Other Wildlife – Amphibians
Fishes, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals are all vertebrates, animals that have a backbone. The “warm-blooded” vertebrates (birds and mammals) regulate their body temperatures internally. The “cold-blooded” fishes, amphibians and reptiles have little internal control of body temperature, but rather rely heavily on behavior to avoid temperature extremes.
Local amphibians include salamanders, toads and frogs. All possess moist, glandular skin and clawless toes. The development of amphibians from egg includes an aquatic larval stage followed by a change in form (metamorphosis) to adult. Because of the aquatic larval stage and moist skin, amphibians are generally found close to water.
This robust frog is the largest frog species in North America. Its color varies from green to dark gray or brown. It is usually observed sitting motionless at the edge of the water, sometimes holding down a territory. Its diet ranges from insects and crayfish to small frogs, mammals, and occasionally birds. When startled, young bullfrogs commonly squeal as they dive into water. Call: A deep, “jug-o-rum”
Smaller in size than the bullfrog, the average size ofa bronze frog is 2 to 3.5 inches. The call of the bronze frog is a single abrupt call that approximates the sound of a badly tuned banjo. Primarily nocturnal and solitary, this frog is not especially alarmed when approached.
|Southern Leopard Frog
This frog is about half the size of a bullfrog with a more pointed head. Color varies from green to golden brown in a pattern consisting of spots and conspicuous back ridges. Leopard frogs may forage well away from water, but must return to lay eggs. Call: A series of laughing-like notes interspersed with short trills.
|Eastern Narrowmouth Toad
Summer rains often bring out the harsh breeding calls of the Eastern Narrowmouth Toad. They sing a loud, sheep-like bleat from the edges of small ponds and ditches. These calls are made by the males in their attempts to attract mates.
The Gray Treefrog spends much of its time in trees hunting insects and spiders. Its gray and white patterning helps it blend in with lichens which grow on trunks of trees.
Call: A high-pitched musical trill heard during breeding seasons of spring and early summer.
Treefrogs have long toes ending in disc-like pads that permit them to climb and cling to almost any surface. The Green Treefrog is about 2 inches long. Sometimes called a “rain frog” because it seems to call especially after a rain, often forming breeding choruses. The call can be described as duck-like. This nocturnal frog spends the majority of its time in trees or shrubs, bleeding in well on leaves.
|Gulf Coast Toad
These 2-5 inch yellowish brown to black amphibians have a broad, dark lateral stripe bordered above by a lighter stripe. They also have a third light stripe beginning on the head and running down the middle of the back. They are most active at twilight and have a wooden rattle-like call.
Other Amphibians include:
- Western Lesser Siren
- Northern Spring Peeper
- Squirrel Treefrog
- Rio Grande Chirping Frog