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Southern Chorus Frog (Pseudacris nigrita)

photo by Giff Beaton

Common Name: Southern Chorus Frog
Scientific Name: Pseudacris nigrita
Family: Hylidae – Tree Frog family
Locations: United States – Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia
Size: 0.75 to 1.25 inches

The Southern Chorus Frog is one of the many chorus frogs that call the southern US home. They vary from gray to tan in color. They have three dark stripes down their back and one that runs through the eye down the side. Their lifespan isn’t long, only living two to three years. Like all the chorus frogs, the Southern Chorus Frog is more of a terrestrial species of tree frog, spending their time on ground.

The Southern Chorus Frog breeds in the winter from November to April or possibly year round in southern Florida. They breed in shallow, temporary bodies of water such as ponds, ditches, and flooded fields. The male frogs will call from vegetation around these areas and then the females will select their mate. They will then mate and lay their eggs in the shallow water on steams or leaves. The eggs hatch a few days after being laid then the tadpoles take a month to four months to complete their metamorphosis.

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Pleasing Poison Dart Frog (Ameerega bassleri)

photo by John P. Clare

Common Name: Pleasing Poison Dart Frog
Scientific Name: Ameerega bassleri
Family: Dendrobatidae – Poison Dart Frog family
Locations: Peru
Size: 1,6 inches (42 mm)

The Pleasing Poison Dart Frog gets its name from the beautiful colors on their body. These colors alert predators that they are poisonous. There are three known different color morphs of the frog.

The Yellow and Black morph is pictured at the top. They are found in the mountains southwest of Tarapoto.

The Nominal or Tarapoto Morph is the yellow morph shown below. They are found in the Cordillera Oriental and Cordillera Azul near Tarapoto. This color morph is the most commonly found morph.

photo by Geoff Gallice

The last morph is the Chrome Green morph. They are very few of this morph left in the wild due to the habitat destruction.

The Pleasing Poison Dart Frog is listed as vulnerable by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) red list. Sadly, most of the frogs habitat has been converted into cattle pastures, coffee plantations, and palm plantations which aren’t suitable habitat for the frogs.

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Salamanders and Newts of Iowa

Ambystomatidae – Mole Salamander Family

Blue Spotted Salamander (Ambystoma laterale)

The Blue Spotted Salamander has noticeable blue spots but the Smallmouthed Salamander can have them too. It is listed as an endangered species in the state, only being found in two counties – Black Hawk and Linn.

Smallmouthed Salamander  (Ambystoma texanum)

The Smallmouthed Salamander is known for their tiny heads that seem too small for their body. They are found in the southern part of the state.

Eastern Tiger Salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum)

The Eastern Tiger Salamander is the largest of the terrestrial salamanders in the state. They can have yellow spots or no spots at all. There are records of them throughout the state but most recent records show them mostly in the northeast part of the state.

Proteidae

The Mudpuppy is a fully aquatic species of salamander. They retain their gills throughout their life. They are found in the northeast and southeast corners of the state. The Mudpuppy is listed as threatened in the state.

Salamandridae

Eastern Newt (Notophthalmus viridescens)

The Eastern Newt has 3 distinct life stages. There is an aquatic larval stage, a terrestrial eft stage, and an aquatic adult stage. It is found in the eastern half of the state. They are listed as threatened by the state.

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Frogs and Toads of the Upper Peninsula

Frogs and Toads of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan

Frogs

True Frog family – Ranidae

American Bullfrog (Rana catesbeianus)

The American Bullfrog has no dorsal ridge on the side of their body. It is the largest frog in the state.

Green Frog (Rana clamitans)

The Green Frog has a dorsal ridge down the side of its body which differs from the American Bullfrog.

Mink Frog (Rana septrentionalis)

The Mink Frog has a more marbled coloration than the other frogs in the UP.

Northern Leopard Frog (Rana pipiens)

The Northern Leopard Frog has regular circles around its body. It also has a complete dorsal ridge.

The Pickeral Frog looks similar to the Northern Leopard Frog but has more rectangular markings on its body.

Wood Frog (Rana sylvaticus)

The Wood Frog is known for their dark mask around their eyes. It is a very cold adapted species, it freezes completely in the winter.

Tree Frog family – Hylidae

Eastern Gray Tree Frog (Hyla veriscolor) and Cope’s Gray Tree Frog (Hyla chrysoscelis)

The Eastern Gray Tree Frog and the Cope’s Gray Tree Frog are identical to the eye. The differences between the two lies in the calls and their chromosome numbers. These frogs are not just gray, they can also be green in color.

The Spring Peeper is one of the first frogs to start calling at the start of spring. They are known for the X marking on their back.

The Boreal Chorus Frog has 3 lines down the back of their back. While they are part of the tree frog family, they are often on the ground in the leaf litter.

True Toad family – Bufonidae

There is only one toad found in the UP, making it easy to identify.

American Toad (Anaxyrus americanus)

The American Toad is the only toad found in the Upper Peninsula. They are mildly poisonous so don’t let your dog or yourself eat it.

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Frogs and Toads of Finland

Frogs and Toads of Finland

Finland is not home to that many frogs or toad species but they are pretty cool.

Frogs

True Frog Family – Ranidae

Moor Frog (Rana arvalis)

Moor Frog is found throughout Finland besides the far north. The males turn blue during breeding season.

