Northern Red-legged Frog

Northern red-legged frogs (Rana aurora) are found in aquatic habitats including wetlands, rivers and streams and ephemeral and permanent ponds. They also live terrestrially in coarse, woody debris amid trees. Northern red-legged frogs require still water for breeding. Often they spend the breeding season, which begins in late winter or early spring, near water and move further from the riparian zone in the summer.

These native amphibians are found from Southwest British Columbia along the Pacific Coast to Mendocino County California and east to the western foothills of the Cascades from sea level to about 8,000 feet. Those in the northern part of their range hibernate when the water freezes while more southerly residents remain active all year.

A smooth skinned frog, northern red-legged frogs are reddish brown or greenish grey dorsally with a peppering of black dots. The adult’s abdomen and the undersides of the arms and legs are a reddish color. There is a prominent dorsal fold and a light line from the eye to the shoulders bordered above by a dark mask.

Adult northern red-legged frogs are generally insectivores. They will also take small snails, crustaceans, worms and fish.

This northern red-legged frog was photographed along the Trillium Falls Trail off of Davidson Road just south of Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park CA.

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