous

The Wood Frog is found in forests and spends less time in the water than most other species. It can increase glucose levels in its blood to stop it from freezing to death in winter. The Wood Frog is somewhat smaller than other frogs. This size, combined with its attractive appearance and easy maintenance, makes it a good choice for a pet frog.


Tree Frogs In Virginia

8. Barking Treefrog

Barking Treefrog
Image Credit: Jay Ondreicka, Shutterstock
Species: Hyla gratiosa
Longevity: 7-9 years
Good to own as a pet?: Yes
Legal to own?: Yes
Adult size: 5-7 cm
Diet: Carnivorous

The Barking Treefrog spends its days in the trees and their evenings hunting and socializing. In the wild, this treefrog is known to burrow to get away from the heat and to escape predators, so opt for a substrate that allows digging, such as soil or a peat mix. Keep handling to an absolute minimum and wear gloves when it is necessary, to prevent the oil in your skin from causing harm.


9. Brimley’s Chorus Frog

Species: Pseudacris brimleyi
Longevity: 3-6 years
Good to own as a pet?: Yes
Legal to own?: Yes
Adult size: 2-4 cm
Diet: Carnivorous

This small tree frog specie is found on the Coastal Plain and lives in forests and swamps. It gets its name from zoologist C.S. Brimley, who was the first to describe the frog. Although the species is described as being secure in numbers in the region, a loss of habitat could put the little tree frog in danger in the future.


10. Cope’s Gray Tree Frog

Cope's Gray Treefrog
Image Credit: Fburnette, Shutterstock
Species: Hyla chrysoscelis
Longevity: 3-6 years
Good to own as a pet?: Yes
Legal to own?: Yes
Adult size: 3-5 cm
Diet: Carnivorous

Cope’s Gray Tree Frog is a medium treefrog that lives in the forests of the Coastal Plain. Although it looks very similar to the Gray Treefrog, it has a distinct call. Named for the naturalist Edward Drinker Cope, this frog species, like all frogs in Virginia, is carnivorous. In the wild, it would eat any local insects, ranging from small flies to crickets and moths.


11. Eastern Cricket Frog

Species: Acris crepitans
Longevity: 2-5 years
Good to own as a pet?: Yes
Legal to own?: Yes
Adult size: 2-4 cm
Diet: Carnivorous

The Eastern Cricket Frog will live less than a year in the wild, often only lasting four months. However, they thrive in captivity, typically living at least two years and often making it for five years or more.


12. Gray Treefrog

gray treefrog
Image Credit: waltersgreenhouse, Pixabay
Species: Hyla versicolor
Longevity: 7-9 years
Good to own as a pet?: Yes
Legal to own?: Yes
Adult size: 3-6 cm
Diet: Carnivorous

The Gray Treefrog has a long lifespan, making it good pet stock, but as with all frogs, its longevity and health depend on good tank conditions and clean water. Owners should also try to feed a varied diet of insects, especially those that are high in protein.


13. Green Treefrog

American green tree frog on green leaves
Image Credit: LorraineHudgins, Shutterstock
Species: Hyla cinerea
Longevity: 3-6 years
Good to own as a pet?: Yes
Legal to own?: Yes
Adult size: 1-3 cm
Diet: Carnivorous

The exotic green color of this tree frog makes it a good choice of tank dweller for the home. They have a varied diet and will usually take to most live foods with aplomb, so are considered good pets even for first-time frog keepers.


14. Little Grass Frog

Species: Pseudacris ocularis
Longevity: 3-9 years
Good to own as a pet?: Yes
Legal to own?: Yes
Adult size: 1-2 cm
Diet: Carnivorous

The aptly named Little Grass Frog is the smallest frog species in North America. They prefer grassy, albeit wet or damp, habitats, and despite their tiny size, they have a similar diet to other frogs. Feed them grasshoppers, locusts, and mealworms. The species is considered endangered and in need of conservation help.


