Common Name

Scientific Name

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Photo by Lynn Chamberlain
Photo Copyright Lynn Chamberlain

The northern leopard frog, Rana pipiens, is found throughout much of southern Canada, as well as in the northern, Rocky Mountain, and Intermountain areas of the United States. The northern leopard frog is fairly common in Utah, but some reports indicate that its numbers may be declining. This frog occurs in a variety of aquatic habitats, particularly near cattails and other aquatic vegetation, but it may be found foraging relatively far from water. During cold winter months, this species is inactive, and takes cover underwater or in damp burrows.

Females lay eggs in the spring, typically on vegetation just below the surface of the water in areas exposed to sunlight. Adult northern leopard frogs eat a variety of small invertebrates, whereas tadpoles of the species generally eat algae, organic debris, and small invertebrates. The northern leopard frog is a slim, long-legged frog with a green or brownish colored back that has dark oval or round spots. The bellies of northern leopard frogs are white or cream colored.


  • 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.