Lithobates septentrionalis

Mink Frog

Lithobates septentionanalis in water (dorsal)
Lithobates septentionanalis (ventral) (belly)

Photos taken by J. Andrews.

Lithobates septentionanalis on mesh (dorsal)

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Distribution of Lithobates (formerly Rana) septentrionalis in Vermont

Distribution Map

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The Mink Frog is one of the three green-faced frogs in Vermont (the others are the Bullfrog and the Green Frog). It measures 2-2¾ inches long. In Vermont, this species may or may not have dorsolateral ridges. The Mink Frog has dark oval spots oriented along the axis of its legs, unlike the Green Frog and the Bullfrog, which have stripes perpendicular to the axis of their legs.

The Mink Frog’s call sounds like horse’s hooves on cobblestones or two sticks being tapped together. It can be heard from May through July, most commonly in the middle of June.

This species can also be identified by its odor. When held, it releases a scent that smells somewhat like rotten onions. Consequently, it is sometimes referred to as the scratch-and-sniff frog.

Females lay eggs in round masses that can be as much as 3 feet below the surface. The masses are brownish in color and can have between 500-4,000 eggs. Tadpoles can spend more than one winter in the water before metamorphosing.


The Mink Frog is a northern frog, and Vermont is at the southern tip of its range. They are only found in the north central and northeast portions of Vermont and even there they are unusual.


The Mink Frog has a state natural heritage rank of S3 (uncommon). Please report all sightings of this species in Vermont. Take photos if possible. Even historic sighting information is useful. Any natural history observations (feeding, migrations, road crossing areas, early or late season appearance, abnormalities, etc.) are appreciated.

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.

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