Frog of the Week

Maud Island Frog (Leiopelma pakeka)

Maud_Island_frog_DOC
photo by D. Garrick

vulnerable

Common Name: Maud Island Frog
Scientific Name: Leiopelma pakeka
Family: Leiopelmatidae
Location: New Zealand
Size: 1.8 inches

The Maud Island Frog is an ancient frog found only in New Zealand, on Maud Island and Motuara Island. These frogs have a long lifespan, averaging 33 years. Scientists aren’t even sure that the Maud Island Frog is a distinct species of frog. When the species was orginally discovered, it was thought to be a subspecies of the Hamilton’s Frog (Leiopelma hamiltoni) until researchers looked at the muscle proteins of the frogs and determined that they were different enough to be two different species. However, new genetic tests showed that there isn’t much difference between the two. Who knows if it will stay as a species.

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Frog of the Week

Bhupathy’s Purple Frog (Nasikabatrachus bhupathi)

photo by Jeegath Janani

Common Name: Bhupathy’s Purple Frog
Scientific Name: Nasikabatrachus bhupathi
Family: Nasikabatrachidae
Location: India
Size: 2 inches

There used to be just one species of Purple Frog until genetic tests showed there was another species: the Bhupathy’s Purple Frog. Some of the other differences between the two species are their calls and breeding seasons. Bhupathy’s Purple Frog breeds during the northeast monsoon while the Purple Frog breeds during the southwest monsoon.

The Bhupathy’s Purple Frog spends their life underground. They rarely come to the surface and its generally only to mate. The conservation status of the frog has not be accessed but the regular Purple Frog is listed as Endangered so its likely the Bhupathy’s Purple Frog isn’t doing well either. The frog is named after Dr. Bhupathy Subramaniam, a famous herpetologist who died accidentally from a fall.

Frog of the Week

Gopher Frog (Lithobates capito)

photo by Kevin Enge

nearthreatened
Common Name: Gopher Frog
Scientific Name: Lithobates capito
Family: Ranidae
Location: USA – Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee (extremely rare)
Size: 2.5 – 3.75 inches

The Gopher Frog gets it name from the fact that they live in Gopher Tortoise’s (Gopherus polyphemus) burrows. Sadly, both the Gopher Frog and the Gopher Tortoise aren’t doing so hot. The habitat that these buddies used to live in was destroyed to make room for development. Fire suppression is another cause of the Gopher Tortoise and Frog decline. The tortoise enjoys wiregrass and herbaceous vegetative covers which gets decreased when invading hardwoods take over due to the fire suppression. It also changes the the quality of the temporary breeding pools that Gopher Frogs use.

The Gopher Frog has two subspecies – the Carolina Gopher Frog (Rana capito capito) and the Florida Gopher Frog (Rana capito aesopus).  The Florida Gopher Frog is darker in color, ranging from grey to brown while the Carolina Gopher Frog is lighter, varying from white, brown, and yellow.

Frog of the Week

Pine Barrens Tree Frog (Hyla andersonii)

photo by R. Tuck of the USFWS

nearthreatened

Common Name: Pine Barrens Tree Frog
Scientific Name: Hyla andersonii
Family: Hylidae – Tree Frog family
Location: United States – Alabama, Florida, North Carolina, New Jersey, and South Carolina
Size: 1.5 to 2 inches

The Pine Barrens Tree Frog is a rare tree frog from eastern United States. There are only three areas that they are found, the Pine Barrens of New Jersey, the Sandhills of the Carolinas, the Florida Panhandle into southern Alabama. They are listed as an endangered species in New Jersey, while listed as significantly rare in North Carolina, and threatened in South Carolina and Alabama. In Florida, their status is rare. One cool thing about the Pine Barrens Tree Frog is they actually like to lay their eggs in more acidic ponds ranging from 3.8 to 5.9 pH.

