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What to bring when you are froggin

Hey yo, if you are a first time gone froggin or you just making sure you have what you need, you might wanna check out this list.

IMG_0487 The first thing you should bring is a positive attitude because sometimes you don’t find what you are looking for and no one wants to be with a grumpy goose. Next you wanna bring a buddy along. I’m a firm believer in the buddy system. If you fall in the woods and break your leg, you are gonna be shit up a creek. I’d also bring a cell phone so you can call 911 in case of emergency.  Also if your phone has a camera that is a bonus because you want to have something to take pictures of the frogs. You can also use your camera to upload observations to herpmapper and or inaturalist.  You want to bring a bag along to fill with some of the stuff I’m gonna say. Make sure to bring a water bottle filled with water so you don’t get dehydrated. Snacks are also good to bring, such as granola bars. You may want to bring some type of net if you aren’t quick enough with your hands or you want to catch some tadpoles. Bringing a notebook and a pen or pencil to take notes is also recommended. I know people who bring pepper spray and or knives in case of stranger danger. If it’s night and you hate mosquitoes, you can bring one of those head mosquito nets. You should also bring a flashlight or a headlight if it’s nighttime. That’s all I can think of right now, if you think of anything, just comment on the article.

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Frog or Toad

Answer to Frog or Toad 10/17/17

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It’s that time again! This answer to this week’s frog or toad is…. FROG. It is the Túngara frog (Engystomops pustulosus) from the family Leptodactylidae.

Now onto how to tell it’s a frog? Though it does have dry, kinda warty skin, the body shape isn’t totally toad like. The back legs, though they are kinda hard to see, are long and not made for digging. Also the front toes aren’t normal for a toad.

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Cryptobranchidae – Giant Salamanders


Genera: 2 – Cryptobranchus (1) and Andrias (2)
Species: 3

Cryptobranchidae is named the Giant Salamander family because it contains the three largest living salamanders. All three of the species are in danger of becoming extinct. These salamanders have gill slits which is unique but they still also have lungs. They also don’t have eye lids.

The genus Cryptobranchus only has one species, the Hellbender (Cryptobranchus alleganiensis). The Hellbender is found in the Eastern United States. It’s the largest salamander in North America.

The genus Andrias contains two species, the Chinese Giant Salamander (Andrias davidianus) and the Japanese Giant Salamander (Andrias japonicus). The Chinese Giant Salamander is the largest salamander in the world while the Japanese Giant Salamander is the second largest.

Photos from Antti T. Nissinen, J. Patrick Fischer, and Brian Gratwicke

Frog or Toad

Frog or Toad 10/17/17

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Is this a frog or a toad? The answer will be revealed tomorrow (10/18) at 7 pm central time!

Herper of the week

Herper of the Week: Mark D Scherz

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The Herper of the Week is Mark D Scherz, a Ph.D student from  Zoologische Staatssammlung München (ZSM), Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, and Technische Universität Braunschweig. His Ph.D research is on reptiles and amphibians of Madagascar.

Mark has described many new species of herps from Madagascar including chameleons, frogs, and geckos. Besides just finding new species, he is an excellent taxonomist.

His website can be found here.  His twitter handle is @MarkScherz. His tumblr is 

Frog of the Week

Barking Tree Frog (Craugastor augusti)

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Photo by Sean Michael Rovito

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Common Name: Barking Tree Frog
Scientific NameCraugastor augusti
Family: Craugastoridae
Country Location: United States and Mexico
State Location: Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas
Size: 1.9 – 3.7 inches or 47 – 94 mm

The Barking Tree Frog isn’t a regular tree frog that most people are used to. It doesn’t belong to the family Hylidae, it belongs to Craugastroidae. All the members of the family Craugastroidae are direct developing which means that when they hatch, they are already froglets.

The Barking Tree Frog has three subspecies: Common Barking Tree Frog (Craugastor augusti augusti), Western Barking Tree Frog (Craugastor augusti cactorum), and Eastern Barking Frog (Craugastor augusti latrans).

The frog is named after it’s call that sounds like a barking sound. The species epithet – augusti , is named after Auguste Duméril, a zoologist.

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Sirenidae

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Northern Dwarf Siren – USGS

Genera: Pseudobranchus (2) and Siren (2)
Species: 4 – Lesser Siren (Siren intermedia), Greater Siren (Siren lacertina), Southern Dwarf Siren (Pseudobranchus axanthus), and Northern Dwarf Siren (Pseudobranchus striatus)

Sirenidae is a small family of amphibians that is found in the Southern United States and Mexico. The family is split into two living genera – Dwarf Sirens (Pseduobranchus) and Siren. There are other genera in the fossil record.

The main characteristic of the family is lack of hind legs. They also have long, eel-like bodies with gills. They eat both plants and animals.

Dwarf Sirens (Pseudobranchus)differ from Sirens on how many toes they have on each foot. Dwarf Sirens (Pseudobranchus) have three toes on each foot than four on each foot such as Siren.

New Species

New Species of Scinax Tree Frog from Brazil

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A new species of tree frog was discovered in the Amazon Rain forest of Brazil. The researchers, Miquéias Ferrão, Jiří Moravec, Rafael de Fraga, Alexandre Pinheiro de Almeida, Igor Luis Kaefer, and Albertina Pimentel Lima, who helped describe the species named it the Jaguar Snouted Treefrog (Scinax oncabecause of it’s similar coloration to jaguars and that the researchers encountered many jaguars during the field work.

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The frog was placed in the genus Scinax – the Snouted Tree frogs from the family Hylidae because of similar morphology as other members. The genus Scinax is found from Mexico all the way down to Argentina and has over 100 species in it. 

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There’s not enough information to determine the frog’s population levels so it can’t be classified. The construction of the Trans-Amazonian highway BR-319 threatens the frogs though.

Paper can be found here – https://zookeys.pensoft.net/article/14691/list/1/