Frog of the Week

Pickeral Frog (Lithobates palustris)

photo by  Brian Gratwicke

Common Name: Pickeral Frog
Scientific Name: Lithobates palustris
Family: Ranidae
Location: United States and Canada
US Locations: Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Delaware, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Vermont, Wisconsin, and West Virginia
Size: 3.5 inches

The Pickeral Frog is found throughout the eastern United States and part of southeastern Canada. They resemble the leopard frogs but the Pickeral Frogs have rectangular spots on their back. The Pickeral Frog is a semi-aquatic species of frog and is found near the edges of streams, lakes, and ponds. In the northern part of their range where it snows, they survive by laying in the bottom of ponds, streams, and pools.

Frog of the Week

European Fire Bellied Toad (Bombina bombina)

Image by  Marek Szczepanek

Common Name: European Fire Bellied Toad
Scientific Name: Bombina bombina
Family: Bombinatoridae
Location: Central Europe, Eastern Europe, and Western Asia
Size: 2.3 inches or 60 mm

The European Fire Bellied Toad is a poisonous species of toad. It creates toxins that many animals do not want to eat. To show off they are poisonous to predators, the toad performs the unkenreflex. The toad turns over and arches its stomach at the predator.

yellow bellied toad performing the unkenreflex by Woluhar

The European Fire Bellied Toad has a large range stretching from Germany to Russia and down to Turkey and Greece. In the western parts of the range, the toad is disappearing. The destruction of wetlands that they call home is the cause.

Frog of the Week, Uncategorized

Plains Spadefoot Toad (Spea bombifrons)

photo by John P Clare

Common Name: Plains Spadefoot Toad
Scientific Name: Spea bombifrons
Family: Scaphiopodidae
Locations: Canada, Mexico, United States
US Locations: Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming
Size: around 2.5 inches

The Plains Spadefoot Toad is a secretive toad. It spends most of its time underground only to come up to breed or to feed. They are also nocturnal so its even less likely that you will see them. The Plains Spadefoot Toad is a great burrower because of keratonized sheaths called spades on its rear feet. These help them dig easier. To escape freezing during winter, they even dig below the frost line to survive.

Frog of the Week

Ornate Chorus Frog (Pseudacris ornata)

photo by USGS

Common Name: Ornate Chorus Frog
Scientific Name: Pseudacris ornata
Family: Hylidae
Location: Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Louisiana.
Size: 1.5 inches or 36 mm

The Ornate Chorus Frog are small colorful frogs found in the southeastern United States. They can vary in color from gray, green, and reddish brown. They can breed from November to March, depending on rains and temperature, in temporary bodies of water. The Ornate Chorus Frog has a short lifespan, they generally only survive two breeding seasons.

Frog of the Week

Strawberry Poison Dart Frog (Oophaga pumilio)

photo by Marshal Hedin

Common Name: Strawberry Poison Dart Frog
Scientific Name: Oophaga pumilio
Family: Dendrobatidae
Location: Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Panama
Size: 1 inch

The Strawberry Poison Dart Frog is a colorful frog found in Central America. Because of its beautiful colors, the frog is often found in the pet trade. The bright colors of their skin is a sign to predators that they are toxic and should not be eaten. The Strawberry Poison Dart Frog accumulates its poison from its natural diet, so captive bred individuals are not poisonous. Females are also prefer to mate with brighter colored males. Both males and female Strawberry Poison Dart Frogs perform parental care. Males protect the egg clutches and keep them moist while the females carry the tadpoles after they hatch from the ground to water filled axils of bromeliads. The females also lay unfertilized eggs for the tadpoles to eat.

Frog of the Week

Blue Legged Mantella (Mantella expectata)

photo by Franco Andreone

Common Name: Blue Legged Mantella, Expected Mantella, Tular Mantella
Scientific Name: Mantella expectata
Family: Mantellidae
Location: Madagascar
Size: 1 inch

The Blue Legged Mantella is found in the southern part of Madagascar in seasonal streams and wet canyons. The main threat to the frogs is the destruction of their habitat for grazing of cattle. Sapphire mining is also a threat in some areas. The Blue Legged Mantella is also found in the pet trade but people have had success breeding them in captivity.

Frog of the Week

Sunset Frog (Spicospina flammocaerulea)

photo by Geordie Torr

Common Name: Sunset Frog
Scientific Name: Spicospina flammocaerulea
Family: Myobatrachidae
Location: Australia
Size: 1.5 inches

The Sunset Frog is the only known member of the genus Spicospina. The frog was only described by science in 1997. It has an incredibly small range in southwestern Australia. They are found in peat swamps in high rain areas. The Sunset Frog breeds between October and January.  Males call from shallow pools and water-filled hollows to attract the females. The female lays around 80 eggs after reproduction.

Frog of the Week

Houston Toad (Anaxyrus houstonensis)

photo by Dr Robert Thomas

Common Name: Houston Toad
Scientific Name: Anaxyrus houstonensis
Family: Bufonidae
Location: Texas
Maximum Size: 3 inches for females, 2.5 inches for males

The Houston Toad is federally listed as an endangered species by the US government. It is only found between Houston and Austin areas in Texas. The development of these large cities are one of the reason why the toad is endangered. The Houston Toad are not the best burrowers in the toad world so they stick to sandy soils which are easier for them to burrow in. The toad breeds during late winter to early spring through the start of summer.


Frog of the Week

Chubby Frog (Kaloula pulchra)

photo by Firereptiles

Common Name: Chubby Frog, Banded Bullfrog, Asian Painted Frog
Scientific Name: Kaloula pulchra
Family: Microhylidae
Location: Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam
Size: 3 inches

The Chubby Frog is a common frog in the pet trade. They are a hardy species which makes them easy to take care of for beginners. They are nocturnal though so don’t expect that much movement from them during the day. They also enjoy burrowing into the substrate of their enclosures. They can produce a sticky secretion when they are threatened. It is not poisonous but doesn’t taste great. The Chubby Frog has been introduced to other countries and have maintained stable populations.

Frog of the Week

Mallorcan Midwife Toad (Alytes muletensis)

photo by tuurio and wallie

Common Name: Mallorcan Midwife Toad
Scientific Name: Alytes muletensis
Family: Alytidae
Location: Spain
Size: 1.5 inches or 38 mm

The Mallorcan Midwife Toad is only found on the island of Mallorca in Spain. Interestingly, the toad was originally discovered from a fossil and then after two years, the first living ones were found. Like other Midwife Toads, the male toads carry around their eggs until they hatch. It is how they got their name. Chytrid Fungus and Invasive animals that have been brought to the island from the mainland has devastated the populations of the Mallorcan Midwife Toad. The future doesn’t look great for these toads.