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Frogs and toads compose the Order Anura, the tail-less amphibians. Together, they make up 85% of the amphibians in the world and they are found on every continent except Antarctica.

True frogs

True frogs belong to the Family Ranidae and in North America are limited to the Genus Rana. Frogs can be distinguished from toads on the basis of several characteristics:

  • lack of very warty skin
  • lack of a parotoid (poison) gland on the shoulders
  • lack of prominent tubercles (knoblike projections) on their hind feet
  • extensively webbed hind feet
  • presence of dorsolateral folds (ridges) along each side of the back

In Alberta, there are three true frogs:

  • northern leopard frog
  • spotted frog
  • wood frog

Tree frogs

In addition to Alberta’s three true frog species, there is one tree frog, the boreal (or striped) chorus frog.

The boreal chorus frog looks very "froglike" but it lacks the dorsolateral folds along its back and webbing between its toes found in true frogs.


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Posted: Oct 9, 2009