Posts Tagged ‘Southern Leopard Frog’

Common Ribbonsnake eating a frog

March 26, 2016

The following time-series of photos, shot on 16 March 2016 during a photowalk along the Hike-Bike Trail at Huntley Meadows Park, shows a Common Ribbonsnake (Thamnophis sauritus sauritus) eating a Southern Leopard Frog (Lithobates sphenocephalus).

Although the amphibian looks similar to Pickerel Frog (Lithobates palustris), I tentatively identified the species as Southern Leopard Frog based upon one of two field markers that were visible: distinct dorsolateral folds that extend the full length of the body (shown); a distinct white spot in the center of the tympanum (not shown). Sincere thanks to Alonso Abugattas — Natural Resources Manager, Arlington County Parks, Virginia — for verifying my identification.

A Common Ribbonsnake (Thamnophis sauritus sauritus) spotted at Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This individual is eating a Southern Leopard Frog (Lithobates sphenocephalus).

As shown in the first photo, the snake had a fatal grip on the frog by the time I spotted the pair.

A Common Ribbonsnake (Thamnophis sauritus sauritus) spotted at Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This individual is eating a Southern Leopard Frog (Lithobates sphenocephalus).

Notice the small green bubble, located on the frog’s dorsal posterior, that is visible in the second and third photos. I consulted the experts of the Virginia Herpetological Society for help in identifying the bubble.

The general consensus is the cloaca (a bag through which reproductive- and waste products leave the body) is inverted and protruded through the anus due to the internal pressure the snake is putting on the body cavity. If the frog were a female in reproductive condition, it could also be either eggs (unlikely due to color) or jelly being forced out, again due to pressure. Source Credit: John, Virginia Herpetological Society.

Just as I thought — the snake was actually squeezing the guts out of the frog!

A Common Ribbonsnake (Thamnophis sauritus sauritus) spotted at Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This individual is eating a Southern Leopard Frog (Lithobates sphenocephalus).

A Common Ribbonsnake (Thamnophis sauritus sauritus) spotted at Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This individual is eating a Southern Leopard Frog (Lithobates sphenocephalus).

A Common Ribbonsnake (Thamnophis sauritus sauritus) spotted at Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This individual is eating a Southern Leopard Frog (Lithobates sphenocephalus).

A Common Ribbonsnake (Thamnophis sauritus sauritus) spotted at Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This individual is eating a Southern Leopard Frog (Lithobates sphenocephalus).

Copyright © 2016 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

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Southern Leopard Frog (eating unknown prey)

May 30, 2014

The following Southern Leopard Frog (Lithobates sphenocephalus) was spotted during a photowalk at Huntley Meadows Park on 21 April 2014. This individual is shown eating some type of unknown prey, probably either a salamander or large worm.

Southern Leopard Frog (eating prey)

Almost gone …

Southern Leopard Frog (eating prey)

I have seen and heard many frogs being eaten alive at Huntley Meadows Park, usually by snakes. Natural law says “Eat or be eaten,” so I suppose it was just a matter of time before I saw the roles reversed.

Related Resources:

Copyright © 2014 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

Southern Leopard Frog

December 28, 2013

Imagine my surprise when I saw a Southern Leopard Frog (Lithobates sphenocephalus) during a photowalk through Huntley Meadows Park on the December Solstice, 21 December 2013!

Southern Leopard Frog (Lithobates sphenocephalus)

Southern Leopard Frog is one of several species of animals targeted to benefit from the wetland restoration project at Huntley Meadows Park, scheduled to be completed by early 2014.

Related Resource: Wetland Restoration Project Starts to Sing! by Kevin Munroe, Park Manager, Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County Park Authority

Copyright © 2013 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

Southern Leopard Frog (male)

March 10, 2012

A Southern Leopard Frog (Lithobates sphenocephalus) spotted during a photowalk through Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This individual is probably a male, as indicated by its greenish coloration.

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Copyright © 2012 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved. www.wsanford.com

Southern Leopard Frogs (mating pair)

March 8, 2012

A mating pair of Southern Leopard Frogs (Lithobates sphenocephalus) spotted during a photowalk through Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. The male is the smaller of the two frogs, positioned on top of the female. Notice the difference in coloration between the male- and female frog. Photo 3 of 5 is a cropped version of Photo 2; Photo 5 of 5 is a cropped version of Photo 4.

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Related Resource: Audioboo of frog mating calls, recorded shortly before the photos were taken.

Photos and audio Copyright © 2012 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved. www.wsanford.com


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