Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Frogs At The Pool

A year or so ago, W and J dug a pool on the ledge above the creek to provide still water for frogs to breed. This has been quite successful. We know that Southeastern Chorus frogs (Uplands Chorus frog; Pseudacris feriarum), Southern Leopard frogs (Rana sphenocephala), and Cope’s Gray Treefrogs (Hyla chrysoscelis) have bred in this pool.

Normally the pool looks like this. The water level is even lower in the middle of summer.

But after 3 inches of rain, it looks like this.

Normally the frogs that gather near the pool jump into the water or into the undergrowth out of sight and I haven’t been able to get any photos.

Southern Leopard Frog (Rana sphenocephala)

I don’t know whether this young Southern Leopard frog was waterlogged and not thinking straight or whether it simply thought that since it was under cover it couldn’t been seen. Wrong! Admittedly I didn’t get a photo of it when it was in the open but I did get photographic proof that it was a Southern Leopard frog.

Southern Cricket Frog (Acris gryllus)

I was quite surprised to happen upon this Southern Cricket frog (
Acris gryllus) that posed for this photo. It is usually quite difficult to get close to a cricket frog but this one allowed me to get a macro shot. Cricket frogs don’t breed at this pool but in shallow water further along the creek so it was a surprise to encounter it here. It is a handsome specimen.

It is interesting that Walton County is not included in the range for the Southern Cricket frog. We should only encounter the Northern Cricket frog (
Acris crepitans) here. However, thanks to John Jensen at the Georgia Department of Natural Resources for confirming this identification.

Identification resources:
- Frogs and Toads of Georgia: Southern Leopard Frog (
Rana sphenocephala)
- Frogs and Toads of Georgia: Southern Cricket Frog (
Acris gryllus)
- Personal communication: John J Jensen, Georgia Department of Natural Resouces

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