17 Frogs Found in Alabama (with Pictures)


Alabama is home to an abundance of frogs. Their calls fill the night sky throughout the spring and summer months as frogs race to breed before the winter months.

Most frogs in Alabama can be found in moist environments, where they can easily prevent their skin from drying out. However, a few species might surprise you.

There are no truly dangerous frogs in Alabama. While one species is toxic, you would have to eat it to become affected. Their poison is primarily to prevent predators from eating them, so the average person will not be affected.

Unless you’re eating random frogs, you have nothing to worry about.

In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the most common frog species in Alabama.

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17 Frogs in Alabama

Poisonous Frogs in Alabama

1. Pickerel Frog

Image Credit: Matt Jeppson, Shutterstock
Species: Rana palustris
Longevity: 58 years
Good to own as a pet?: No
Legal to own?: No
Adult size: 3.5 inches
Diet: Ants, spiders, earthworms, insects

The Pickerel frog is the only poisonous species in the United States. It is gray to light brown with prominent dark spots across its back in two rows. They have a small spot above each eye and usually one on the snout too.

This species can produce skins secretions that are irritating to people and other species. However, they aren’t lethal in most cases. Unless you eat the frog, your chance of adverse side effects is meager.


Small Frogs in Alabama

1. Northern Cricket Frog

Northern Cricket Frog
Image Credit: samray, Shutterstock
Species: Acris crepitans crepitans
Longevity: Four months
Good to own as a pet?: Yes
Legal to own?: Yes
Adult size: 1.5 inches
Diet: Small insects

This tiny frog has a call that resembles the sound of a cricket – hence its name. They range from gray to greens to brown. Some of them are quite colorful, while others are less so. Their underside is lighter colored or white.

Unlike most frogs, this species is most active during the day. They are found in aquatic habitats, such as ponds, lakes, and streams.


2. Pine Barrens Treefrog

Pine Barren Treefrog
Image Credit: Breck P. Kent, Shutterstock
Species: Hyla andersonii
Longevity: 25 years
Good to own as a pet?: Yes
Legal to own?: Yes
Adult size: 1.5 inches
Diet: Small insects

Typically, these frogs are light green. But they can become dark olive under less-than stellar conditions. Their belly is often a lighter color. Their sides are marked with a dark brown stripe – which is their main distinguishing feature.

These frogs are rather plump, with obviously rounded toe pads.

Also see: 18 Frogs Found in Georgia (with Pictures)


3. Birdvoiced Treefrog

Bird-voiced tree frog
Image Credit: Mike Wilhelm, Shutterstock
Species: Hyla avivoca
Longevity: 24 years
Good to own as a pet?: Yes
Legal to own?: Yes
Adult size: 1⅛ – 1¾ inches
Diet: Small insects

This species is exceptionally slim and petite. They are tinier than most treefrogs, though the females are a bit larger. Their coloring is generally brown, gray, or green. They often change color based on their environment and stress level.

They prefer to reside in river valleys and lakeshores. They are opportunistic feeders that primarily consume spiders and small insects. They are nocturnal and spend most of their time in trees.


4. Cope’s Gray Treefrog

Cope's Gray Treefrog
Image Credit: Fburnette, Shutterstock
Species: Hyla chrysoscelis
Longevity: 2 years
Good to own as a pet?: Yes
Legal to own?: Yes
Adult size: 1 1/4 – 2 3/8 inches
Diet: Small insects

This tree frog is most of a walker and a climber – not a jumper. They have adhesive discs on their toes, allowing them to climb most surfaces with eats.

Their coloration ranges from light gray to dark gray. Some are brownish or greenish in tone, though. They have bright orange thighs, which separate them from many other frog species.

They are nocturnal and prefer swamps and similar wooded areas.