15. Mountain Chorus Frog

Species: Pseudacris brachyphona
Longevity: 1-3 years
Good to own as a pet?: Yes
Legal to own?: Yes
Adult size: 2-4 cm
Diet: Carnivorous

Found in the Appalachian Mountains, the Mountain Chorus Frog is a small frog, typically only measuring up to 4cm as an adult. It has a rasping chorus that sounds similar to that of a locust, which leads to its Greek genus name of Pseudacris, meaning false locust.


16. New Jersey Chorus Frog

Species: Pseudacris kalmi
Longevity: 1-3 years
Good to own as a pet?: Yes
Legal to own?: Yes
Adult size: 2-4 cm
Diet: Carnivorous

The endangered New Jersey Chorus Frog lives in or near wooded areas on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. This is considered one of the hardier species of chorus frog in captivity. As with all frog species, it is best to wear latex gloves if you need to handle the amphibian.


17. Pine Woods Treefrog

Pinewoods treefrog
Image Credit: SunflowerMomma, Shutterstock
Species: Hyla femoralis
Longevity: 2-4 years
Good to own as a pet?: Yes
Legal to own?: Yes
Adult size: 2-4 cm
Diet: Carnivorous

Typically found in Pinewood forests, the Pine Woods Treefrog is also known as the morse code frog because its call sounds like a morse code message. These arboreal frogs climb trees in the wild and appreciate vegetation in their tank habitat.


18. Southern Chorus Frog

Species: Pseudacris nigrita
Longevity: 1-3 years
Good to own as a pet?: Yes
Legal to own?: Yes
Adult size: 2-4 cm
Diet: Carnivorous

The Southern Chorus Frog lives in pine trees and is considered shy. Their markings make it easy for them to blend in during the night when they are most active. Your chorus frog will require spots in which to hide, but you should leave some habitat open so that you can observe.


19. Southern Cricket Frog

Species: Acris gryllus
Longevity: 3-6 years
Good to own as a pet?: Yes
Legal to own?: Yes
Adult size: 1-4 cm
Diet: Carnivorous

Southern Cricket Frogs are among the smallest frogs in Virginia. They have several markings and bright colorations and they are capable of jumping three feet: especially impressive considering their size.


20. Spring Peeper

Spring Peeper
Image Credit: Frode Jacobsen, Shutterstock
Species: Pseudacris crucifer
Longevity: 2-4 years
Good to own as a pet?: Yes
Legal to own?: Yes
Adult size: 2-4 cm
Diet: Carnivorous

The Spring Peeper is another small frog found in Virginia. It has a distinctive X shaped mark on its back and is found throughout the state in any body of water, whether temporary or permanent.


21. Squirrel Treefrog

Squirrel Tree frog
Image Credit: Jason Patrick Ross, Shutterstock
Species: Hyla squirella
Longevity: 4-8 years
Good to own as a pet?: Yes
Legal to own?: Yes
Adult size: 2-4 cm
Diet: Carnivorous

This small treefrog is also known as the rain frog because it becomes more audible when rainstorms are approaching. They can be seen in groups waiting for insects and other invertebrates to feed on. The squirrel tree frog can change color to match its background.


22. Upland Chorus Frog

Upland Chorus Frog (Pseudacris feriarum)
Image Credit: Ryan M. Bolton, Shutterstock
Species: Pseudacris feriarum
Longevity: 3-6 years
Good to own as a pet?: No
Legal to own?: Yes
Adult size: 2-4 cm
Diet: Carnivorous

The Upland Chorus Frog lives primarily in the Coastal Plain region, although sightings have occurred throughout the state. They like open spaces and ten to congregate around flooded fields.

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Conclusion

There are no poison frogs and no reported invasive frogs in Virginia, but there is a good roster of tree frogs, chorus frogs, and a collection of both small and large frogs. Whether you are trying to identify a frog you have seen or are a keen herpetologist looking for information on the best time and location to spot frogs, amphibians can be seen throughout the country but are especially common in the Coastal Plain and, expectedly, around bodies of water like lakes and even ponds.


Featured Image Credit: Matt Jeppson, Shutterstock

Nicole Cosgrove

Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts' knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.