Year of the Frog

2015 is officially Virginia’s Year of the Frog!

… did you know that frogs are considered by many conservationists to be the most imperiled group of animals in the world? … Frogs are important natural resources that deserve our attention. Because of their aquatic and terrestrial life stages, frogs are excellent indicators of environmental health and water quality. Source Credit: Virginia is for Frogs.

American Bullfrog (Lithobates catesbeianus)

The preceding American Bullfrog (Lithobates catesbeianus) is the unofficial poster girl for the year-long celebration. This frog is probably female, as indicated by the size of her tympanum: the eardrum is about the same size as the eye in females; it is larger than the eye in males.

It’s easy to tell males from females in both the Green Frog and the [American] Bullfrog. Males have a yellow throat, and the tympanum, the visible round external eardrum located behind the eye, is much larger than the eye. Females lack the yellow throat and the tympanum is about the same size as the eye. Source Credit: Ask a Naturalist.

Mid-February is too early for frog-spotting in the mid-Atlantic USA, so I used an image from my archive of unpublished photographs. This individual was observed alongside the boardwalk in the hemi-marsh at Huntley Meadows Park on 12 September 2014.

Editor’s Note: A Tweet by regular reader Charlie Bale inspired me to add a pull quote from Virginia is for Frogs, the featured Web site in this post. Feel free to add comments to my blog anytime, Charlie!

Copyright © 2015 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

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