Mink frog

Lithobates septentrionalis

Similar to the green frog, although dorsolateral folds may be absent, partial, or prominent. The green-brown, medium-sized mink frog is among Minnesota's most common aquatic frogs. It often spends its time around lily pads, which it uses as "stepping stones" for basking, feeding and shelter.


General description: The mink frog is blotchy green and brown with a pale underside and a conspicuous tympanum (eardrum). Males may have a bright yellow throat.

Size: These frogs are about 2 to 3 inches long.

Color: Mink frogs are greenish brown. They have bright green lips.

Sounds: A rapid cut, cut, cut resembling a hammer striking wood. When mink frogs call in chorus it sounds like horses' hooves on a cobblestone road. Males have paired vocal pouches.


May to July is the breeding season for the mink frog. Up to 4,000 eggs are laid in loose clusters. Some tadpoles turn into frogs after about three months; others overwinter before transforming into adults.

Mink Frog

© B. Oldfield

Habitat and range

Mink frogs live mostly in/near lakes and rivers. They tend to hang out around water lilies, which they use as a surface for hopping and to hide from predators. In Minnesota, mink frogs are found mainly in the east-central and northeastern parts of the state.

Breeding habitat: This highly aquatic frog breeds in permanent ponds and lakes of the north woods.

Summer habitat: Inhabits borders of forested ponds and lakes where water lilies are plentiful. Individuals frequently move about by hopping from pad to pad.

Winter habitat: Aquatic.

Population and management

Mink frogs have no special status in Minnesota.

Fun facts

The skin produces a musky odor similar to the scent of a mink when the frog is handled.

Mink Frog range map

Range map for Mink Frog

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