Posts Tagged 'amphibians'

Bufo bufo

The Common Toad of Europe, I think. Vanlig padda in Sweden, where we found these two on a path near lake Krankesjön. Sweden has 13 species of amphibians (including two vattensalamander) and six species of reptiles.Being in the land o’ Linnaeus, we kept coming across the doubled binomial: Porzana porzana, Buteo buteo, Anser anser, Ciconia ciconia, Vanellus vanellus

Massing Toads

Can you see it?Everywhere, underfoot, tiny. We were in Beaverdam Park in Gloucester Co., VA, last week. It was fiendishly humid. We kept running into these very small toads that scurried more than jumped. At first I thought the movement was some kind of beetle. But no, they were toads. Upon further research, they turned out to be Fowler’s Toads (Anaxyrus fowleri). The American Toad (A. americanus) and the Fowler’s are somewhat similar looking and overlapping in range. They can be distinguished by the number of warts in the dark spots; American have 1-2; Fowler’s have 2 or more. Some of these Beaverdam juveniles were less than 3/4ths of an inch long.Here’s a mature adult, the only such seen, about 2.5″ long. (I used a flash here in the lovely gloom of the woods, which gives a warmer color to the skin.) And one more of the wee ones.

And continuing the theme of tiny amphibians. Parked along a country road in Virginia, we heard what we thought were sheep. But the sound was coming from the puddled ditches along both sides of the road. It turns out there is an Eastern Narrow-mouthed Toad (Gastrophryne carolinensis) that sounds like a bleating sheep. They’re microhylid frogs from 1-1.5″ long and supposedly blend in very well with muck. We certainly didn’t see any, but the sound was fascinating.

Toad O’clock

American Toad (Anaxyrus americanus) spotted by an eagle-eyed five-year-old on her family’s Westchester Co. property. This was just after we had all run into two other amphibians by the side of the house:Look how this one blends in.A Wood Frog (Lithobates sylvaticus). Less than a foot away from the even smaller but more colorful:Itty-bitty Northern Leopard Frog Lithobates pipiens.

Frog Saturation

frogsA single frog can lay 20,000 eggs.img_9708The low murk of the Dell Water was full of hundreds, if not thousands, of frogs on a recent visit.img_9710Boy, are they jumpy! They know you’re coming before you know they’re there. Until you can’t ignore all the plops taking to the water. It was a little H.P. Lovecraftian, if you know what I mean.frogs1So what are these? Bullfrogs? No dorsal ridge…

Bull

Lithobates catesbeianus…Frog (Lithobates catesbeianus).

And bull! too, to the repulsive display of nativism, racism, ignorance, and unparalleled mendacity at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.

In Da Bronx

nybg1

Franklinia alatamahaFranklinia in bloom. What a scrumptious flower! And the bees agree. (All of today’s trees are descendants from seeds collected by William Bartram in the 1760s. The plant is unknown in the wild.) Sylvilagus floridanusOn the mammal front, Cottontail and Chipmunk and Gray Squirrel.IMG_3877In addition to the frog, a Garter Snake crossed our path, and a couple of the elusive Italian Fence Lizards were seen (more on these anon).IMG_3829See the exuvia? AsclepiasPurple Milkweed Asclepias purpurea. IMG_3838

Frog, Rock, Turtle

IMG_3716This downward-facing turtle was king of the hill.IMG_3724This frog wanted a piece of the action.IMG_3722And this was one determined frog.IMG_3723It made several attempts to…well, what, exactly? Dislodge the turtle? In theory, the right amount of force applied to the fulcrum here should have knocked off the much larger turtle. IMG_3736But the turtle’s steadying feet made for an impregnable bastion.IMG_3728Meanwhile, and this was somebody else’s storyline, a young House Sparrow landing on all the nearby rocks and the other basking turtles briefly landed here. The turtle seemed to pay no more heed to this than it did the kamikaze frog.IMG_3730A state of equilibrium? IMG_3719But wait. Another rock. Another turtle. Another frog.IMG_3720


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