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Sightings arranged by: Taxonomy Location Date Scientific Name
Lithobates clamitans — Green Frog
The genus Lithobates was split from Rana by Frost et al in 2006. This has been a controversial change ever since, and many authorities continue to use Rana.
Dr. Peter May and I were slogging through foot-deep water on the main road into the Lake Woodruff NWR when we spotted this medium-sized frog on a partially submerged log. Believe it or not, I did use a tripod when I took this picture. What I didn't do was use a cable release or timer, and it was dark enough in the late afternoon flooded forest that the movement of my finger on the shutter release button was enough to turn this probably-decent picture of a frog into the blurry mess you see here.
For more about the wildlife of Lake Woodruff, check out Dr. May's web guide to this refuge.
I was chasing a particularly hyperactive salamander around near a creek at a picnic area on the Natchez Trace Parkway, trying to get it to sit still for a photo for just five lousy seconds, when it squirmed off under a piece of driftwood. Turning the driftwood revealed this excellent frog who, unlike that darn salamander, was perfectly content to hold its pose for me.
Southern Illinois and nearby areas had gotten buckets of rain recently, leading to some dramatic flooding. The effect on Snake Road was that a section perhaps a hundred feet long was a few inches underwater. That's where my wife decided to go back and wait in the car with the dogs while I soldiered on.
The shallow water across the road was frequently black with clouds of tiny tadpoles, and plenty o' frogs and toads were enjoying the extra wetlands. Among them were handsome Green Frogs like this one.
You can tell this is a female because her tympanum (external eardrum, essentially) is about the same size as her eye. On males the tympanum is significantly larger than the eye.
For some reason I tend to see only one of these frogs in any particular location. This is the only one I saw at Congaree Swamp National Park.
And this is the only one I saw at Sesquicentennial State Park.
The easiest way to tell Green Frogs from Bullfrogs is that Green Frogs have ridges along the sides of their backs ("dorsolateral ridges") and Bullfrogs do not. We had just seen a Bullfrog a few minutes earlier in this same pond, so I first assumed that this one was another Bullfrog, until I noticed those ridges.
- Ashton, R. E. Jr., Ashton, P. S. 1988. Handbook of Reptiles and Amphibians of Florida, Part Three: The Amphibians
- Bartlett, R. D., Bartlett, P. B. 1999. A Field Guide to Florida Reptiles and Amphibians
- Behler, J. L., King, F. W. 1979. The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Reptiles & Amphibians
- Carmichael, P., Williams, W. 1991. Florida's Fabulous Reptiles & Amphibians
- Conant, R., Collins, J. T. 1998. Peterson Field Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians of Eastern and Central North America, Third Edition, expanded
- Crother, B. I. (ed.) 2017. Scientific and Standard English Names of Amphibians and Reptiles of North America North of Mexico, with Comments Regarding Confidence in Our Understanding, Eighth Edition