The green frog (Rana clamitans), is a common anuran of the eastern United States. They, along with the bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana) are one of two aquatic frogs in Rhode Island because they are never far from the water, except during hibernation. In fact, they spend the majority of their time on the shores of lakes and ponds and the banks of rivers waiting for prey to cross their path. When approached, green frogs will typically leap into the safety of the water while letting out a loud cry. Hence, the old nickname ‘the screaming frog’.
Green frogs are commonly confused with bullfrogs during all stages of their life. As small tadpoles, the two species are difficult to impossible to separate but older tadpoles can be distinguished on close inspection. As adults, green frogs can be readily indentified from bullfrogs by the dorsal-lateral ridge whereas bullfrogs lack this ridge.
In Rhode Island, green frogs are widespread and common. They occupy a wide variety of habitats and appear to be less affected by development and degraded habitat than other amphibian species. In fact, some studies suggest that green frog populations have actually increased over the years and thus may benefit from manmade habitat alterations.
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