The long awaited moment is here. You have all probably been wondering what those two creatures in my last post are. Or maybe, if you read the comments on that post, you figured that Anna had correctly ID’d the frog and the ode and that there was no reason for you to comment.
Well, let me first congratulate Anna because yes, she did get the IDs correct!! The herp is a Green Frog and yes the ode is a Black Saddlebags. The frog is indeed a male, but the saddlebags is NOT a female. I’ll explain why below. But first, some info on the frog.
The frog is definitely a male Green Frog. The only thing that could be confused with this species here in our Wetlands is a Bullfrog. The green frog has dorsolateral folds on its back. There is a ridge, or fold of skin down either side of the back (dorso – back, lateral – side) which starts just behind the eye. The bullfrog lacks these ridges.
The frog can be identified as a male by of the size of the tympanic membrane (tympanum), or the ear (the large disc just behind the eye). A female’s tympanum would be much smaller, about the diameter of the eye.
If you’ve read the clues in the previous post then you may have guessed that the dragonfly is a saddlebags (the object seen on horses just behind the saddle – saddlebags, not a bedroll). There are two common saddlebags in our area, Carolina Saddlebags and Black Saddlebags (there are two other saddlebags that could possibly be seen but they are not in the least bit common and this is not a trick quiz).
The Carolina Saddlebags is mostly red in color, the Black Saddlebags is mostly black, or at least very dark blue. The saddlebags, the markings on the wings, are black. This can be easily seen in the photo.
Abdominal appendages can sometimes be helpful in determining the sex of dragonflies. However, I can’t see them very well on this image. But, I can see the face and eyes very clearly. A female’s eyes would be more red-brown than the one pictured, the face lighter as well. Here are some scans of both sexes by G & J Strickland (male & female).
Congratulations again Anna!!