Ascaphus truei

Identification Tips:

• Small; 30-50 mm; females larger
• Males have a fleshy 'tail' used in reproduction
• Eyes have vertical, diamond-shaped pupils
• Light patch on snout between the eyes
• Males develop black pads on hands and black nodules (tubercles) on arms and sides in breeding season
• No visible ear drum

Tadpoles and Metamorphs
• Very large suction-cup mouth on the underside of the head
• White spot at tip of tail
• Thick, muscular tail

Conservation Status:

British ColumbiaCanadaNatureserve
COSEWICSpecies at Risk Act
Not at Risk (Yellow List)Special ConcernSpecial ConcernG4, S4

Life History:

• A very unusual frog
• Longest lived frog in North America; to 15 years
• Tailed frogs are only type of frogs in North America that reproduce using internal fertilization (yes, that is what the male's tail-like structure is for)
• Breed in fall, but female retains sperm until egg laying occurs in mid-summer
• Lays eggs in long strings under rocks in the stream
• Adults are nocturnal and eat invertebrates
• Tadpoles scrape algae from rocks in the stream


• Clear, cold, rocky streams from sea level to sub-alpine elevations
• Primarily in older forests
• Avoid steep streams prone to slides or debris flows
• Adults spend days under rocks or logs in or beside streams
• May be found in forest during wet weather


British Columbia
• Coastal drainages from Fraser Valley to Nass River.
• Inland to Terrace, Lytton and Cathedral Lakes
• In Fraser valley limited to streams on very near to mountainsides

• Coastal drainages from Northwestern California to Nass River, BC

Primary Information Sources:
 Efauna BC:
 BC Conservation Data Centre: