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Amazing Amphibians of Louisiana

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Since the mid-1980s Yvonne has maintained a registered NWF backyard wildlife habitat where a variety of birds, insects and frogs abound.

louisiana-amphibians

Frogs, Toads, Salamanders and Newts

Amphibians are an interesting and very important class of animals and there are certainly plenty of them here in Louisiana. We have everything from large Bullfrogs to tiny Tree frogs, Toads that keep the garden free of harmful insects and even secretive Salamanders and Newts.

Nights in the spring are filled with a chorus of trills, croaks, brrrs and even a ribit or two. Amphibians are also an ecological "canary in the coal mine" and the recent rash of mutations and sudden deaths among amphibians has sent up an alarm among biologists throughout the world.

On this page you'll find all sorts of amphibian stuff including information, book recommendations, photographs, posters and even frog apparel and costumes.

louisiana-amphibians



Toad and salamander photos are property of Y.L. Bordelon aka naturegirl7.

Gulf Coast Toad

Gulf Coast Toad

Gulf Coast Toad

Some Louisiana Frogs and Toads

Gulf Coast Toad (Bufo nebulifer)

Hear the Advertisement call of the male.

Southern Toad (Bufo terrestris)

More About Toads

  • Toads of Louisiana
    Oh lowly and much maligned toad. Old wives' tales claimed that toads cause warts on human skin. Witches use them in potions so they became a symbol of Halloween. Little boys love to keep them as pets and they are great to have in the garden because..

Southern Toad

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Eastern Narrow-mouthed Toad (Gastrophryne carolinensis)

Eastern Narrow-Mouth Toad

louisiana-amphibians


American Bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana)

More Bullfrogs

  • Bullfrogs of Louisiana
    Bullfrogs are large amphibians which make their homes in the swamps and wetlands of Louisiana. On this page you'll find Bullfrog photos, videos, calls, information and even recipes.

American Bullfrog

louisiana-amphibians

Bronze Frog (Rana clamitans clamitans)

More About Bronze Frogs

  • Bronze Frog in Louisiana
    Bronze frog, a subspecies of green frogs, is common around water in south Louisiana. Here you will find photos, information and personal observations of this large true frog.

Bronze Frog Camouflaged

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Find more information and pictures of the life cycle of the Bronze Frog on our page, Pictures - Frog Life Cycle in a Water Feature.


Pig Frog (Rana grylio)

Pig Frog

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Southern Leopard Frog (Rana sphenocephala utricularia)

Southern Leopard Frog

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Cricket Frogs

Eastern Cricket Frog (Acris crepitans crepitans)

Coastal Plain Cricket Frog (Acris gryllus gryllus)

More About Cricket Frogs

  • Cricket Frogs of Louisiana
    The loud calls of tiny cricket frogs can be heard from the many wet areas of southeastern Louisiana. On this page you will find photos and information about this colorful small frog.

Cricket Frog

I watched as this tiny one leaped up to grab an insect. You can see a leg hanging out of its mouth.

I watched as this tiny one leaped up to grab an insect. You can see a leg hanging out of its mouth.

Treefrogs

Cope's Gray Tree Frog (Hyla chrysoscelis)

Here it's Call.

Common Gray Tree Frog (Hyla versicolor)

More About Gray Treefrogs

  • Gray Treefrog in Louisiana
    Gray tree frogs are often found around human dwellings. Their mating calls can be heard in spring. This page contains photos and information about this interesting frog.

Gray Treefrog

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Green Tree Frog (Hyla cinerea)

Sounds of the Green Tree Frog.

More About Green Treefrogs

  • Green Treefrog in Louisiana
    The green tree frog (Hyla cinera) is the Louisiana state amphibian. . Photos and information about these colorful frogs is found here.

Green Treefrog

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Pine Woods Tree Frog (Hyla femoralis)

Pine Woods Treefrog

louisiana-amphibians

Photo is public domain USGS

Frogs and Toads of the Southeast

This is one of the best series of books that I've seen in a while. The information is easy to read and up to date and the illustrations are spectacular. Another plus is the conservation status portion on each entry. If you are interested in learning more about Frogs and Toads of the Southeast, I strongly recommend this book.

Tadpoles by Y.L. Bordelon

Tadpoles by Y.L. Bordelon

Tadpoles by Y.L. Bordelon

An Amphibian's Life Cycle

Most amphibians begin their lives in the water as tadpoles, or larvae, which breathe by means of external gills instead of lungs. At first the tadpole has no definite shape, and no tail can be seen. The mouth is a V-shaped sucker on the underside of the body. As the head grows, a round mouth with a horny rim develops. At the same time, the tadpole grows a flat, fin-like tail. The tiny creature later changes to adult form and breathes at least partly through lungs.