The European Common Frog is found throughout the country. The Common Frog has a blunter head than the more frog. The Common Frog has a more speckled belly than the Moor Frog also.

Toads

True Toad Family – Bufonidae

The Common Toad is the only toad species in Finland. They have drier, wartier skin compared to the other frogs. It is found throughout the country besides the far northern border.

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Blanchard Cricket Frog (Acris blanchardi)

photo by Tom Johnson

Common Name: Blanchard’s Cricket Frog
Scientific Name: Acris blanchardi
Family: Hylidae – Tree Frog family
Locations:
Size: .6 – 1.5 inches (1.6-3.8 cm)

Once considered a subspecies of the Northern Cricket Frog (Acris crepitans), the Blanchard Cricket Frog was moved to its own species. While the frog is a member of the tree frog family, it is not found high in the trees but on the ground or low scrubs.

The Cricket Frog starts breeding after it awakens from its winter inactivity. It varies depending on the location of the frog. In Texas, it can start as early as February while in Wisconsin, they start calling in May. The females will lay around 400 eggs after mating. These eggs will hatch into tadpoles a few days after being laid. The tadpoles will then take 5-10 weeks to complete metamorphosis.

The Blanchard Cricket Frog is listed as an endangered species in Wisconsin and Minnesota and threatened in Michigan. It seems the frog isn’t doing well in the northern parts of the range. Possible causes for the declines include pollution, habitat destruction, and climate change.

The frog is named after herpetologist and professor of zoology at Michigan Frank Nelson Blanchard. He described subspecies of a few different snakes.

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Salamanders and Newts of Alberta Canada

Salamanders and Newts of Alberta Canada

Alberta is only home to two species of salamanders from the same family. Not a lot of diversity.

Ambystomatidae – Mole Salamander family

The family Ambystomatidae is known as Mole Salamanders due to them living underground like moles. They are often only seen when moving to ponds to breed.

Long-Toed Salamander (Ambystoma macrodactylum)

The Long Toed Salamander is a small salamander, only reaching 3.5 inches long tops. It is found along the western border of Alberta and British Columbia.

The Western Tiger Salamander or Barred Tiger Salamander is much larger than the Long-Toed Salamander, capable of reaching a foot long. It known for the dark bars that run down its back which make them easy to identify. They are found in the southeastern corner of Alberta.

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Texas Toad (Anaxyrus speciosus)

photo by Kevin Young
least concern


Common Name: Texas Toad
Scientific Name: Anaxyrus speciosus
Family: Bufonidae – True Toad family
Locations: Mexico and the United States
US Locations: Texas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico
Size: 3.5 inches

The Texas Toad breeds from April to September following a heavy rain event. The males of the species arrive at temporary pools created by the rain and start calling. They can call at anytime of the day but it is most intense at night. Females will arrive later and will select a mate. The pair will undergo amplexus and lay the eggs. The eggs hatch a few days later and then complete metamorphosis between 18 to 60 days later.

Like most toads, the Texas Toad is nocturnal and fossorial. They burrow down during the day in the loose soil, then emerge at night to hunt for food.

The Texas Toad is the state amphibian of Texas.

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Lowland Leopard Frog (Rana yavapaiensis)

1280px-Lithobates_yavapaiensis
photo by Brian Gratwicke
least concern

Common Name: Lowland Leopard Frog
Scientific Name: Rana yavapaiensis
Family: Ranidae – True Frog family
Locations: Mexico and the United States
US Locations: Arizona, California, New Mexico, Nevada, and the Utah
Size: 3.4 inches (87 mm)

The Lowland Leopard Frog’s range is found primarily in Arizona, reaching a little bit in the states and countries around it. Sadly, most populations of the frogs in California and New Mexico have disappeared. Primary threats to the frogs are habitat alteration and fragmentation due to agricultural practices, livestock grazing, development, reservoir construction, and damming of waters that they call home. In addition to this, invasive crayfish, predatory fish, and bullfrogs have been feasting on the Lowland Leopard Frog.

Due to the Lowland Leopard Frog living in warmer areas, they are able to reproduce twice a year. The first breeding period starts in January after the frogs wake up from their reduced winter activity and ends in April. Breeding locations are permanent water bodies such as rivers, streams, or ponds and man-made bodies such as cattle tanks, canals, or mines. The eggs are laid in shallow water and are attached to vegetation, bedrock, or gravel. The eggs can either take 3 months to hatch or wait until after winter and hatch at 9 months to undergo metamorphosis. The second period happens during late summer or early fall.

It is illegal to harm or harass Lowland Leopard Frogs in Arizona.

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Salamanders and Newts of the United States

The United States is the salamander capital of the world. It is home to salamanders and newts from all 8 families of salamanders and newts. The Appalachian Mountains is home to a wide variety of species. Learn about what the US holds inside.

Alabama

Alaska

Arkansas

Arizona

Connecticut

Colorado

California

Delaware

Florida

Georgia

Hawaii

Illinois

Iowa

Indiana

Idaho

Kentucky

Kansas

Louisiana

Michigan

Montana

Minnesota

Massachusetts

Mississippi

Missouri

Maryland

Maine

Nebraska

New Jersey

New York

New Mexico

North Carolina

North Dakota

New Hampshire

Nevada

Oregon

Ohio

Oklahoma

Pennsylvania

Rhode Island

South Carolina

South Dakota

Texas

Tennessee

Utah

Virginia

Vermont

Wyoming

Wisconsin

West Virginia

Washington