Project Description: This project includes observations of wood frogs in Alaska. We are asking LEO members to watch for evidence of wood frogs throughout Alaska, including eggs, larvae, and adults.
Wood frog description: "A smooth-skinned, light brown or gray frog with a usually prominent dark eye mask. Highly variable in color and pattern, ranging from light brown or gray to pinkish above and creamy white below. Many northern individuals have numerous dark spots on the dorsal surface. Identifying characteristics include dark eye mask, white jaw stripe and a light stripe running down the middle of the back. Males typically smaller than females. Breeding males have dark swollen thumbs and a duck-like staccato mating call."
Habitat: "This species is closely associated with Alaska’s Interior forests. Inhabits diverse vegetation types from grassy meadows to open forest, muskeg, and even tundra. Breeds in early spring in shallow bodies of permanent or ephemeral water. A resident of grassland and open forest, is often found considerable distances from water. Hibernates under the snow in shallow depressions of compacted forest litter."
Range: Widely distributed throughout Alaska and is the only amphibian found above the Arctic Circle. Documented on the mainland in Southeast Alaska, throughout Central Alaska to at least Anaktuvuk Pass with reports farther north and east on the North Slope, westward to Kobuk River valley, southward to the base of the Alaska Peninsula, and the Kenai Peninsula. Apparently absent from Prince William Sound." https://www.adfg.alaska.gov/static/species/speciesinfo/_aknhp/Wood_Frog.pdf
Start Date: July 6, 2016.
Project Lead: Mark Spangler, graduate student, University of Alaska Fairbanks
The Journal of Experimental Biology, Research Articles – Wood frog adaptations to overwintering in Alaska: new limits to freezing tolerance: We investigated the ecological physiology and behavior of free-living wood frogs [Lithobates (Rana) sylvaticus] overwintering in Interior Alaska by tracking animals into natural hibernacula, recording microclimate, and determining frog survival in spring.
© 2014. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd (download .pdf version)
Amphibians and Reptiles of Alaska:
The Alaska Herpetological Society (AHS):
Alaska Department of Fish & Game: