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Do Frogs Have Tails? Discovering Their Unique Features

Do Frogs Have Tails

Are you curious to know if frogs have tails? Or are you wondering if tadpoles or baby frogs have tails? If yes, you have come to the right place. This article shares more insights about frogs with tails.

Do frogs have tails? Different frog species have tails during the tadpole stage as they live in aquatic environments and need to swim efficiently but they lose the tails as they metamorphose into froglets. However, some frog species retain their tails as adults.

In this article, we have shared full details on frogs having tails. We have explored whether any frog species has a tail, the function of the tail, whether tadpoles and froglets have tails, and more.

Do frogs have tails?

As you already know there are 7000+ frog species inhabiting the planet. Despite having varying unique physical characteristics, most of them do not have tails as adults.

They only have this feature in the tadpole stage, but some of them tend to retain it in their adult life.

Therefore, to answer your question, do any frogs have tails; No, most of the frog species do not have tails. Frogs are classified under order aura (a Greek name that means “without tail”).

Do frogs have tails

Now, during the larva stage (tadpole stage), the frogs have a vestigial tail. Remember, they have a completely different look than their adult counterparts.

Tadpoles usually inhabit water bodies until they transform into froglets and join their relatives on land and other environments.

As such, the tail enables the tadpoles to swim efficiently and move through waters as they look for food.

But as the tail undergoes metamorphosis, its tail is absorbed and diminishes completely. The final product is a froglet without a tail that grows into adulthood in the same manner (with no tail).

However, there are a few exceptions when it comes to frogs without tails. The most popular one is the tailed frog (Ascaphus truei), which is native to North America’s Pacific Northwest.

This frog uses its tail for stability and balance as well as a reproductive organ. It usually inhabits fast-moving rivers and streams.

Check the video below of the tailed frog in fast-moving waters, its natural habitat in the wild.


Why don’t frogs have tails?

Most frog species don’t have tails because they don’t need them. The different species of frogs have evolved to live on land.

Their bodies have to undergo streamlining and major changes to enable them to efficiently jump and move around their natural habitats without using the tail.

That’s why you’ll only find the tail in tadpoles of various frog species because they usually survive in water until they metamorphose into adults.

During this period, they need to move through the water efficiently, hence the need for the tail.

Why don't frogs have tails

Once they metamorphose, they lose the tail to develop strong hind legs that are essential for their survival on the land.

This is why you see many adult frogs with excellent jumping capabilities. They have muscular hind legs with springy tendons to propel them forward at far distances!

Do tadpoles have tails?

Yes, tadpoles of various frogs have tails. As we’ve already said above, the tail is one of the key physical characteristics of frogs during this larvae stage.

Frogs usually breed around water bodies, including ponds, streams, rivers, pools, etc., where their eggs hatch into tadpoles.

Do tadpoles have tails

Due to the aquatic environment where the frog will be staying for several weeks or months, they will be using the tails to help them efficiently move through the water as they forage for food.

However, during this time, they will be undergoing transformations of their body. This sees their tails get reabsorbed into their body.

In its place, they develop strong hind legs for jumping. This prepares them for survival on land, where their adult relatives live.

Do some frogs have tails?

Yes, some frog species have tails. Although we have said that it is rare to find an adult frog with a tail, there is one exception—the tailed frog. The tail is present in both males and females.

Do some frogs have tails

There are different species of this frog all of which have a characteristic tail feature. The most popular tailed frog species include:

  • Coastal tailed frog
  • Rocky mountain tailed frog
  • Pacific tailed frog

This frog inhabits the Pacific Northwest of North America and features a characteristic long tail that sets it apart from the other species.

The role of the tail in this prehistoric frog species is still an ongoing debate.

However, it has been shown that this tail usually acts as a reproductive organ that helps direct the sperm from the male to the female during the mating process.

This minimizes sperm loss as these frogs live in fast-moving water bodies where the sperms are likely to be washed away by water.

Females also use this tail feature for laying their eggs in fast-moving waters without them being washed away.

Both males and females use this tail to find balance and stability as they swim through the fast-moving waters in their aquatic environments.

Do horned frogs have tails?

No horned frogs, e.g. the ornate horned frogs, do not have tails. These frogs usually inhabit grasslands near temporary water bodies or roadside ditches. As such, they do not need tails, as they do not live in aquatic environments.

Do horned frogs have tails

However, like all the other frogs, their tadpoles must develop a tail to enable them to survive in the aquatic environments where they hatch. However, the tail then diminishes as they transform into adult frogs.

As adults, they have strong hind legs that enable them to do high jumps on the land to escape predators as well as catch their prey.

Why do salamanders have tails and frogs do not have tails?

While both salamanders and frogs belong to the same family of amphibians, they have evolved differently to attain different body shapes that suit their specific environments and lifestyles.

Salamanders are considered more ancient than frogs. They evolved around aquatic bodies where their tail was crucial for movement and swimming through these environments.

Why do salamanders have tails

As for the frogs, they evolved to survive on the land; hence, they did not need a tail. Instead, their bodies became more streamlined to make them efficient jumpers on the land.


Do frogs have long tails?

No, frogs do not have tails. Species like the tailed frog have tails, but they are also not long enough as the frogs themselves have a small body size of around 1-2 inches.

Do frogs and toads have tails?

Generally, frogs and toads lack tails as adults. However, they have tails in tadpole stage to help them swim and easily navigate the aquatic environments where they survive until they become adults.

Does a tadpole’s tail fall off?

No, the tadpole’s tail does not fall off. Instead, it is reabsorbed into the body as the tadpole metamorphoses into adulthood, through a process known as apoptosis, to enable the frog to develop hind legs for survival on land.

Frogs possess a diverse range of anatomical features that make them intriguing creatures to study. If you’re curious about the tails of frogs, you might also find our guides on can frogs cry and does a frog have a neck interesting. Our guide on can frogs cry explores the fascinating topic of emotional expressions in frogs, shedding light on whether or not they have the ability to shed tears. Additionally, our guide on does a frog have a neck delves into the unique skeletal structure of frogs and how it relates to their mobility. By exploring these guides, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of the anatomical characteristics and behaviors of frogs.


Most frogs usually do not have tails. The only stage where they grow tails is during the larvae stage (tadpole stage). This is because tadpoles usually live in aquatic environments and need the tail to enable them to swim efficiently in the waters and forage for food. As they metamorphose into adulthood, however, they lose their tails completely.

The tailed frog is the only frog that features a tail as an adult. This exceptional frog is a prehistoric species whose short tail enables it to find balance and stability in fast-moving waters. The tail also acts as a reproductive organ to help direct sperm into females, so the water does not wash them away. We hope that this article has now answered your question about whether frogs have tails or not.

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