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Rana sylvatica, Wood frog

Page history last edited by PBworks 12 years, 2 months ago

Rana sylvatica

Wood Frog

Currently being edited by Tim Konzek




Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Amphibia
Order: Anura
Family: Ranidae
Genus: Rana





The wood frog is part of the order anura, leiopelmatanura, bombinanura, discoglossanura, pipanura, neobatoidea, ranoidea, has molecular characters in ranoidea and is paraphyletic in ranoidea in ranidae. It shares this clade with Rhacophoridae and Mantellidae which differ with muscle structure (Rhancophoridae) and molecular characters (Mantellidae).



The wood frog (Rana sylvatica) is characterized by a prominent dark mask ending behind the eardrums. Colors range from pink, tan or dark brown. Frogs measure about 1 3/8" to 3 1/4" (3.5-8.3 cm) in length. There is also a light stripe on upper jaw and occasionally a light stripe running down the middle of its back. The dorsolateral ridges are prominent. There are dark blotches on chest near base of the front legs. The stomach is white but may have mottling.


Distribution in North America:




The range of these frogs is widespread throughout North America and is the only North American frog found above the arctic circle. It is found in the two northernmost counties in Idaho.




The wood frog is found in habitat ranging from temperate forests in the southern part of its range to artic tundra in the northern part of its range. On the west and east coasts it has coastal temperate forests made up mostly of coniferous trees. It is found in moist woodlands in the east open grasslands in the west and tundra in the north.





 The wood frog does not exhibit parental care after fertilization. Juvenile frog orient themselves toward areas of forested vegetation within 100m of their breeding ponds. The wood frog consumes insects and other small invertebrates. Tadpoles of this species are primarily herbivorous and eat algae and other decaying plant matter. The tongue of this species is able to be flicked out to capture prey items.The wood frog is very well camouflaged for their environment.





Tadpoles are birthed in the early spring before the ice has completely melted. The eggs are attached to submerged vegetation. The wood frog is discribed as an explosive breeder. The frogs mate then in a couple of days the female will lay fertilized eggs then move into surrounding vegetation. Breeding in this species lasts for one-two weeks and breeding time depends on the frogs location in North America. Usually breeds from January to July when ice melts from the ponds they inhabit.



Scientific Study:


The study of Wood frogs and juvenile amphibians emerging from breeding ponds locating to habitats based on forest denseness. The findings showed that non-random orientation determined where the juvenile frogs went. The species studied being small-mouthed salamanders (Ambystoma texanum), American Toads (Bufo americanus), and wood frogs (Rana sylvatica) were orientated toward areas that from the breeding ponds exhibited forest cover within one-hundred meters.



Work Cited:


Behler, J.L. 1979. Field Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians. National Audubon Society. 380-381.


Pough, F.H., R.M. Andrews, J.E. Cadle, M.L.Crump, A.H. Savitzky, K.D. Wells. 2004. Systematics and Diversity of Extant Reptiles. Herptology. 3:97-173.


Stebbins, R.C. 2003. Western Reptiles and Amphibians. Peterson Field Guides. 3:70-71,227,478.


Walston, L.J., S. J. Mullin. 2007. Variation in amount of surrounding forest habitat influences the initial orientation of juvenile amphibians emigrating from breeding ponds. National Research

          Council Canada (cjz.nrc.ca).18 Feb. 2008 141-145.












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