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The Amphibian is an ectothermic (cold-blooded) class of animals which includes frogs, newts, salamanders, and toads. Like most scientific names, Amphibia, is derived from Latin, and means "double life". Amphibians are born underwater, and possess the necessary traits for such life. After an amount of time (varying by species), Amphibians undergo a metamorphosis that dramatically alters their physiology

Anura (tail-less). Includes toads and frogs.

Caudata (tailed amphibians; often simply called samamanders). Includes salamanders, siren, and newts.

Apoda (tailed amphibians, but without legs). No native species in Maryland.



All amphibians noted below are native to Maryland.

Bullfrog (Lithobates catesbeianus)
Largest member of the Ranidae family, it may reach 8 inches in length. Predominately found in ponds or marshes (free of fish), also in lakes or rivers. Due to its large size, a Bullfrog can jump three to six feet in a single leap, and has a diverse diet. Primarily feeding on insects and crayfish, it may be observed eating snakes, small mammals, birds, and other frogs. Tadpoles hatch from eggs in four to five days, with their metamorphosis lasting as long as three years. Bullfrogs tend to live six to seven years; longest recorded lifespan is sixteen years.

Frog, Carpenter (Lithobates virgatipes)
Dark color, usually green, with four lighter dorsal stripes. Lacks dorso-lateral ridges found in other species. Ranges from 1.6 to 2.6 inches long. Primarily found in bogs and wetlands.

Frog, Green (Lithobates clamitans)
Typically green with brown patches or spots, males may have yellow throats. Dorso-lateral ridge extends only to mid-back. 2 to 3.5 inches in length. Green Frogs prefer ponds or marshes (free of fish), but also appear in any area with suitable moisture and food, including ditches and streams. Tadpoles usually mature in a year.

Frog, Mountain Chorus (Pseudacris brachyphona)
Ranging from olive green to brown, with distinct yellow pigment on lower legs. Other distinct features include a dark triangular pattern on head, and two intersecting dorsal stripes. Usually 1 to 1.25 inches long, with females larger than males. Found in forests and hilly areas, Mountain Chorus Frogs breed in ditches. Eggs hatch in three to five days, with full maturaty reached at fifty-five to sixty days.
Classified as

Frog, New Jersey Chorus (Pseudacris feriarum kalmi)
Distinct pattern of three wide dorsal stripes, dark brown or black in color. Off-white belly, occasionally spotted. Ranges from 0.7 to 1.5 inches long. Prefers forest swamps, meadows, and shallow streams. In Maryland, almost exclusively found on the Eastern Shore. Eggs hatch in five to twenty days, with maturity reached at forty to sixty days.

Frog, Northern Cricket (Acris crepitans)
Smallest member of Hylidae family in Maryland. Ranges from 0.5 to 1.25 inches in length. Favors muddy areas with vegetation for cover, and access to streams or ponds for breeding.

Frog, Northern Leopard (Lithobates pipiens)
Typically green or light brown, body is covered with distinct dark spots and light dorsal ridges. Also possesses noticeable light-colored stripes, running from nose-tip to shoulder. Some 2 to 3.5 inches in length.

Frog, Pickerel (Lithobates palustris)
1.75 to 3.5 inches in length. Distinct pattern of square-shaped dorsal spots. To dissuade predators, it secretes a toxic oil (mild irritant to humans)

Frog, Southern Leopard (Lithobates sphenocephalus)

Frog, Upland Chorus (Pseudacris feriarum feriarum)

Frog, Wood (Lithobates sylvaticus)

Hellbender, Eastern (Cryptobranchus alleganiensis)
Carnivore; Caudata; averages 9.4 to 16 inches long; weighs 3.3 to 5.5 lbs.
Classified as

Mudpuppy (Nexturus maculosus)
Classified as Endangered (may be extirpated).

Newt, Red-spotted (Notophthalmus viridescens)

Salamander, Allegheny Mountain Dusky (Desmognathus ochrophaeus)

Salamander, Dusky (Desmognathus fuscus)

Salamander, Eastern Tiger (Ambystoma tigrinum)
Classified as Endangered.

Salamander, Four-toed (Hemidactylium scutatum)

Salamander, Green (Aneides aeneus)
Classified as

Salamander, Jefferson (Ambystoma jeffersonianum)
Color is dark brown or gray. Primarily found in deciduous forests, it spends most of its life underground in burrows abandoned by other animals, near ponds. Average lifespan is six years. Capable of shedding tail to escape predators.

Salamander, Long-tailed (Eurycea longicauda)

Salamander, Marbled (Ambystoma opacum)

Salamander, Mud (Pseudotriton montanus)

Salamander, Northern Two-lined (Eurycea bislineata)

Salamander, Red (Pseudotriton ruber)

Salamander, Red-backed (Plethodon cinereus)

Salamander, Seal (Desmognathus monticola)

Salamander, Slimy (Plethodon glutinosus)

Salamander, Southern Two-lined (Eurycea cirrigera)
Newly discovered 2008.

Salamander, Spotted (Ambystoma maculatum)

Salamander, Spring (Gyrinophilus porphyriticus)

Salamander, Three-lined (Eurycea guttolineata)

Salamander, Valley (Plethodon hoffmani)

Salamander, Wehrle's (Plethodon wehrlei)
Classified as In Need of Conservation.

Siren, Greater (Siren lacertina)
Eel-like salamander lacking hind limbs. Color varies from green-brown to gray.

Spring Peeper (Pseudacris crucifer)

Toad, American (Anaxyrus americanus)
Skin color ranges from brown to red, with darker spots and a lighter dorsal stripe. Belly is a mottled color. Adults are 5.1 to 9 inches in length. May be found in any area of Maryland, providing adequate moisture and food. Tadpoles hatch from eggs after a week, and metamorphose in about three weeks.

Toad, Eastern Narrow Mouth (Gastrophyrene carolinensis)
Skin is mottled, with browns, reds, or grays, two lighter dorsal stripes, and a distinct ridge of skin at the back of its head. Adults are 0.8 to 1.25 inches long. Classified as Endangered.

Toad, Eastern Spadefoot (Scaphiopus holbrookii)

Toad, Fowler's (Anaxyrus fowlerii)
Brown or gray in color with darker spots, as well as a lighter dorsal stripe and white belly. Prefers sandy areas, such as river valleys, and shorelines. Tadpoles hatch from eggs after a week, and metamorphose in four to eight weeks.

Treefrog, Barking (Hyla gratiosa)
Classified as Endangered.

Treefrog, Cope's Gray (Hyla versicolor)

Treefrog, Gray (Hyla chrysoscelis)

Treefrog, Green (Hyla cinerea)

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 Maryland Manual On-Line, 2011

August 9, 2011   
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