Snout to vent length 4-8 cm, females up to 10 cm. Colouration and patterning for both aquatic and terrestrial phases is extremely variable depending on time of year, age and geographic location. Dorsal colours range from tan, olive, and grey to a rich reddish-brown. The back and sides have varying levels of dark flecking, with small spots on the flanks and groin area. Hind legs have dark mottled banding (more so on the lower portion of the leg). The upper and lower lip, chin, chest and belly have various levels of mottling which becomes reduced and replaced by varying levels of red (especially on the groin and hind legs) as the frog matures. A dark eye-mask extends from the snout to around the eye and tympanum (eardrum) to the shoulder. Two light brown “dorsolateral” folds of skin run along the back from behind the eye to the groin area. Males develop a “nuptial pad” on each thumb to assist in gripping females (“amplexus”) during breeding. Tadpoles reach 2-7 cm before metamorphosing and are tan to brown with degrees of mottling and gold flecking throughout. The tail is at least as long as the body and the tailfin extends onto the back.
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Hawkes, Virgil C. 2005. [Internet] Distribution of Red-legged Frog (Rana aurora aurora) Breeding Habitat in the Jordan River Watershed, Vancouver Island, British Columbia. BC Hydro Fish & Wildlife Bridge Coastal Restoration Program. -
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Matsuda, B.M. 2002. [Internet] The Wetlandkeepers Handbook: Section 5, Module 2.4. Conducting an Amphibian Inventory. BC Wildlife Federation, Surrey, BC. -
Maxcy, Katherine A. 2004. Accounts and Measures for Managing Identified Wildlife – Accounts V.2 Red-legged Frog Rana aurora aurora. -
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Species Profile prepared by: Pamela Zevit, RPBio with Brent Matsuda, RPBio, and contributions from J. Malt, RPBio FLNRO for the South Coast Conservation Program (SCCP) in partnership with: International Forest Products (Interfor) and Capacity Forestry (CapFor). Original funding for this project was made possible through the Sustainable Forestry Initiative(SFI): http://www.sfiprogram.org/
Updated and revised by: Isabelle Houde, RPBio in consultation with the SCCP. Part of the National Conservation Plan, this project was undertaken with the financial support of the Government of Canada. Dans le cadre du Plan de Conservation National, ce projet a été réalisé avec l'appui financier du Gouvernement du Canada.
Every effort has been made to ensure content accuracy. Comments or corrections should be directed to the South Coast Conservation Program: firstname.lastname@example.org. Content updated March 2015. Image Credits: Northern Red-legged Frog (dorsal view): Ryan Durand, Northern Red-legged Frog (ventral view): Caroline Astley, Oregon Spotted Frog: William P. Leonard, Habitat: Pamela Zevit. Only images from “creative commons” sources (e.g. Wikipedia, Flickr, U.S. Government) can be used without permission and for non-commercial purposes only. All other images have been contributed for use by the SCCP and its partners/funders only.