Lithobates palustris

Pickerel Frog

Lithobates palustris Lithobates palustris belly (ventral)

Photo taken by J. Andrews.
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Distribution of Lithobates (formerly Rana) palustris in Vermont

Distribution Map

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The Pickerel Frog is most similar to the Northern Leopard Frog; however the spots on the Pickerel Frog’s back are somewhat rectangular, outlined in black, and tend to be organized in two rows. It measures 1½-3 inches long. They have prominant dorsolateral ridges, a white chest and belly, but a yellow “waistcoat” and yellow down the insides of its legs.

Pickerel Frogs call in Vermont from mid-April to mid-June, most commonly in the latter half of May. The Pickerel’s call is described as a short snore.


The Pickerel Frog is generally found state-wide, but it is usually absent from extensive lowlands. It is often found near beaver ponds and reservoirs in upland meadows or old log landings with dense annual vegetation.


The Pickerel Frog is a fairly common species in Vermont, with a state natural heritage rank of S5. Please report sightings of this species in Vermont if you have not reported them within the last five years from a given location. Any natural history observations (feeding, migrations, road crossing areas, early or late season appearance, abnormalities, etc.) are appreciated. Photographs are always helpful, particularly if your report is the first report of this species from a town.

More Info

All the Vermont species listed in the Rana genus were reclassified into the Lithobates genus in 2007.

Species summary written by Kaile Burgess.

Lithobates palustris egg mass

Lithobates palustris eggs

Photo taken by E. Talmage.

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