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Nova Scotia Museum
Reptiles and Amphibians Collection Reptiles and Amphibians Collection Snakes Turtles Frogs Salamanders

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In spring the naturalist's fancy turns to frogs. Eight kinds of frogs live in Nova Scotia. The sight and sound of them is part of most peoples' childhood experience, although a few misconceptions have given the toads a bit of a bad name they don't deserve.

Like their tailed cousins the salamanders, frogs and toads are amphibians. Their skin is generally smooth and moist; some part of the life cycle takes place in water. The frog face features a wide mount, two large exposed eardrums, protruding eyes with transparent lids and some sort of inflatable vocal sac. The vocal sac, usually located near the throat or along each side, amplifies male frogs' sounds into the loud mating calls we hear.

During spring and early summer, frogs gather in wet habitats to spawn. The males arrive first and begin calling to attract a mate. Each species has its own call, and most are easy to recognize. once a female locates and joins a male, the male climbs "piggyback" onto the female (a position called amplexus). Spawning usually takes place shortly after, and the eggs hatch quickly into tailed tadpoles. Transformation into adult frogs may take two months to two years, depending on species and conditions. Since most frogs are less secretive than salamanders, they are more vulnerable to predators. Large beetles, turtles, birds, snakes, fish and mammals eat frogs and their tadpoles. Also, cars kill many frogs as they cross roads on rainy nights.

The Eastern American Toad, Spring Peeper, Green Frog, Wood Frog, Leopard Frog and Pickerel Frog are all widespread in Nova Scotia. However, Mink Frogs are only known from scattered localities, and Bullfrogs have not been reported from Cape Breton Island.

Frog Species

Eastern American Toad

Northern Spring Peeper

Green Frog

Wood Frog

Northern Leopard Frog

Pickerel Frog

Mink Frog


Frog Information

Watching Frogs

Are Frogs Disappearing?