5. Pine Woods Treefrog

Species: Hyla femoralis
Longevity: 2–4 years
Good to own as a pet?: Yes
Legal to own?: Yes
Adult size: 1.8 inches
Diet: Small insects

These tiny, slender frogs range from brown to reddish, though gray and green are also not uncommon. They can change colors depending on the temperature and environment. Stressed frogs will often be duller.

Primarily, these treefrogs are located in pine woods. They can occur in open areas as well, especially if a pine forest is nearby. They temporarily travel to pools and wetlands for breeding purposes. Breeding will not occur where fish are present, so small pools and swamps are used.


6. Northern Southern Peeper

Species: Pseudacris crucifer crucifer
Longevity: Unknown
Good to own as a pet?: Yes
Legal to own?: Yes
Adult size: ¾–1¼ inches
Diet: Small insects

Like many frogs we’ve discussed, the Northern Southern Peeper is usually brown. They have a distinctive, dark-colored “X” marking on their back, making them identifiable.

These frogs are mainly observed during the breeding season when they spend their time around ponds. The rest of the year, they hide in moist, wooded areas.

This species comes out earlier than most and is usually one of the first to be heard. They can begin singing as early as January.


7. Upland Chorus Frog

Upland Chorus Frog
Image Credit: Ryan M. Bolton, Shutterstock
Species: Pseudacris feriarum feriarum
Longevity: Unknown
Good to own as a pet?: Yes
Legal to own?: Yes
Adult size: 1.5 inches
Diet: Small insects

The Upland Chorus frog ranges from brown to gray. They have a dark stripe that begins at the tip of their snout and continues down their back. They also have a dark triangle between their eyes. These markings make them pretty easy to tell apart from other species.

This species is nocturnal and can usually be found in grassy areas. They also inhabit marshes and moist woodlands. During the breeding season, they will visit temporary pools in the woods and fields.


8. Southern Chorus Frog

Species: Pseudacris nigrita nigrita
Longevity: 23 years
Good to own as a pet?: Yes
Legal to own?: Yes
Adult size: 1.5 inches
Diet: Small insects

These frogs spend much of their time in pinewoods and sandhills. They prefer sandy soil and bays for breeding purposes. They may also use artificial ditches for this purpose. Otherwise, they spend their time hiding in caves and under debris.

These species can be readily identified due to their three dark stripes broken into spots down their back. Their skin is covered in tiny bumps that give them a somewhat warty appearance.


9. Little Grass Frog

little grass frog
Image Credit: MarieRolle, Pixabay
Species: Pseudacris ocularis
Longevity: 7–8 years
Good to own as a pet?: Yes
Legal to own?: Yes
Adult size: 20 mm
Diet: Small insects

These frogs are very tiny – as their name suggests. They come in many different colors, ranging from tan to red to grey. They also have a prominent dark stripe that extends from their snout and onto their sides. However, their most characteristic feature is their petite size.

This species is sometimes mistaken as the baby version of other frogs.

They prefer open grass wetlands and similar areas. They may also reside in savannas, pine flatlands, and cypress ponds.


10. Ornate Chorus Frog

Species: Pseudacris ornata
Longevity: Five years
Good to own as a pet?: Yes
Legal to own?: Yes
Adult size: 1.6 inches
Diet: Small insects

While chorus frogs are pretty standard, this particular species isn’t. They are considered a moderate conservation risk.

They come in many different colors, including brown, red, and bright green. Their coloration is not a reliable way to identify them. They do all have bold dark striping along their sides, but even this tends to vary from individual to individual. Many will have a dark triangle on the top of their head between their eyes.

They are often present in temporary wetlands, pinewoods, and similar habitats. Breeding usually occurs in wet meadows, ditches, and barrow pits.


Big Frogs in Alabama

1. Green Frog

green frog
Image Credit: Pixabay
Species: Hyla cinerea
Longevity: Unknown
Good to own as a pet?: Yes
Legal to own?: Yes
Adult size: 2.5 inches
Diet: Small insects

While these frogs are pretty giant, they are also slim. Their skin is smooth and usually bright green. Some have a green or yellow tint. The prominent white stripes on either side of their body are an easy way to identify them.

