The Frog Blog
I’m going to cheat a little here. I know I said for Species of the Week that I would choose a new species and learn to identify it, but I got such a great picture, I couldn’t resist. “How is this cheating?” you may ask. I did my Master’s thesis in Environmental Studies on this particular species (Northern Leopard Frog: Rana pipiens).
But, to keep things interesting, I will bring you this edition of “Species of the Week” in the form of a song (feel free to sing along):
“ONE GREEN AND SPECKLED FROG…”
Northern Leopard Frogs (Rana pipiens) are medium sized (5-9 cm), green or brown and have dark spots with lighter edges. They have prominent ridges along their backs. While there are other species of leopard frogs, NLFs are the only ones found in Canada.
“…SAT ON A SPECKLED LOG…”
Northern Leopard Frogs can be found in a wide variety of habitats. You can find them in prairies, woodlands and swamps.
“…EATING SOME MOST DELICIOUS BUGS.”
Northern Leopard Frogs eat mostly invertebrates, like spiders and insects, but also smaller frogs, snails and a variety of larvae.
You can hear their call here: http://www.torontozoo.com/adoptapond/audio/leopardfrog.wav (You can also hear spring peepers in the background, but the leopard frog makes the louder croak.) Some have likened the sound to rubbing a wet finger on an inflated balloon.
“ONE JUMPED INTO THE POOL…”
Northern Leopard Frogs breed in ponds in mid-spring. Females lay “globs” of a few thousand eggs each, which attach themselves to submerged vegetation.
“WHERE IT WAS NICE AND COOL…”
While summers can be spent far from water, Northern Leopard Frogs hibernate through the winter in mud at the bottom of bodies of water that don’t freeze all the way through.
“NOW THERE ARE NO GREEN SPECKLED FROGS.”
Frogs are good indicator species for habitat health, as they are sensitive to contamination and habitat changes. They may also be affected by climate change and a variety of diseases. Currently, they are still widespread in Ontario, but have been seriously declining in Western Canada. In B.C., they are listed as endangered.
One thing I learned from my research: Northern Leopard Frogs are very hard to catch, and my frog catching skills are definitely sub-par. My son is already doing better than I did.
Posted on August 7, 2014, in Species of the week, Uncategorized and tagged endangered frogs, frogs, northern leopard frogs, one green and speckled frog, rana pipiens, species of the week. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.