Tailed Frog

Ascaphus truei, Ascaphus montanus

The tailed frog is unique among North American frog species. It is one of the most primitive of frog species, and its most distinctive feature is the ‘tail’ on males. Surprisingly, it is actually not a tail, because it has no bones, but a copulatory organ.


The tailed frog is a small amphibian. Adults are 2-3 cm from nose to rear, fitting neatly in the palm of your hand. Adults are typically tan or brown, with shades of green, red, or black. They have grainy skin, and the tail is the same colour, often with a white spot on the tip. Like other frogs, they have vertical pupils; however, they do not have an external ear and are also voiceless, which sets them apart from other frogs…

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