2 COMMON Amphibians in Alaska (ID Guide)

Are you wondering what amphibians you can find in Alaska?

common amphibians in alaska

 

This is a great question! Although amphibians are widespread, they can be challenging to locate. Most amphibians, including frogs, toads, and salamanders, are secretive and shy. But in my opinion, looking for amphibians is a really fun experience!

 

Below you will find a list of the most COMMON and interesting amphibians that live in Alaska. In addition, you will find detailed pictures, along with range maps for each species to help with your identification!

 

 

2 Types of Amphibians That Live in Alaska:

 


#1. Wood Frog

  • Lithobates sylvaticus

species of amphibians in alaska

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adult body lengths range from 1.5 to 3.25 inches.
  • Coloration is various shades of brown, gray, red, or green, with females tending to be more brightly colored.
  • Distinct black marking across the eyes, which resembles a mask.

 

As the name suggests, Wood Frogs are found in moist woodland habitats, including forested swamps, ravines, and bogs. They travel widely and visit seasonal pools to breed.

Wood Frog Range Map

wood frog range map

This incredible little amphibian has a wide range across North America. They have adapted to cold climates by being able to freeze over the winter. Their breathing and heartbeat stop and their bodies produce a type of antifreeze that prevents their cells from bursting. In the spring, they thaw and begin feeding again.

 

Wood Frogs are among the first amphibians in Alaska to emerge after the snow melts. Listen for a call that sounds a bit like a clucking chicken near vernal pools and other small bodies of water!

 


#2. Western Toad

  • Anaxyrus boreas

common amphibians in alaska

Identifying Characteristics:

  • Adult length is 2-5 inches.
  • Coloring can range from yellowish, tan, gray, or green with a pale stripe along the back. The Western Toad also has dark blotches with rust-colored edges and warts.
  • Males have smoother, less blotchy skin than females.

 

As its name suggests, the Western Toad lives in the western part of the continent. It has a wide range of habitats, including desert streams and springs, forests, lakes and rivers, and backyard gardens with pools nearby.

Western Toad Range Map:

 

Unlike most other toads, Western Toads don’t often hop!

 

Instead, they walk, picking up 1 or 2 legs at a time. You can see this unique movement below!

 


What types of amphibians in Alaska have you seen?

 

Let us know in the comments!

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