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Bronze Frog in Louisiana

Updated on December 8, 2014
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Since the mid-1980s, Yvonne has maintained a registered NWF backyard wildlife habitat where a variety of birds, insects, and frogs abound.

Amphibian: Subspecies of Green Frog (Rana clamitans)

The amphibian, the Green Frog comes in shades of green and browns and is found all over the Southeastern United States, but only the subspecies, the Bronze Frog, Rana clamitans clamitans occupies Louisiana. Green and Bronze frogs are one of the most commonly seen species of true frogs in areas where there are fresh water ponds and wetlands. They often make an "eek" sound as they jump into water when disturbed. Their banjo like song has earned them the common name, Banjo frog.


Bronze Frog Camoflauged Print

This was taken along the banks of a creek by the house.
This was taken along the banks of a creek by the house. | Source

Many of the photos seen here can be purchased in Naturegirl7's Zazzle Shop as print-on-demand products such as posters, cards, apparel, mugs, etc.

Identification of Bronze / Green Frog

Green / Bronze Frogs are medium sized true frogs that can be various shades of green and browns or a combination of each. Maximum size is about 3 inches. Green frogs with a brown body will often have a green head.

Bronze Frog, a subspecies of the Green Frog that occupies the entire state of Louisiana, is normally light brown or bronze. The back and sides can have irregular dark markings or they may be clear of any markings. The belly is usually mottled white and the underside of the chin and throat may be gray. Some adult males have a yellowish area under the chin. All specimens have prominent dorsolateral ridges on the front part of the back that extend about two-thirds of the way down. The smooth skin is covered with small, wart-like bumps. There is extensive webbing between the toes of the hind feet.

Green and Bronze frogs are often confused with other true frogs like the Bullfrog, Pig frog, Leopard and Pickerel Frogs. The prominent dorsolateral ridges do not extend the entire length of the body, so this is one of the easiest ways to tell them apart from Bullfrogs and Pig frogs which have longer ridges. The lack of conspicuous spots distinguishes them from Leopard and Pickerel Frogs.

Bronze Frog in Iron Kettle Water Feature
Bronze Frog in Iron Kettle Water Feature

Habits and Habitats

Bronze frogs inhabit fresh water swamps, marsh margins and forested areas, where they prefer pools, but can also be found by streams. During cool weather they shelter under logs, boards and in ground litter. Here in southeastern Louisiana, we usually have a pair that lives in our rain garden and water feature.

When disturbed, they will leap into the water and make a shrill "squawk", then will swim under water for a short distance and lie motionless. On rainy or wet nights many bronze frogs will gather on road ways.


Bronze Frog Pair Relect Print

A pair of frogs breeds in the water feature each year.
A pair of frogs breeds in the water feature each year. | Source

Frogs and Toads of the Southeast

One of the best information guides about Frogs and Toads with great photos and excellent descriptions and information. Most of the books by Wormsloe Foundation are top notch.

Bronze Frog on Froggy


The song of the male Bronze / Green frog can be heard both day and night in warm weather. Male Bronze frogs sing from mid March through early September. The song of the Bronze / Green frog sounds like the plunk of a banjo string or a rubber band, followed by a quick "clung, clung, clung". In spring, choruses of frogs, including Bronze Frogs and Green Treefrogs can be heard.

Males space themselves out around a body of water and give a warning call to other males. This warning call is easily reproduced by humans and can be used to elicit a response to help locate an individual. The distance between the males depends on the thickness of the vegetation. In thick vegetation, the spacing is about 3 feet, but if the vegetation is sparse, the spacing may be 10-15 feet apart. Males often sprawl in the water to sing.

Breeding sites can be permanent or temporary pools. Females lay from 1000 to 7000 eggs, arranged in a single mass, in open water or attached to vegetation. Each egg is enclosed in 2 gelatinous envelopes. We have found Bronze Frog tadpoles in the old pump / kettle that we converted into a fountain near our rain garden and patio.

Tadpoles are olive green with many dark spots. Originally it was thought that all tadpoles "overwintered" and took 360 days to develop into frogs, but new studies have revealed that only those that come from late season broods stay in the larval stage through the winter. Most tadpoles in Louisiana transform in one season, and spend about 3 months in the larval stage. Tadpoles get to be about 84.8 mm and newly transformed frogs are about 21-24 mm in length.

Froggies Courting

Frogs and Toads of North America

Excellent photographs and good descriptions. It includes a cd of frog calls.

Great Blue Skimmer Dragonfly


Prey and Predators

Adult frogs eat beetles, flies, butterflies and dragon flies as well as invertebrates such as worms, crawfish and slugs. Spiders, millipedes and centipedes, smaller frogs and snails are also eaten. Tadpoles eat algae and rotting plants and sometimes the eggs of other frogs.

Predators around water include water snakes, ribbon snakes, bullfrogs, garter snakes, ducks and herons. Other predators include hawks, crows and adult green frogs will sometimes cannibalize smaller members of the species. Tadpoles are eaten by dragonfly naiades, diving beetle larvae and giant water bugs. Turltles also eat the frog's eggs.

Young Bronze Frog

This little one probably hatched out in the kettle water feature.
This little one probably hatched out in the kettle water feature.

Frog and Toad - by Arnold Lobel

The Frog and Toad Collection Box Set: Includes 3 Favorite Frog and Toad Stories! (I Can Read Level 2)
The Frog and Toad Collection Box Set: Includes 3 Favorite Frog and Toad Stories! (I Can Read Level 2)
The classic Frog and Toad stories are children's favorites. The I Can Read series has a controlled vocabulary geared for beginning readers.

Bronze Frog in Prayer Plant

Prayer plants do well around water. The large leaves provide good hiding places for amphibians.
Prayer plants do well around water. The large leaves provide good hiding places for amphibians.

Calling Green Frog

Bronze Frog Pair Reflect Mousepad

Bronze Frog on Naturally Native Zazzle

Celebrate Amphibians with these Bronze Frog Designs by naturegirl7

Save the Frogs, Save the Planet


© 2009 Yvonne L B


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