These frogs prefer wet and moist areas – like swamps, lakes, and streams. They hide during the day in moist, shady areas near the water.


2. Barking Treefrog

Image Credit: Jay Ondreicka, Shutterstock
Species: Hyla gratiosa
Longevity: Unknown
Good to own as a pet?: Yes
Legal to own?: Yes
Adult size: 2¾ inches
Diet: Small insects

For a treefrog, this species is relatively large. They are also quite plump, which makes them appear larger than they are. They range in color depending on the temperature and environment. They have spots, but these are sometimes barely noticeable.

These frogs can both climb and burrow – making them a bit unique. They are found in a variety of environments, including farmlands, pastures, and woodlands. They spend much of the summer in the treetops, seeking out warmer areas underground during the winter.


3. Gopher Frog

Species: Lithobates sevosus
Longevity: Unknown
Good to own as a pet?: Yes
Legal to own?: Yes
Adult size: 4 inches
Diet: Small insects and some small mammals

Technically, this name refers to two different species. However, they are somewhat similar and very closely related.

Both are considered vulnerable and rare within the state. Conservation efforts are underway.

They prefer forests with sandy soil. They are highly terrestrial but require isolated wetland sites for breeding. They often travel very far from their breeding sites and return later. They primarily eat insects and other small animals.


4. Pig Frog

pig frog
Image Credit: Silent Shoot, Shutterstock
Species: Lithobates grylio
Longevity: Unknown
Good to own as a pet?: Yes
Legal to own?: Yes
Adult size: 3–6 inches
Diet: Small insects, reptiles, and worms

These green frogs are quite giant – sometimes reaching up to six inches in length. They have webbed feet and a sharply pointed nose. Their snout is quite distinctive compared to other species. Their eardrum is very large and apparent.

They prefer bodies of water surrounded by vegetation – including ponds, lakes, and marshes. They may also be found in river swamps.


5. Southern Leopard Frog

Southern Leopard Frog
Image Credit: LorraineHudgins, Shutterstock
Species: Lithobates sphenocephala
Longevity: 3 years
Good to own as a pet?: Yes
Legal to own?: Yes
Adult size: 2–5 inches
Diet: Small insects

These frogs vary widely in color, but they all have dark spots – hence their name. They are relatively thin and long, with a pointed head and lightly colored ridges. They have a light-colored line on their upper jaw and lightly colored eardrums.

They prefer freshwater habitats and spend much of their lives near water. They are aquatic but may stray from their pond when foraging.


6. Wood Frog

Wood Frog side view
Image Credit: Jay Ondreicka, Shutterstock
Species: Lithobates sylvatica
Longevity: 12 years
Good to own as a pet?: Yes
Legal to own?: Yes
Adult size: 13 1/2 inches
Diet: Small insects

This species is scarce. Their distribution is mainly local, and they are thought to be declining rapidly.

They can be distinguished from other frogs due to their dark facial masks. Their body coloration varies quite a bit, though.

These hardy frogs can withstand frigid temperatures. They are more common in northern areas, though their distribution in Alabama is limited. Their status is so poorly known that they may no longer be located in this state.

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Conclusion

Alabama is home to many unique frog species. Treefrogs are pretty common and makeup about half of all the frogs in Alabama. In general, treefrogs tend to be relatively small and spend much of their time in trees – there are some expectations to this, though.

“True” frogs are much more significant. Some of these frogs spend much of their life on land, while others are mainly aquatic. Their habitat varies widely from species to species. Some don’t exhibit what you would imagine being “typical” frog behaviors.

There are only one poisonous species of frog in Alabama – and it is not dangerous. They excrete a toxin when scared that can irritate predators, including humans. However, it is generally not a primary concern unless you go around licking frogs.


Featured Image Credit: Steve Bower, Shutterstock





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