Common Name

Scientific Name

View Utah Distribution Map

Photo by Krissy Wilson
Photo Courtesy of Utah Division of Wildlife Resources

The Columbia spotted frog, Rana luteiventris, ranges from southeast Alaska through Alberta, Canada, and into Washington, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, and disjunct areas of Nevada and Utah. In Utah, isolated Columbia spotted frog populations exist in the West Desert and along the Wasatch Front. Unfortunately, habitat degradation and loss have led to declines in many of these populations, especially those along the Wasatch Front, precipitating the inclusion of the species on the Utah Sensitive Species List. With a goal of recovering the Columbia spotted frog, several government agencies are working cooperatively under a Conservation Agreement to eliminate or significantly reduce the threats facing the species.

The Columbia spotted frog breeds as early in the spring as winter thaw allows, with eggs hatching in 3-21 days, depending on temperature. The species seems to prefer isolated springs and seeps that have a permanent water source, although individuals are known to move overland in spring and summer after breeding. During cold winter months, spotted frogs burrow in the mud and become inactive.

Adult frogs eat a wide variety of food items, ranging from insects to snails, whereas tadpoles eat algae, plants, and small aquatic organisms. The dorsal (back) coloration of the spotted frog ranges from light brown to gray, with varying degrees of spotting. Ventral (belly) coloration ranges from red to yellow.


  • Biotics Database. 2005. Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, NatureServe, and the network of Natural Heritage Programs and Conservation Data Centers.

  • Stebbins, R. C. 1985. A field guide to western reptiles and amphibians. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston. 336 pp.