Tuesday, July 13, 2010


This post was submitted to House of Herps #8 hosted at the House of Herps homebase.
Go on over to read great posts on our herp friends.

We have a man-made pool on the ledge above the creek specifically to provide a breeding pool for frogs. We know that Southern Leopard (Rana sphenocephala) and Southeastern - formerly Upland Chorus (Pseudacris feriarum) frogs - and Cope’s Gray (Hyla chrysoscelis) treefrogs have been happy(?) customers. I see the eggs and I see the tadpoles. After that I don’t see much – or only rarely. The chorus frogs and the treefrogs leave for parts unknown.

The Southern Leopard frogs stay around but they are very shy. As soon as I walk into the clearing around the pool, I see frogs hop off in all directions: into the undergrowth if they are mature frogs or back into the water – if they’re in the process of losing their tails. Even if I try and sneak into the clearing, they hop off before I get into camera-with-zoom range.

Rarely, very rarely, one makes a mistake. I sneaked into the clearing a week or so ago but, as soon as I got within about 10 feet of a frog, it would hop into the underbrush or back into the pool. I would see them frog-kick their way into the deeper water out of sight. Sigh. On this occasion, a dozen or more desperately hopped back into the water simultaneously.

One poor little fellow, already in the water, was confused by all of this furious activity, felt a need to go in the opposite direction from where it was, and hopped out of the water to land almost at my feet. Always an opportunist, I took complete and shameless advantage of it and got some photographs.

At my feet, right in the middle of the photograph.

A closer view.

A close up. It’s a ranid and although there are two spotted ranids – the Southern Leopard and the Pickerel (Rana palustris) – our consensus is that it is a Southern Leopard frog. It didn’t seem fazed to be out of the water and didn’t panic when I finally persuaded it to head back into the water.
Click on an image to view a larger image

Identification resources:

Knapp. Frogs and Toads of Georgia

- Southern Leopard Frog (Rana sphenocephala)

- Pickerel Frog (Rana palustris)

Related post:

- Frogs at the Pool


swamp4me said...

Great photos! I hardly ever get a photo at this stage of development so I think I am jealous ;)

JSK said...

Thanks. I've been trying to get these for three years and only got this one because the little guy was confused.
BTW. I'm envious of all the creatures you see/photograph on a daily basis.

Liz said...

I love to find frogs in this stage. How wonderful that you could get so close to an elusive species. That's an impressive tail.

JSK said...

Hi Liz. I was excited - I've been trying to get a photo of these for a couple of years. They're effectively invisible at a distance and they'd hop off before I got anywhere near close. Had this little guy not been confused and hopped out of the water, I'd still be hunting :-)