Uncategorized

Cope’s Gray Tree Frog (Hyla chrysoscelis)

GrayTreeFrog
least concern
Common Name: Cope’s Gray Tree Frog
Scientific Name: Hyla chrysoscelis
Family: Hylidae
Locations: United States and Canada
US Locations: Alabama, Arkansas, Washington D.C., Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, Nebraska, New Jersey, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Wisconsin, and West Virginia
Size: 2 inches

The Cope’s Gray Tree Frog is almost identical to the Eastern Gray Tree Frog (Hyla versicolor) besides their calls and chromosome count. The Cope’s Gray Tree Frog is diploid while the Eastern Gray Tree Frog is tetraploid.

The frog is named after Edward Drinker Cope, the man who first described the frog to western science. Edward Drinker Cope described a lot of different species, over a thousand living and dead species. While the frog is named the Gray Tree Frog, it can also be green in color.

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Frog of the Week

Crawfish Frog (Lithobates areolatus)

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photo by Todd Pierson

nearthreatened
Common Name: Crawfish Frog
Scientific Name: Lithobates areolatus
Family: Ranidae – True Frogs
Locations: United States – Alabama, Arkansas, Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Texas
Size: 4.4 inches (113 mm) long for females, 4.1 inches (105 mm) long for males

The Crawfish Frog is named after the fact that they live in the holes of crawfish. They use the holes for protection from predators. In the northern part of their range, they use them to get below the frost line to prevent them from freezing to death.

Breeding occurs from January to May following rain fall. In the northern parts of their range, they breed later from late February to May while frogs in the southern parts of their range breed from January to April. After the rains fall and temporary ponds of water are formed by the rain, the male Crawfish Frogs migrate to these ponds and start calling. Female frogs follow shortly after. Crawfish Frogs are explosive breeders with most of the mating happening right away at the start of the season.

One noticeable characteristic of the male Crawfish Frog is their lateral vocal sacs which is not often seen in frogs in the US.

There are two sub species of the Crawfish Frog, the Northern (Lithobates a. circulosa) and Southern (Lithobates a. areolata).

Frog of the Week

Lowland Burrowing Tree Frog (Smilisca fodiens)

photo by Rafael Alejandro Calzada-Arciniega

least concern
Common Name: Lowland Burrowing Tree Frog, Northern Casquehead Frog,
Scientific Name: Smilisca fodiens
Family: Hylidae – Tree Frog family
Locations: Mexico and the United States
US Location: Arizona
Size: 2.5 inches

The Lowland Burrowing Tree Frog is not your typical tree frog, it doesn’t live in the trees, it lives in burrows. It lives in the desert so the they need to keep moist. The burrows they live in are very moist. If the moisture leaves during periods of drought, the Lowland Burrowing Tree Frog can create a cocoon out of their outer skin to help keep them moist. After the rains come and the frog doesn’t need the cocoon anymore, the frog will break out and then eat the cocoon.

Frog of the Week

Granular Poison Frog (Oophaga granulifera)

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photo by Patrick Gijsbers

vulnerable
Common Name: Granular Poison Frog
Scientific Name: Oophaga granulifera
Family: Dendrobatidae – Poison Dart Frog family
Locations: Costa Rica and Panama
Size: .7 – .8 inches (18-22 mm)

The Granular Poison Frog is a diurnal (active during the day) species of frog. The males of the species are highly territorial in regards to their calling and breeding sites, even attacking other males. After breeding, the males will brood the eggs and keep them moist. After the eggs hatch, the females transport the tadpoles on their back to a water-filled plant. The females will lay unfertilized eggs for the tadpoles to feed on. The Granular Poison Frog is listed as Vulnerable by the IUCN due to habitat destruction and habitat fragmentation. Logging, agriculture, and expanding urbanization are causing this.

 

Frog of the Week

Northern Red-legged Frog (Rana aurora)

photo by Walter Siegmund

least concern
Common Name: Northern Red-legged Frog
Scientific Name: Rana aurora
Family: Ranidae
Locations: Canada and the United States
US Locations: Alaska, California, Oregon, and Washington
Size: 3.3 inches

The Northern Red-legged Frog is found along the western coast of North America. They breed from January to March depending on how far north they are located. Farther north they are, the later they breed. Egg masses from the frogs number between 300 and 5000 eggs. Eggs hatch in about a week into tadpoles. The tadpoles take 3 to 7 months to fully undergo metamorphosis. Some of the tadpoles take until the next spring to turn into frogs. Adult frogs can live up to 10 years.

Frog of the Week

Cuban Tree Frog (Osteopilus septentrionalis)

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photo by Munkel

leastconcern
Common Name: Cuban Tree Frog
Scientific Name: Osteopilus septentrionalis
Family: Hylidae – Tree Frog Family
Locations: Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Cuba
Introduced Locations: Anguilla, Costa Rica, Guadeloupe, Puerto Rico, Turks and Caicos Islands, United States (Florida, Hawaii, Louisiana, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Texas), British Virgin Islands, and US Virgin Islands.
Size: 3 to 5.5 inches

The Cuban Tree Frog is a large tree frog native to the Caribbean but has been introduced to other areas of the world such as Florida. In Florida, the Cuban Tree Frog has become a problem. Their size allows them to eat other smaller frogs and other native animals.  They also can breed year round and it takes only a couple weeks for the tadpoles to reach frog stage. They also can produce skin secretions that can irritate humans.

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Frog of the Week

Common Toad (Bufo bufo)

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Common Toad – photo from https://www.sharpphotography.co.uk/

leastconcern
Common Name: Common Toad
Scientific Name: Bufo bufo
Family: Bufonidae – True Toad Family
Location: Albania, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Russian Federation, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, and United Kingdom
Size: 6 inches

The Common Toad is found almost everywhere in Europe besides on some islands such as Iceland and Ireland. The Common Toad is kind of your standard toad. They are highly terrestrial besides during breeding season where they migrate to ponds to breed. Breeding usually takes place in spring when the toads wake up from hibernation.

Frog of the Week

Túngara Frog (Engystomops pustulosus)

photo by Brian Gratwicke

leastconcern
Common Name: Túngara Frog
Scientific Name: Engystomops pustulosus
Family: Leptodactylidae
Location: Belize, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Trinidad and Tobago,  and Venezuela
Size: 1.4 inches or 35 mm

The Túngara Frog is found throughout all of Central America down to South America. The frog is often studied because of their complex mate selection. Females don’t always select the “best” mate choice. You can read more in this article.

Túngara Frogs breed year round in whatever body of water they can find. Males call to the females while floating in these bodies of water. Once the female selects a mate, they move close to shore and make a lay their eggs in a foam nest that they make. These foam nests help protect the eggs from drying out.