Current Herp Activity & Videos

a note from Jim

Herpers, with this warm weather American Toads, American Bullfrogs, and Gray Treefrogs are all starting to chorus. This Friday night’s rains should generate movement of all three of these frogs. It may also generate some movement of snakes, since the night-time temperatures are remaining quite warm. Walking roads on wet nights near wetlands and ponds at this time of year can generate lots of interesting and useful sightings.

American Bullfrogs are nowhere near as common as many people assume. We are missing photo-documentation of bullfrogs from 108 Vermont towns, cities, gores, and grants. So, if you are fortunate enough to get a tape or photo of a bullfrog, please do send it to us. I get quite a few reports of large Green Frogs that have been mistakenly identified as American Bullfrogs. Although bullfrogs do get larger than Green Frogs, Green Frogs get much larger than most people realize. Remember that American Bullfrogs do not have dorso-lateral ridges. These are the folds of skin that form ridges on each side of their backs. Since bullfrogs do not have these ridges, their backs look rounded and they look plump. They still have the ridge that curls around their eardrums, but not down the sides of their backs.

I have attached a video that Kate Kelly took two days ago in Swanton of two male American Bullfrogs fighting for territory.

Most frogs are not territorial, but male Green Frogs and American Bullfrogs set up territories and defend them through mid-summer. They sit in their territories and try to entice the females to enter and lay their eggs. Once the eggs are laid and fertilized by the male, the females take off and the males continue to guard the territory. In American Bullfrogs, the deeper voices are the sexier voices.

We also still need documentation of Gray Treefrogs from 89 towns in Vermont. They will be coming down out of the trees and heading for ponds over the next few weeks. Get a photo if you can.

Lastly, we still need photos or tapes of American Toads from four towns (East Haven, Halifax, Pownal, and Sandgate).

Enjoy the video and please do send in videos, or better still send photos, of any American Bullfrogs or Gray Treefrogs that you can find.


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