(click images to enlarge)
Appearance: A medium-sized frog, reaching lengths of about 7.5 cm. (3 in.) in large adults. The ground color can be dark olive-green, brownish, or a golden bronze. The area around the mouth is sometimes bright green, and in mature males the chin and throat may be washed with yellow. The belly is light with dark, vermiculate markings, and the dorsum is unmarked in adults. Dorsolateral folds extend about ¾ of the length of the body, stopping short of reaching the hind legs. Young Bronze Frogs have many small, black dots on their back.
Habits and Habitat: This is a highly aquatic frog, inhabiting bodies of water of almost any size and type, including ponds, swamps, and streams. Fleet of foot and difficult to spot, this frog is often noted only indirectly as it flees into the water, sometimes uttering a squeaking alarm call. Adult males are most easily approached during the breeding season when defending their territories.
Vocalization: Colloquially referred to as the "banjo frog," the primary breeding call is an explosive "clunk," or "cloink" frequently repeated several times in succession, but less powerfully each time. Like many species of frog, the males voice an aggressive call when concentrations of these frogs are high in breeding areas. This call is a quick harsh spitting sound that sometimes precedes an attack on a competitor.
Reproduction/Egg Description: The breeding season of the Bronze Frog lasts from spring through summer. Egg masses appear as large slicks, with several hundred very small eggs spread across the water surface in a film.
Distribution and Abundance: The Bronze Frog inhabits all of the Gulf Coast states, Georgia, and South Carolina. It is absent from the southern half of the Florida panhandle. At the northern border of its range it is replaced by its conspecific, the Green Frog (Rana clamitans melanota). This is a common frog in most of its range.
SE ARMI Index Sites: Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge (Rana clamitans clamitans, Bronze Frog), Great Smoky Mountains National Park (Rana clamitans melanota, Green Frog).