Florida's Frogs

"True" Frogs (Family Ranidae)


River Frog
(Lithobates heckscheri)


River Frog by Steve A. Johnson

River Frog by Dirk Stevenson

River Frog (click on small image to view larger)

Photos by Steve A. Johnson (UF, upper photo) and Dirk Stevenson (lower photo). Photos may not be used without the express written permission of the photographer. To obtain permission to use the upper photo for educational purposes, email tadpole@ufl.edu



Usually 3 to 4.5 in.


Back is greenish-black and lacks ridges on sides of body. Skin is warty to wrinkled. Belly is marked with abundant dark, netlike markings, so that it may appear dark with light spots. Upper lip is marked with obvious light spots. Like all "true frogs," they have large eardrums and webbed hind feet. American Bullfrogs are similar in appearance but their underside is light with dark markings.


April to August; eggs are laid in a large surface film. Call is a deep snore, combined with a grunt. To hear frog calls, visit the USGS Frog Call Lookup and select the species you want to hear from the common name drop-down list.


Beetles, crayfish, leeches, and other small invertebrates; also fishes, frogs, small snakes.


Found in northern Florida in floodplain swamps and oxbows along river edges, and in lakes and sinkhole ponds. Breeds in marshes, floodplain marshes, cypress domes, and other shrubby wetland edges, and in lakes and manmade borrow pits.

River Frog Range Map

Map by Monica E. McGarrity - may be used freely for education.


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