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Two species of leopard frog, the Plains and Coastal Plains leopard frogs, occur in Oklahoma and may hybridize where their ranges overlap. The best way to tell the frogs apart is by looking at the two ridges that extend down the frog’s back. 

Watch Wild Double Take: Plains and Coastal Plains Leopard Frog on YouTube.

 

Find tips for identifying Oklahoma’s look-alike species in our video series on YouTube.

Similarities: These look-alike leopard frogs both have brownish green bodies and dark spots. They have triangular-shaped heads and long hind legs, and spend the bulk of their time near permanent water sources. The Plains and Coastal Plains leopard frogs begin mating in early spring, and the two species produce their “chuckling” calls while in the water. Two ridges run parallel along the back of the frogs from the eyes to the hind legs.  

Differences: Leopard frogs can be best identified by the ridges on the back: The ridges are broken and inset near the hind legs for the Plains leopard frog but unbroken for the Coastal Plains leopard frog. The frog’s location within the state may also give clues for identification. Plains leopard frogs are found in the western half of the state while Coastal Plains leopard frogs are typically found in the eastern two-thirds of Oklahoma.

If you see a leopard frog in your backyard, local park, or while exploring Outdoor Oklahoma, consider sharing the sighting on the free nature platform iNaturalist. Adding a photo to your observation can allow others to help confirm the identification.