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.

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Frog of the Week

Anaimalai Flying Frog (Rhacophorus pseudomalabaricus)

Rhacophorus pseudomalabaricus
photo by Kalyan Varma

CR
Common Name: Anaimalai Flying Frog, Anaimalai Gliding Frog, False Malabar Gliding Frog, False Malabar Tree Frog, and the Parachuting Frog
Scientific Name: Rhacophorus pseudomalabaricus
Family: Rhacophoridae – Asian Tree Frogs
Location: India
Size: 2.6 inches (66 mm) maximum size for females, 2 inches (50.5 mm) maximum for males

The Anaimalai Flying Frog is found in the states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala in Western Ghats of India in the tropical evergreen forests. As an semi arboreal species of frog, the Anaimalai Flying Frog is found in the lower canopy and under story levels of the forests. They do however come to the ground floor often and are often mushed by cars. The Anaimalai Flying Frogs is called a flying frog because they are able to glide from tree to tree thanks to their large webbed hands.

Mating

Mating for the frogs happens from June to October after the monsoon season. The female frogs create foam nests during breeding from mixing excretions with their hind legs. These nests help protect their eggs from drying out. After the mating, the females cover the nests with leaves, grass, or other vegetation to disguise them. The foam nests can be found from the ground floor of the forests up to 9 meters up and are found near or above streams or other water source.

Conservation Status

The Anaimalai Flying Frog was listed as a Critically Endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The main threat to the frog is habitat loss due to clearing of land for plantations and timber harvesting. Also locals kill the frog because they believe it is a bad omen. Plantation owners believe that the frogs eat their fruit crop – the cardamom, so they offer rewards for killing the frog. It seems the locals need to be educated about the frog since they are carnivorous, not fruit eaters.

Frog of the Week

Fiji Ground Frog (Cornufer vitianus)

A reddish Fiji Ground Frog next to a ruler
photo by Tamara Osborne

Conservation status is Endangered
Common Name: Fiji Ground Frog, Viti Wrinkled Ground Frog
Scientific Name: Cornufer vitianus
Family: Ceratobatrachidae
Location: Fiji
Size: 2.3 inches

The Fiji Ground Frog is found only on the islands of Fiji. It is found on the four larger islands (Taveuni, Vanua Levu, Ovalau, and Gau) and on the smaller island of Viwa. Sadly, the frog hasn’t been doing to well. The islands of Fiji have been hit hard by invasive species. The Javan Mongoose / Small Indian Mongoose (Herpestes javanicus) and the Brown Indian Mongoose (Herpestes fuscus) have been introduced to the island and have found that the Fiji Ground Frog is delicious. These mongooses have wiped out the frog from other islands of Fiji. Other invasive species such as cats and Cane Toads also aren’t helping. Neither is deforestation of their habitat.

small-asian-mongoose
Small Indian Mongoose – photo by Chung Bill Bill
Frog of the Week

Boreal Chorus Frog (Pseudacris maculata)

Boreal Chorus Frog
photo by Todd Pierson

leastconcern
Common Name: Boreal Chorus Frog
Scientific Name: Pseudacris maculata
Family: Hylidae
Locations: Canada and the United States
US Locations: Arizona, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Idaho, Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, Michigan, Nebraska, Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, Utah, Oklahoma, New Mexico, New York, Vermont, Wyoming, and Wisconsin
Size: around an inch

The Boreal Chorus Frog is found throughout the central United States and Canada. They are also found around the US / Canada border near New York and Vermont. The frog is gray, tan, brown, or green in color and has 3 dark black lines down its back that can be broken.  Also, they have a stripe through its eye. During early spring, the frogs breed  right after the snow melts. While the Boreal Chorus Frog is a tree frog, they are not strong climbers and rarely climb higher than branches on low scrubs.

conservation

Romeo, the Sehuencas Water Frog, finds his Juliet

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photo by Robin Moore

Have you heard of Romeo, the world’s loneliest frog? Romeo is a Sehuencas Water Frog (Telmatobius yuracare), an aquatic frog species only found in Bolivia,and was thought to be the last of his species. He has been alone in the Museo de Historia Natural Alcide d’Orbigny in Bolivia for 10 years. Romeo’s home habitat has been lost and damaged due to agriculture and logging. Water pollution, Chytrid fungus, a deadly disease for frogs, and invasive trouts all don’t help the frogs either. The future is not looking great for the Sehuencas Water Frogs.

Scientists with the help of  the Global Wildlife Conservation and the Museo de Historia Natural Alcide d’Orbigny, set up a Match.com profile page for Romeo to help raise funds to find him a lover. On Tuesday, Teresa Camacho Badani, the chief Herpetology of the Museum, announced that they have found Romeo his Juliet. Besides just finding a Juliet, they found four other frogs, including another female. The new frogs are currently in quarantine so that they get used to their new habitat and to insure that they are disease free. They plan to introduce Romeo and Juliet on Valentine’s Day and hopefully, they will start breeding. The scientists hope to help re-establish populations of the Sehuencas Water Frog with a captive breeding program.

Frog of the Week

Cuban Tree Frog (Osteopilus septentrionalis)

osteopilus_septentrionalis_6
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

Southern Leopard Frog (Lithobates sphenocephalus)

Southern_Leopard_Frog,_Missouri_Ozarks
photo by Bob Warrick

leastconcern
Common Name: Southern Leopard Frog
Scientific Name: Lithobates / Rana sphenocephalus
Family: Ranidae
Location: United States – Alabama, Arkansas, District of Columbia, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia
Size: 5 inches

The Southern Leopard Frog is named after its large spots on its body. They live near shallow, freshwater habitats such as ponds, lakes, and ditches. In the northern part of their range, breeding takes place during the start of spring .While in the southern part, it can happen any month following rains but there are two generally large breeding events during the fall and winter.

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

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.