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Froggin Up North

Here are some of the frogs and toads i saw last month while up north, sorry for the delay. Also some other bonus animals.

Spring Peepers, Green Frog, American Bullfrogs, American Toads, and Northern Leopard Frogs

Notice that the squirrel is black

Frog of the Week

Mazatlan Narrow Mouthed Toad (Gastrophryne mazatlanensis)

Mazatlan Narrow Mouthed Toad
photo by Jim Rorabaugh

Common Name: Mazatlan Narrow Mouthed Toad or Sinaloan Narrow-mouthed Toad
Scientific Name: Gastrophryne mazatlanensis
Family: Microhylidae
Locations: Mexico and the United States – Arizona
Size: 1.6 inches (4 cm)

The Mazatlan Narrow Mouthed Toad was originally thought to be its own species before researchers merged it into the Great Plains Narrowed Mouth Toad (Gastrophryne olivacea). It sat as a subspecies for over 50 years before researchers decided to elevated back to its own species. Not much is known to be different in its life history than the Great Plains Narrowed Mouth Toad and it seems no one has really tried to study it. They spend most of their life underground which also doesn’t help with knowing what they are doing. However, the toads come to the surface to breed. They breed following the heavy spring and summer rains.

The International Union of the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List has not assessed the conservation status of the toad.

Frog of the Week

Veragua Stubfoot Toad (Atelopus cruciger)

Veragua Stubfoot Toad
photo by Indiana Cristo

Common English Name: Veragua Stubfoot Toad and Rancho Grande Harlequin Frog
Local Name: Sapito Rayado
Scientific Name: Atelopus cruciger
Family: Bufonidae – True Toad family
Locations: Venezuela
Male Size: 1.1 – 1.3 inches (28.2–34.6 mm)
Female Size: 1.5 – 2 inches (39.5–49.9 mm)

The toads mate during the dry season, where they can be found on rocks and vegetation near fast moving streams. The males call out for the females and when the females arrive, the male grabs her from behind in the amplexus position. Then, the female carries the male over to the stream. Amplexus can last up to 19 days for the species. Next, the female lays her eggs and the male fertilizes them. The female lays between 150 – 270 eggs in several clutches. The eggs hatch into tadpoles that use their abdominal suckers to attach to rocks in the fast moving stream.

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List assesses the Veragua Stubfoot Toad as Critically Endangered. The toads have disappeared from nearly all of its range. The culprit is Chytrid Fungus, a deadly fungal pathogen. Luckily, a few populations of the toad remain in some national parks and are surviving against the disease.

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Salamanders and Newts of Prince Edward Island

Ambystomatidae – Mole Salamander family

Blue Spotted Salamander (Ambystoma laterale)

The Blue Spotted Salamander has a dark body with speckled blue dots on its side.

Spotted Salamander  (Ambystoma maculatum)

The Spotted Salamander has a dark body with 2 lines of yellow dots down its body.

Plethodontidae – Lungless Salamander family

Eastern Red-backed Salamander (Plethodon cinereus)

The Eastern Red-backed Salamander has a dark gray body with a red stripe down its back. Sometimes, the salamander lacks the red on its back and is just gray in color.

Salamandridae

Eastern Newt (Notophthalmus viridescens)

The Eastern Newt has 3 distinct life stages, an aquatic larval phase, a terrestrial eft stage, and another aquatic stage but as an adult.

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Fitzinger’s Robber Frog (Craugastor fitzingeri)

Fitzinger's Robber Frog
photo by WIlliam Flaxington

Common Name: Fitzinger’s Robber Frog
Scientific Name: Craugastor fitzingeri
Family: Craugastoridae
Locations: Colombia, Costa Rica, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama
Female Size: 2 inches (52.5 mm)
Male Size: 0.9 – 1.4 inches (23.5 – 35 mm)

The Fitzinger’s Robber Frog lives in a variety of habitats from rain forests to dry gallery forests. They are primarily found amongst the leaf litter. The species is named after Leopold Fitzinger, an Austrian zoologist.

Females lays around 85 eggs and will sit on the nest until they hatch. They are a direct developing species, skipping a free larval phase.

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List assesses the Fitzinger’s Robber Frog as Least Concern for Extinction. The frog has a wide range and are common throughout it.

Frog of the Week

Agile Frog (Rana dalmatina)

Agile Frog
photo by Simon J. Tonge

Common Name: Agile Frog
Scientific Name: Rana dalmatina
Family: Ranidae – True Frog family
Locations: Albania, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom
Introduced Locations: Belgium
Size: 3.14 inches (8 cm)

The Agile Frog lives throughout most of Europe besides the northern regions.

The breeding season starts shortly after the frogs awake from their hibernation (between February and March) and lasts until April. Males gather in large groups in the shallows of water bodies to call. Once the female arrives, the males try to grasp the female behind in the amplexus position. The female frog lays between 450 – 1800 eggs. The tadpoles usually take 2 to 4 months to complete their metamorphosis but have been known stay as tadpoles over winter and complete it in spring.