Frog of the Week

Edible Bullfrog (Pyxicephalus edulis)

edulbis
photo by Bernard DUPONT

leastconcern
Common Name: Edible Bullfrog, Lesser Bullfrog, Peter’s Bullfrog
Scientific Name: Pyxicephalus edulis
Family: Pyxicephalidae
Location: Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Chad, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Nigeria, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe
Size: 3 – 4.75 inches

The Edible Bullfrog is often confused with the African Bullfrog (Pyxicephalus adspersus) because they look very similar. They are closely related but the African Bullfrog can grow much larger. The exact range of the Edible Bullfrog is not known because of the confusion. The males of the Edible Bullfrog actually grow larger than the females, which is rare for frogs. The males use their size to protect their breeding territory from other males and to also protect their offspring from predators such as herons, stork, and egrets.

 

Frog of the Week

Lake Oku Clawed Frog (Xenopus longipes)

lakeoku.jpg
photo by Václav Gvoždík

CR
Common Name: Lake Oku Clawed Frog
Scientific Name: Xenopus longipes
Family: Pipidae
Location: Cameroon
Size: 1.4 inches

The Lake Oku Clawed Frog is a mostly aquatic frog found in Lake Oku in northwestern Cameroon. There was no native fish in the lake, making it a perfect spot for the frogs to live but humans have introduced fish to the lake. These fish predate on the frogs and their tadpoles, causing population declines. Several zoos have started breeding them to make captive assurance colonies.

Frog of the Week

Sheep Frog (Hypopachus variolosus)


leastconcern
Common Name: Sheep Frog, Mexican Narrow Mouthed Toad
Scientific Name: Hypopachus variolosus
Family: Microhylidae
Location: Belize, Costa Rica, Mexico,Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and the United States
US Location: Texas
Size: 2 inches

The Sheep Frog may not have any wool but it’s mating call sounds exactly like a sheep. You will probably only see the frog during breeding time because they generally live in burrows or under logs and debris. They move to ponds to breed to after heavy rain. The Sheep Frog is listed as a threatened by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department so they are protected from collection.

Frog of the Week

Fowler’s Toad (Anaxyrus fowleri)

FowlersToad.JPG
photo by Jimpaz

leastconcern
Common Name: Fowler’s Toad
Scientific Name: Anaxyrus fowleri
Family: Bufonidae
Location: Canada and the United States
US Location: Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Vermont, West Virginia
Size: 3.75 inches

The Fowler’s Toad is named in honor after naturalist Samuel Page Fowler, who formed the Essex County Natural History Society, which became the Essex Institute and merged Peabody Museum of Salem to form the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts. The Fowler’s Toad is found mostly in the eastern United States and barely in southern Canada. They breed during summer, from June to August, and the farther south they are, the later they breed. They can lay between 2000 to 10000 eggs in a clutch.

Frog of the Week

Cranwell’s Horned Frog (Ceratophrys cranwelli)


leastconcern
Common Name: Cranwell’s Horned Frog, Chacoan Horned Frog
Scientific Name: Ceratophrys cranwelli
Family: Ceratophryidae
Location: Argentina, Bolivia, Paraguay, and Brazil
Size: 5 inches

The Cranwell’s Horned Frog is a common frog in the pet trade. They have been bred to be a variety of colors but are naturally dark green and brown. They are often referred to as a Pacman Frog because of its resemblance to the video game character. They are sit and wait predators, where they will sit in one spot for hours until something moves in front of them and they snap up and eat it. They eat pretty much any animal that they can fit in their mouths.

Frog of the Week

Greenhouse Frog (Eleutherodactylus planirostris)

photo by Pierre Fidenci

leastconcern

Common Name: Greenhouse Frog
Scientific Name: Eleutherodactylus planirostris
Family:  Eleutherodactylidae
Location: Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Cuba, and Turks and Caicos Islands
Introduced Locations: Guam, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Panama, and the United States (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, and Louisiana)
Size: 1.2 inches

The Greenhouse Frog has spread all around the world thanks to the plant trade. The tiny frogs hide in plants that are then shipped to different countries. They are often then found in greenhouses, hence their name. The Greenhouse Frog is a totally terrestrial frog. Even when they mate, they lay their eggs on land and the eggs hatch on land. Small froglets emerge from the eggs instead of tadpoles.