As I walked up to the Butterfly House this morning I saw Emily staring down at the ground near the outside entrance to the Lep Lab. She was looking at a little frog on the storm drain in front of the doors.
“Good morning frog!”
” Morn’n Emily!”
Relatives of Emily’s little friend are quite active now, out in the Wetlands. Besides the very vocal treefrogs that are calling on these hot, humid, and thunderstorm prone July days, there are two other, much louder frogs vocalizing, the Bullfrog and the Green Frog.
Most of you are familiar with the bull’s deep resonate call. You may also be familiar with the Green Frog’s call but perhaps not realized that it was coming from a Green Frog. The calls of both frogs are the calls of summer ponds, but very different.
Some say the Green’s call sounds like a loose banjo string being plucked, but I’m not one of those people. I concede that it does sound like something being plucked, although I’m not sure what. Judge for yourself. The frog often emits a single loud, explosive sound but may also utter two, three, or four of those sounds, with the first being the loudest. It sounds more like GLUNCK, glunck, glunck…to me.
Although they don’t get quite as large, Green Frogs can look a lot like Bullfrogs. However, take a look at the picture above. Notice the fold of skin that travels down the back from behind the eye? That’s called a dorsolateral fold, and there’s one on each side of the frog’s back (dorso = back, lateral = side, fold = fold). Bullfrogs do not have that fold.
Oh yeah, one more thing. If you were to compare this frog with a Pickerel Frog, which is also a common species here (earlier in the season), you would notice that the dorsolateral fold on that frog extends all the way down the back. The fold on the Green Frog stops partway down the back.
“Thanks Emily. Thanks frog.”