This transformation process is called metamorphosis (from the Greek meta, meaning "change," and morphe, meaning "form"). The larval stage lasts from several weeks to one year, depending on the particular species and upon environmental factors such as temperature and humidity. Certain species of amphibians, particularly among the salamanders, remain in larval form all their lives. This phenomenon is called neoteny.

The larvae of the three orders differ from one another in several ways. The salamander (urodele) larvae are long and slender, with limbs, three pairs of gills, and large mouths. The frogs and toads (anurans), with short trunks and small mouth openings, lack lungs, eyelids, jaws, and legs. They look much more like fishes than like frogs or toads. The Caecilians (order gymnophiona) larvae are limbless and slender and have distinctive gills.

Although a female amphibian is capable of producing thousands of offspring during the course of a lifetime, the general population of amphibians remains about the same. This is because during the process of metamorphosis many die and others are destroyed by predators.

Metamorphosis

louisiana-amphibians

Metamorphosis alters the feeding and breathing habits of an animal as well as its physical shape. Amphibians change from gill breathers to lung breathers. They also change from plant eaters to meat eaters. Adults eat insects or small animals, especially mollusks, worms, and other amphibians. Some frogs also eat small mammals and birds.

Most amphibians reach maturity at three or four years. They breed for the first time about one year after metamorphosis.

Most amphibians lay their eggs in a moist place. Frogs and toads mate in water and lay their eggs in a stream, pond or pool. Frog eggs are laid in a clump. Toad eggs are laid in a long necklace-like string.

Each year, after the spring and summer rains, the frogs and toads in the surrounding woods come alive with a chorus of mating songs. They take advantage of the low areas where water has collected to lay their eggs.

Many gather in the water that collects in the low spots in our primitive road that goes to the Tchefuncte River. Many times we have collected hundreds of tadpoles and moved them to more permanent water holes to save them from sure death as the waters receded.

louisiana-amphibians

Tadpoles photo by Y.L. Bordelon

When the road floods, the low areas are covered with groups of tadpoles like these. With all of the mosquitoes in our area, we hate to loose any potential frogs or toads.

Reference: See More Information and Facts About the Life Cycle of Amphibians

The Pollywog

by Shirley R. Williams

A fat pollywog

In a pool in the bog

Began to feel frightfully queer.

His body felt strange,

But he didn't have pains,

He only felt solemn and drear.

His rusty black coat

Got white at the throat

And speckled with green on the back.

His tail shrank and shrank

Then he crawled on the bank

And found that he made a queer track.

There were four legs so neat

With lovely webbed feet

Grown right to that fat pollywog.

And the first time he spoke

He cried with a croak,

"Mercy me, I've turned into a frog!"

Reference: Poetry Place Anthology, Instructor Books

Save the Frogs

louisiana-amphibians

Frogs, Toads and Tadpoles

Frog Eggs in New Pond with LA Irises

Frog Eggs in New Pond with LA Irises

Frog Eggs in New Pond with LA Irises

Toad (pocket reference)

Amphibians in Danger YouTube Vid

Vanishing Amphibians

All over the world, scientists are racing to save many species of amphibians from extinction. Numbers were already down as a result of habitat loss, pollution and climate change, but now an exotic fungus (amphibian chytrid fungus) is nailing the lid on the coffin for many amphibians. But there is a sliver of hope. Through research and rescues, scientists are helping some species that were on the brink of extinction. The April, 2009 issue of National Geographic Magazine gives a detailed description of the problem and hopefully, the cure.

While you're there, reading the article from National Geographic, be sure to check out the Puzzle Pages of Frogs and other animals. They're lots of fun and would be great for the kids.

Frog Sounds Poll

Herping with Dylan - Frog Calls

Good footage of several different species of North American frogs calling in a wetland area in Illinois.

Calls of Frogs and Toads

Frog and Toad Plush Toy

Your little one will love to snuggle with Frog while listening to the Frog and Toad books.

Frog and Toad Books - by Arnold Lobel

Help your child learn to read with the hilarious adventures of Frog and Toad.

Save the Frogs Save the Planet

louisiana-amphibians

Bullfrog YouTube Vid

Salamanders and Newts of Louisiana

There are about 350 species of salamanders that occur in the temperate areas of the world. Of these about 23 species occur in Louisiana.

