Virtual Learning Center

Wildlife Wonders

Today is Frog Call Day!

Three questions: 

  • Can a leopard change its spots?
  • Can a fish also be a frog?
  • Can something that is called “green” be other colors?

The first is a leopard frog that is usually green or brown.  It has numerous dark, roundish spots that usually have light borders around them. But since the spot pattern and colors vary individual leopard frogs may be identified by their different colors and patterns. So the individual frogs don’t change their spots, but different ones have different spot patterns. Leopard frog calls sound like a creaking door and a dolphin or if you rubbed your hand over a balloon it makes a similar sound.

There is also a pickerel fish.  It isn’t a frog, but they have the same name.  A pickerel frog’s call sounds like a low pitched snore.  I think it sounds as if you are running your thumb over the teeth of a comb.  Color varies from light brown to gray with a brown or green cast.  A yellow or white line runs down east side of the back, parallel or alongside the “dorsolateral ridges”. Between the ridges are two parallel rows of dark brown squares with irregularly shaped or curved edges. Unlike the leopard frogs they do not have light borders around the squares.

The “green” frog, despite its name may be brown or tan.  The call is pretty easy to remember it sounds like a plucked broken banjo string or plucked tight rubber band. Pluck a rubber band and then listen to the green frog. What do you think?

On the green frog the two raised ridges of skin, “dorsolateral ridges”, begin just above each ear and run about 3/4 way down to the tail area.  Bullfrogs have no ridges, leopard and pickerel frog ridges run all the way to the tail area. Like bullfrogs the males have eardrums larger than their eyes and yellow throats. 

Listen to the frog calls and see what you think they sound like.  https://www.pwrc.usgs.gov/frogquiz/ 

Below is a chart that you can use to record your thoughts. 

List to choose from: 1) American Bullfrog, 2) American Toad, 3) Eastern Spadefoot Toad,        4) Fowler’s Toad, 5) Gray Treefrog, 6) Green Frog, 7) Northern Leopard Frog,8) Pickerel Frog, 9) Spring Peeper, 10) Wood Frog

Frog or ToadDescription of Call
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  

Resources:

https://www.pwrc.usgs.gov/frogquiz/

Stokes Guide to Amphibians and Reptiles by Thomas F. Tyning

Amphibians and Reptiles of Connecticut and Adjacent Regions by Michael W. Klemens

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