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by Valerie

December, 2015

Rio Grande Leopard Frog

Rio Grande leopard frog

We've had a couple of ponds in our yard now for about 25 years, and this past summer a new creature showed up for the first time. A Rio Grande leopard frog (Rana berlandieri) took up residence in the larger pond. For several months, I kept catching glimpses of something a bit bigger than the fish but couldn't really figure out what it was. Toads have hung around the ponds almost since they were installed, but they don't dive into the water to hide, so it is easier to see them. This frog was particularly wary and it was only when I finally saw it from a distance, then watched as it jumped in when I approached, that I confirmed its presence. There is no nearby permanent water, so I can only speculate that the frog managed to travel from a temporary water retention area during our particularly wet spring or summer this year.

I've never heard our frog sing (it might be a female), but this species is quite common around here and the song is easy to recognize. It usually sounds like rather short guttural trills accompanied by shorter sounds that are best described as "an old man laughing."

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