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List assesses the Agile Frog as Least Concern for Extinction. The frog has a wide range and are numerous throughout it. Though in some areas of its range, it has been harder to find due to draining of wetlands and cutting down woodlands they call home. On the isle of Jersey, the frogs are considered critically endangered and they have even re-introduced the species there.

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Frogs and Toads of Wales

Wales is not home to many species of frogs and toads.

Frogs

Ranidae – True Frog family

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European Common Brown Frog (Rana temporaria)

Common Name: European Common Brown Frog
Scientific Name: Rana temporaria
Location: Throughout

The Common Frog has smoother skin than the toads.

Toads

Bufonidae – True Toad family

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Nattarjack Toad(Epidalea calamita)

Common Name: Nattarjack Toad
Scientific Name: Epidalea calamita
Location: North Wales coast

The Nattarjack has a bold yellow line down the center of its back, differing from the Common Toad. They are usually smaller than the Common Toad as well.

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Common Toad (Bufo bufo)

Common Name: Common Toad
Scientific Name: Bufo bufo
Location: Throughout

The most wide spread of the frogs and toads of Wales.

Introduced Species

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African Clawed Frog (Xenopus laevis)

Common Name: African Clawed Frog
Scientific Name: Xenopus laevis
Location: Southern Wales

The African Clawed Frog is a fully aquatic frog that was once used as pregnancy tests in labs. Sadly, some individuals have escaped those labs or were released. These frogs are blamed for the spread of diseases.

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Common Midwife Toad (Alytes obstetricans)

Common Name: Common Midwife Toad
Scientific Name: Alytes obstericans
Location: Around Llandrindod Wells

Originally introduced in Bedford in the 19th century, the toad has spread out a bit.

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Frogs and Toads of Scotland

Frogs and Toads of Scotland

Scotland is only home to one frog species and two toad species.

Frogs

Ranidae – True Frog family

commonfrog
European Common Brown Frog (Rana temporaria)

Common Name: European Brown Frog
Scientific Name: Rana temporaria
Location:Throughout

The European Common Brown Frog is the most common frog in Europe. It has smoother skin compared to the toads.

Toads

Bufonidae – True Toad family

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Nattarjack Toad(Epidalea calamita)

Common Name: Nattarjack Toad
Scientific Name: Epidalea calamita
Location: Dumfriesshire coast

The Nattarjack Toad has a bright yellow stripe down its back that the Common Toad lacks.

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Common Toad (Bufo bufo)

Common Name: Common Toad
Scientific Name: Bufo bufo
Location: Throughout

The Common Toad is more common than the Nattarjack Toad as well as larger.

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Frogs and Toads of England

England is home to various frogs and toads.

Frogs

Ranidae – True Frog family

The True Frogs are your typical frogs, generally smooth skin with long legs.

Common Name: European Brown Frog
Scientific Name: Rana temporaria
Location: Throughout

The European Brown Frog has a dark bar behind its eyes and on its legs that help identify it.

Common Name: Pool Frog
Scientific Name: Pelophylax lessonae
Location: Norfolk

The Pool Frog went extinct in the UK in the 1990’s but they have been re-introduced.

Toads

Bufonidae – True Toad family

The True Toads are your typical toad with warty skin and short legs. They usually have a parotid gland behind their eyes that contain a poison. It is not advised to let your dog eat these guys.

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Nattarjack Toad(Epidalea calamita)

Common Name: Nattarjack Toad
Scientific Name: Epidalea calamita
Location: Sand dunes along the Merseyside coast, the Cumbrian coast, and on the Scottish Solway

The Nattarjack has a bold yellow line down the center of its back, differing from the Common Toad. They are usually smaller than the Common Toad as well.

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Common Toad (Bufo bufo)

Common Name: Common Toad
Scientific Name: Bufo bufo
Location: Throughout

The most wide spread of the frogs and toads of England.

Invasive Species

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Common Midwife Toad (Alytes obstetricans)

Common Name: Common Midwife Toad
Scientific Name: Alytes obstericans
Location: Southern part

Originally introduced in Bedford in the 19th century, the toad has spread out a bit.

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Marsh Frog (Pelophylax ridibundus)

Common Name: Marsh Frog
Scientific Name: Pelophylax ridibundus
Location: Southeastern part

The Marsh Frog is the largest frog native to Europe but sadly, they have been introduced to England. Their size allows them to predate on native species.

American Bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana)

Common Name: American Bullfrog
Scientific Name: Rana catesbeiana
Location: Southeast England

The American Bullfrog is native to the eastern United States but has spread around the world due to demand for its legs.

Edible Frog (Pelophylax esculentus)

Common Name: Edible Frog
Scientific Name: Pelophylax esculentus
Location: Southeastern England

The Edible Frog appears very similar to the Marsh and the Pool Frog. They can even breed with them, making it hard to differentiate between them.