Description and Habits

These amphibians have long tails and elongated bodies both during the larval stage and throughout their adult life. The order Caudata (Salamanders and Newts) is a very diverse one. Some have only two limbs; some are aquatic and may or may not retain external gills and fins; and some newts have rough, dry skin.

Red Eft Salamander

louisiana-amphibians

Red Eft Salamander Nature Photo Poster Print by SmilinEyesTreasures

Some species of this group are very secretive and dwell in subterranean tunnels except during the breeding season, however, most live in moist, forested areas and hide by day in holes, under leaf or bark litter or under stones and logs. The larvae look somewhat like the adults but have external gills, fins on the tail, lidless eyes and differences in the skin and skull morphology. Because of these similarities between larvae and adult, the metamorphosis is less dramatic than that of frogs and toads. Both adults and larvae are carnivores.

Reproduction

Some salamanders lay jelly-like eggs in water like frogs, but most deposit their eggs in moist places on land. When eggs are laid on land, the larvae often has very large, bushy gills. Some primitive caudates (salamanders) fertilize eggs like anurans (frogs and toads), but most members of this family have a truly remarkable method of sperm transfer and fertilization. Most courtships begin with the males performing elaborate nudging and posturing with the females. Eventually the males deposit small, stalk like structures called spermatophores, which are produced from glands at the base of the tail. The spermatozoa is contained in a gelatinous (jelly-like) cap located on the top part of the spermatophore. The females use her cloacal lips to pick up the spermatophores or the gelatinous cap and the spermatozoa are then stored for anywhere from a few days to a few months in a special chamber called the spermatheca, located in the roof of her cloaca. When the eggs are laid, they pass through the spermatheca and the spermatozoa are released to fertilize the eggs.

Dwarf Salamander

Dwarf Salamander

Dwarf Salamander, Eurycea quadridigitata photo is public domain, USGS

Louisiana Salamander Species List

Amphiumas, Sirens and Mudpuppies

Three-toed Amphiuma, Amphiuma tridactylum

Two-toed Amphiuma, Amphiuma means photo is public domain.

Western Lesser Siren, Siren intermedia nettingi

Gulf Coast Waterdog, Necturus beyeri

Red River Waterdog, Necturus louisianensis

Two Toed Amphiuma

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Two-toed Amphiuma , Amphiuma means


Mole Salamanders and Newts

Spotted Salamander, Ambystoma maculatum

Marbled Salamander, Ambystoma opacum

Mole Salamander, Ambystoma talpoideum

Small-mouthed Salamander, Desmognathus auriculatus

Eastern Spotted Newt, Notophthalmus viridescens

Small Mouthed Salamander

louisiana-amphibians

Small-mouthed Salamander, Desmognathus auriculatus


Woodland Salamanders

Eastern Tiger Salamander, Ambystoma tigrinum

Southern Dusky Salamander, Desmognathus auriculatus

Spotted Dusky Salamander, Desmognathus conanti

Southern Two-lined Salamander, Eurycea cirrigera

Three-lined Salamander, Eurycea guttolineata

Dwarf Salamander, Eurycea quadridigitata

Four-toed Salamander, Hemidactylium scutatum

Louisiana Slimy Salamander, Plethodon kisatchie

Mississippi Slimy Salamander, Plethodon mississippi

Southern Red-backed Salamander, Plethodon serratus

Webster's Salamander, Plethodon websteri

Gulf Coast Mud Salamander, Pseudotriton montanus flavissimus

Southern Red Salamander, Pseudotriton ruber bioscai


Eastern Tiger

louisiana-amphibians

Eastern Tiger Salamander, Ambystoma tigrinum


Reference: Jeff Boundy, herpetologist with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and Dundee and Rossman, The Amphibians and Reptiles of Louisiana.

Herping with Dylan -- Small-Mouths and Tigers and Spottys

Newts and Salamanders

Tiny Cricket Frog

louisiana-amphibians

© 2008 Yvonne L B

Hop on Over and Leave Us a Note.

anonymous on November 18, 2013:

Always always I try to protect frogs where ever I can and I don´t like to see people hurting them.

Xpeyur on May 23, 2013:

Thanks for a lovely webpage. Love animals, moist ones just as well.

ElizabethJeanAl on June 01, 2012:

They do well in the warm climates.

cmadden on April 21, 2012:

Amazing, attractive amphibious account!

jed78 on April 14, 2012:

Nice lens

anilsaini on August 11, 2011:

hey great fact

Anthony Altorenna from Connecticut on August 05, 2011:

Facinating! I especially like salamanders, and we have several different species in the woodlands surrounding our home.

pimbels lm on July 02, 2011:

Great lens, thank you. Beautiful pictures.

