Zoo Animals

Detroit Zoo - Mississippi Gopher Frog

Dusky gopher frog

Lithobates sevosus

At the Detroit Zoo
The dusky gopher frog resides in special bio-secure rooms behind the scenes of the National Amphibian Conservation Center – a leader in amphibian conservation and research. Due to the Detroit Zoological Society’s efforts to restore this endangered species through a cooperative breeding program, it is not viewable to the public. The captive population serves as insurance against extinction until the species can be adequately protected in the wild and suitable locations are found for release.

The dusky gopher frog is medium-sized with a bump-covered body that is black, brown or gray with dark spots and ridges along its back. Typically found in southern Mississippi, this frog prefers to be in stump holes or burrows. This species has an estimated population of less than 135 in the wild, making it one of the top 100 most endangered species in the world, according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.

Fun Facts

  • The dusky gopher frog will cover its eyes with its front legs when it is held and feels threatened.

  • It lets out a loud, guttural call that sounds like snoring.