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The wood frog varies in colour from brown, tan or grey to pinkish. It has smooth skin with a dark eye mask, white jaw stripe and creamy underside often with dusky mottling. There may also be a light stripe running down the middle of the back. When adults emerge from hibernation in spring, they may appear all dark and not show their dark eye mask and white jaw stripe.
The wood frog can remain active at relatively low temperatures.
Adults range up to 50 mm in length. First year frogs are about half this size.
The call of the wood frog is commonly described as a low, often rapid "quack" sometimes mistaken for a duck.
The wood frog has the most rapid development from egg to adult of any North American frog. Eggs are laid in globular masses, submerged and, often, attached to sedges or other aquatic vegetation. The frogs eat beetles, flies, caterpillars and spiders.
After breeding in ponds and marshes, these frogs move to damp woodland areas but may remain around pond margins for much of the summer.
Wood frogs occur further north than any other amphibian in North America. They are common throughout the forested regions of the Northwest Territories, from the Alberta border north to the Mackenzie Delta. This wide range of distribution in the north is due to a variety of relatively unique adaptations to the northern climate. The wood frog hibernates under leaves and other debris on the forest floor and depends on snow cover and its ability to tolerate slight (-6°C) sub-zero temperatures for its survival.