Philippians468 on March 30, 2011:

i love how the frogs will start croaking after the showers! quite a symphony! cheers

kguru1979 lm on March 29, 2011:

Brilliant collection of frogs and toads....!

anonymous on December 06, 2010:

thanks!

anonymous on December 05, 2010:

nice pics!

anonymous on December 05, 2010:

im using this for my report. it was a lot of help thank you so much1:)

anonymous on November 16, 2010:

Great lens. Thank you.

JoyfulPamela2 from Pennsylvania, USA on November 06, 2010:

I love all of the cool photos that you have! I'll add this to my amphibians unit. Thanks! =)

VarietyWriter2 on September 28, 2010:

Blessed by a SquidAngel :)

ShamanicShift on September 10, 2010:

I got here by searching for "amazing" and I found this Louisiana Amphibians lens amazing enough that I shall now change search terms.

oztoo lm on April 21, 2010:

A wonderful lens on your Louisiana amphibians. Great information and pictures.

Yvonne L B (author) from Covington, LA on November 15, 2009:

Most of the frogs and toads hibernate during the cold weather, but some become active during warm spells in Louisiana.

Andy-Po on October 16, 2009:

Excellent lens. Very interesting

anonymous on October 05, 2009:

Just checking lenses ouside the Top 100 and back to check out the great pics and info on this lens. Re-blessed!

Yvonne L B (author) from Covington, LA on September 28, 2009:

[in reply to Lowel45] Why not check a guide to amphibians out of the library. Knowing where the salamander came from will help in the identification. I have also provided links and most have photos.

anonymous on September 27, 2009:

I have a Salamamder but i do not kno what type it is... :-( he sorta looks like a spotted salamander but he is black and has lots of blue little dots!

anonymous on July 11, 2009:

I BELIEVE THAT I HAVE A FOSSIL OF A CRICKET FROG. IT'S NOT AN IMPRESSION, BUT A FILLED IN OR WHOLE FROG THAT IS NOW HARD MUD AND SHELL. I CAN EVEN SEE WHERE THE EYE SOCKETS WERE AND THE LEGS AND ONE ARM. THIS IS CAUSING QUITE A STIR AMONG MY FAMILY FRIENDS. THE BELIEVERS, (TEAM "B"), AND THE NON-BELIEVERS(TEAM "NB"). I WOULD LIKE TO SEND PICTURES TO AN EXPERT OR TO ANYONE WHO MIGHT BE ABLE TO HELP M IDENTIFY THIS ODD LITTLE FRIEND OF MINE (I AM VERY PROTECTIVE OF IT!). aT FIRST i THOUGHT IT WAS AN INDIAN ARROWHEAD -BUT I SOON REALIZED IT HAD VISIBLE "PADDED FEET AND ARMS, AND I BELIEVE WHAT WERE LUNGS. ALSO, IN THE BACK (IT'S BOTTOM) -YOU CAN SEE WHERE EGGS MIGHT COME OUT. I ALSO THINK THERE ARE OTHER FROG IMPRESSIONS ON IT) IF YOU CAN HELP ME IDENTIFY . . .PLEASE TOUCH BACK WITH ME ON HOW TO GET PICTURES TO YOU! THANKS FOR YOUR INTEREST AND YOUR HELP WITH MY NEW BFF (I KNOW, "GET A LIFE, LADY!?!"). I HAVE ONE . . .BUT LITTLE DUMB HUMOR VIA PARIS HILTON CAN'T HURT!

Susan from Texas on May 16, 2009:

Congrats on taking the Frog Jumping category this month in The Carnival of Squid! Two weeks in a row for you. Wow!

das_danger on April 26, 2009:

I enjoyed your lens, especially the bullfrog video! We have quite a few toads here in NM. Even horned toads.

anonymous on April 24, 2009:

We like to look after frog spawn in an indoor tank and then when the baby frogs are trying to emulate the "Great Escape" we release them into our wildlife pond.

Lovely lens and Blessed by an Angel.

VBright on November 23, 2008:

What memories this brought back! When we were young, my parent's always took us camping and we would catch tree frogs and pond frogs. We always had to let them go, but it was fun catching them!

ElizabethJeanAl on October 25, 2008:

Welcome to the Totally Awesome Lenses Group.

Lizzy

ElizabethJeanAl on October 25, 2008:

I like to watch the salamanders that hang out behind my house. There are so many of them. They'll stop and look at me before scurrying away.

Great lens

Lizzy

Evelyn Saenz from Royalton on October 05, 2008:

Another wonderful lens as usual. Thank you for featuring my Frog Unit Study.

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