Most often we see American Bullfrogs and Green Frogs at our local ponds. Imagine the joy when encountering the vibrantly patterned Leopard Frog, who was unsuccessfully trying to camouflage in the drought-dried grass along the pond’s edge.
Named for its cat-like spots, the Northern Leopard Frog’s dark spots are each surrounded by a pale halo. The overall body can be brown, green, and sometimes yellow-green. A Northern Leopard Frog may grow up to four and a half inches long on a diet rich in insects, spiders, mollusks, and crustaceans. As opposed to vernal pools and ponds, Northern Leopard Frogs breed in permanent bodies of water including rivers, streams, ponds, pools, and wetlands.
Northern Leopard Frogs can be found throughout Massachusetts however, over the past thirty years, the species has suffered a dramatic decline in population throughout its range. Aquatic habitat loss and degradation, the introduction of non-native species, disease, pesticides, and climate change have all affected the Northern Leopard Frog adversely.