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.

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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.

turtle tuesday

Turtle Trouble

Everyone loves turtles with their cute little shells but did you know that many turtles are in serious trouble? There are 243 living species of turtles and 154 of them are listed by the IUCN as vulnerable or worse. That’s 63% of them that are close to becoming extinct. Why are turtle populations in troubles? There are many plenty of reasons including habitat destruction, climate change, pollution, and harvesting for consumption, pet trade, and medicine.

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.

Other Amphibian of the Week

California Tiger Salamander (Ambystoma californiense)

California_Tiger_Salamander.jpg
photo by John Cleckler

vulnerable
Common Name: California Tiger Salamander
Scientific Name: Ambystoma californiense
Family: Ambystomatidae
Location: United States – California
Size: 8 inches

 

The California Tiger Salamander is a federally listed endangered species and a federally listed threatened species. The salamanders in  Sonoma County and Santa Barbara are endangered while the salamanders in Central Valley are listed as threatened. They are listed mainly because the habitats they call home have been destroyed to make room for farm land and cities. Other threats are invasive American Bullfrogs are known to eat the California Tiger Salamander and mosquitofish, which are used to manager mosquito levels, also eat them.

 

Other Amphibian of the Week

Iberian Ribbed Newt (Pleurodeles waltl)

1280px-Pleurodeles_waltl_BUD
photo by wikiuser Pengo

nearthreatened
Common Name: Iberian Ribbed Newt, Spanish Ribbed Newt
Scientific Name: Pleurodeles waltl
Family: Salamandridae
Location: Morocco, Portugal, and Spain
Size: 1 foot

The Iberian Ribbed Newt is a fascinating species of newt. They have the ability to puncture their ribs out of their sides to protect themselves with little damage to themselves. They are able to survive this damage because of their regenerative abilities.  They can also regrow limbs. The Iberian Ribbed Newt has also been to space at least six times. Apparently, they make a good model organism, especially in space.

Frog of the Week

Pickeral Frog (Lithobates palustris)

Pickeral_Frog
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

Tiger-striped Leaf Frog (Phyllomedusa tomopterna)

Phyllomedusa tomopterna,Makifrosch, Tiger-striped leaf frog
photo by  Frank Teigler

leastconcern
Common Name: Tiger-striped Leaf Frog
Scientific Name: Phyllomedusa tomopterna
Family: Hylidae
Location: Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Peru, Suriname, and Venezuela
Size: 2.3 inches or 60 mm

The Tiger-striped Leaf Frog is a beautiful frog found in the Amazon Rain Forest. These frogs are arboreal (living in trees) and nocturnal (active during the night). Since they live in trees, they also reproduce in the trees and lay their eggs on leaves hanging over pools of water. Once the eggs hatch, the tadpoles drop into the water where they stay until they fully complete their metamorphosis.

Other Amphibian of the Week

Blue Spotted Salamander (Ambystoma laterale)

6420
photo by Henk Wallays

leastconcern
Common Name: Blue Spotted Salamander
Scientific Name: Ambystoma laterale
Family: Ambystomatidae
Location: Canada and USA
US Location: Connecticut, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Vermont,and Wisconsin
Size: 5 inches

The Blue Spotted Salamander is a beautiful salamander that is found in the Southeastern Canada and Northeastern United States of America. It is a member of the family Ambystomatidae which is known as the Mole Salamanders. They received this nickname due to the fact that they spend most of their life in burrows in the ground. The Blue Spotted Salamander does come out of these burrows in the spring when it is time to mate. They migrate to ponds to breed where they can lay as many as 200 eggs. It takes around a month for the eggs to hatch and then it takes the rest of the summer for them to finalize their metamorphism. Then they head onto land, only to return back to a pond in a few years to breed.