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Amazing Amphibians of Louisiana

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

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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

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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.
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American Bullfrog

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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

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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

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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.

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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

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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.