Rana septentrionalis
Mink Frog
Subgenus: Aquarana
family: Ranidae
Taxonomic Notes: This species is placed in Lithobates by some authors, following Frost et al., 2006. This has been a controversial decision, because such well-known species as Rana catesbeiana, with an enormous literature, are made more obscure to many. What is not controversial is that Lithobates is the sister taxon of Rana, so the argument is simply one of Linnean ranks. AmphibiaWeb recommends treating Lithobates as a subgenus of Rana, with species names to be written as Rana (Lithobates) catesbeiana, as an example. This option preserves the maximal amount of phylogenetic information and preserves a long-standing taxonomy.

© 2007 Louis-M. Landry (1 of 4)

View distribution map using BerkeleyMapper.

Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN (Red List) Status Least Concern (LC)
See IUCN account.
NatureServe Status Use NatureServe Explorer to see status.
Other International Status None
National Status None
Regional Status None


Adults are 45 to 76 mm in length, with a dorsal ground color olive brown to green. The dorsal surface is mottled or spotted with dark brown and the venter is yellowish white. The skin is smooth, and may produce a mink-like odor when rubbed. Dorsolateral folds are often absent or weakly developed, toes are broadly webbed, and only the tip of the penultimate fourth toe phalanx is free of the web.
The larva reaches a total length of 100 mm. It has an olive brown or greenish dorsum with small dark spots, a straw yellow, opaque belly, mottling on the sides, and a tail which is paler than the dorsum and marked with irregular dark blotches.

Distribution and Habitat

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Canada, United States

U.S. state distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Vermont, Wisconsin

Canadian province distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Ontario, Quebec

View distribution map using BerkeleyMapper.
The northern most range of R. septentrionalis is unknown, but it occurs from Labrador southward to Northern New Hampshire, and westward to northwestern Minnesota and southeastern Manitoba.


Hedeen, S. E. (1963). ''Rana septentrionalis (Baird). Mink Frog.'' Catalogue of American Amphibians and Reptiles. American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, 202.1-202.2.

Written by Franziska Sandmeier (franturtle AT, UC Berkeley
First submitted 2001-02-21 (2001-06-04)

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Citation: AmphibiaWeb: Information on amphibian biology and conservation. [web application]. 2016. Berkeley, California: AmphibiaWeb. Available: (Accessed: Jun 29, 2016).

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