Introduction

Rana: the Latin word for frog

sylvatica: from the Latin sylva, "a wood" and sylvaticus, "growing among trees", referring to the habitat of this species.

A frog that freezes during hibernation and thaws out in the spring!

The common name refers to the preferred habitat of this species. Due to the distinctive mask on its face, this frog has been called the "robber frog" and "bandit frog". For most of the year, the wood frog is terrestrial and hibernates on land. The wood frog is the only amphibian found north of the Arctic circle and its survival is a consequence of the production of a cryoprotectant that safeguards its body tissues from freeze damage. Freeze tolerance has long been known to occur in invertebrates, but has only recently been described in vertebrates.