A Guide to the Amphibians
and Reptiles of California

Click on a picture for a larger view

Frogs with Dorsolateral Folds

observation link


Does the frog with dorsolateral folds have many large, often rounded,
distinct dark spots on the back and sides, often with a light border?

Large dark spots

Yes - Click Here (Leopard Frogs)

Small dark spots

Yes - Continue Below

Frogs with dorsolateral folds, without large distinct spots on the back and sides

These frogs are all similar in appearance and may be difficult to tell apart.

Looking at the range maps can help.

Oregon Spotted Frog

The Oregon Spotted Frog is reddish brown with dark spots on the back and red underneath. The eyes are tilted upwards slightly. This will help differentiate this frog from the Cascades Frog along with the yellowish underside of the Cascades Frog.

The Oregon Spotted Frog is either extirpated from California, or it still occurs in some isolated locales in the extreme northeast part of the state.

Click here for more pictures and information about Oregon Spotted Frogs.

frog frog frog
Oregon Spotted Frog
Rana pretiosa

Red underside
  Historical Range - in Red  
Cascades Frog

While common in the mountains of Oregon and Washington, in California the Cascade Frog is found only in the far north, generally at high elevations in the mountains. It has disappeared from many of the areas it once inhabited in California. It might be confused for a Red-legged Frog, but these species should not occur together in the same part of California. The Cascades Frog will have a light or yellowish color on the underside of the legs, while adult Red-legged Frogs will have red.

Click here for more pictures and information about the Cascades Frog.

frog frog frog
Cascades Frog
Rana cascadae
Yellowish underside
  Historical Range - in Red  

The Red-legged Frogs are very similar in appearance to the Cascades Frog, but they should not occur in the same areas in California. The Cascades Frog will have a yellowish underneath, while an adult Red-legged Frog will have red. (Be careful, juvenile Red-legged frogs may appear yellowish underneath.)

Red-legged Frogs
frog frog map
Northern Red-legged Frog
Rana aurora

Red under legs Range - in Red
frog frog
California Red-legged Frog
Rana draytonii

Red under legs Historical Range - in Green

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