CaliforniaHerps.com

A Guide to California's
Reptiles and Amphibians




Sounds of
Northern Leopard Frog - Lithobates Pipiens

Schreber, 1782

(= Rana pipiens)
Click the speaker icon to listen to an mp3 sound file.

Male frogs and toads sometimes make a variety of sounds. These calls can have different functions.


Advertisement Calls

The advertisement call is the most well-known call of a frog or toad. It is made by a male during the breeding season to establish his territory and repel rival males and to attract females as potential mates. Males usually make the call in or near bodies of water near areas that are attractive to a female as a good place to lay her eggs. Advertisement calls can be heard during the evening and at night, and often during daylight at the peak of the breeding season. Sometimes an advertisement call will be heard outside of the breeding season and away from water. The reason for this is not understood.

Each species has its own unique advertisement call. This is necessary to differentiate them when there is more than one species calling. The evolution of this specific male advertisement call and its recognition by females is considered to be an important isolating mechanism in the evolution of a species.


The advertisement call of the Northern Leopard Frog is a moderatly loud low gutteral snore-like rattle, which has been compared to a small motor boat engine. These snores are accompanied by a number of different chuckles and croaks which function like encounter calls, having an aggressive or spacing function among males. Northern Leopard Frogs call mostly at night and sometimes during the day.

 

The five sound files below were all recorded at the same pond in Grant County, Washington, shown in the three pictures below.

Sound  This is a 35 second edited recording of a Northern Leopard Frog calling during daylight in mid April. Dry reeds and bird sounds can be heard in the background.

Sound  This is a 1 minute 53 second unedited recording of Northern Leopard Frogs calling at night in mid April with loud Pacific Treefrogs and distant Great Basin Spadefoots calling in the background, and a few waterbird sounds.

Sound
  This is a 58 second unedited recording of Northern Leopard Frogs calling at night in mid April, with loud Pacific Treefrogs and distant Great Basin Spadefoots calling in the background, and a few waterbird sounds.

Sound  This is a 45 second unedited recording of Northern Leopard Frogs calling at night in mid April, with loud Pacific Treefrogs and distant Great Basin Spadefoots calling in the background, and a few waterbird sounds.

Sound  This is a 31 second edited recording of a distant frog calling on a sunny afternoon in late April.
Northern Leopard Frog Habitat Northern Leopard Frog Habitat Northern Leopard Frog Habitat

The two sounds below were recorded at a marsh in Manitoba, Canada (shown below, right.)

Sound  This is a 40 second recording of Northern Leopard Frogs calling on a May afternoon. Boreal Chorus Frogs are also heard in the background

sound  This is a 90 second recording of several species of frogs calling on a May afternoon, including Canadian Toads, Boreal Chorus Frogs, and Northern Leopard Frogs.
Boreal Chorus Frog Habitat
 
Waveform and Sonogram
sonogram
Sound  This is a recording of the advertisement calls of a Northern Leopard Frog
recorded during daylight in Kittitas county, Washington.
The image above is a visual representation of this call. Click on it to see a larger image.
Click here for information about how to read the waveform and sonogram images.
 

Release Calls


A release call is produced by a male frog or an unreceptive female frog when a male frog or other animal gets on its back and grabs its sides in the position used for mating or amplexus. It's a frog's way of saying "Get off my back! Let go!"

Sound  This is a 5 second recording of the release calls, or grunts, of a Northern Leopard Frog.
Sound  This is a 1 second recording of a release call - a short squeak - of a Northern Leopard Frog.
 
Short Videos
Northern Leopard Frog Northern Leopard Frog Northern Leopard Frog
Two videos of a Northern Leopard Frog calling on a sunny April afternoon in Grant County, Washington. Red-winged and yellow-headed blackbirds and other birds are heard in the background. Calling was sporadic over a long period of time, so these calls have been assembled from longer videos. A few frogs in a breeding pond in Grant County, Washington.
  northern leopard frog calling  
  An adult male calls during daylight from a marsh in Manitoba, Canada in May. Other Northern Leopard Frogs, Boreal Chorus Frogs, and Canadian Toads are heard in the background along with several birds.

 

You can listen to more recordings of Northern Leopard Frogs on this cd:

Carlos Davidson - Frog and Toad Calls of the Pacific Coast - Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology

cd cover

and on the cd that comes with this book:

Lang Elliott, Carl Gerhardt, and Carlos Davidson - The Frogs and Toads of North America - Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

book cover








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