Amazing Amphibians of Louisiana
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.
Toad and salamander photos are property of Y.L. Bordelon aka naturegirl7.
Wet and Wild Louisiana is filled with Amazing Amphibians of all Shapes and Sizes.
What do you think about Amphibians?
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..
Eastern Narrow-mouthed Toad (Gastrophryne carolinensis)
Eastern Narrow-Mouth Toad
American Bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana)
- 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.
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
Southern Leopard Frog (Rana sphenocephala utricularia)
Southern Leopard Frog
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.
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.
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.
Pine Woods Tree Frog (Hyla femoralis)
Pine Woods Treefrog
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.
The Life Cycle of an Amphibian is Fascinating.
The early part of their life is spent in water. Most frogs and toads mate and lay their eggs in water. The eggs hatch into tadpoles which grow legs, loose their tails and hop out onto the land as tiny replicas of their parents.
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 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.
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.
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
Frogs, Toads and Tadpoles
Frog Eggs in New Pond with LA Irises
Toad (pocket reference)
Amphibians in Danger YouTube Vid
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
Do you live where you can hear the frogs croaking at night?
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.
Save the Frogs Save the Planet
Bullfrog YouTube Vid
Salamanders and Newts of Louisiana
There are about 350 species of salamanders that occur in the temperate areas of the world. Of these about 23 species occur in Louisiana.
Description and Habits
These amphibians have long tails and elongated bodies both during the larval stage and throughout their adult life. The order Caudata (Salamanders and Newts) is a very diverse one. Some have only two limbs; some are aquatic and may or may not retain external gills and fins; and some newts have rough, dry skin.
Red Eft Salamander
Red Eft Salamander Nature Photo Poster Print by SmilinEyesTreasures
Some species of this group are very secretive and dwell in subterranean tunnels except during the breeding season, however, most live in moist, forested areas and hide by day in holes, under leaf or bark litter or under stones and logs. The larvae look somewhat like the adults but have external gills, fins on the tail, lidless eyes and differences in the skin and skull morphology. Because of these similarities between larvae and adult, the metamorphosis is less dramatic than that of frogs and toads. Both adults and larvae are carnivores.
Some salamanders lay jelly-like eggs in water like frogs, but most deposit their eggs in moist places on land. When eggs are laid on land, the larvae often has very large, bushy gills. Some primitive caudates (salamanders) fertilize eggs like anurans (frogs and toads), but most members of this family have a truly remarkable method of sperm transfer and fertilization. Most courtships begin with the males performing elaborate nudging and posturing with the females. Eventually the males deposit small, stalk like structures called spermatophores, which are produced from glands at the base of the tail. The spermatozoa is contained in a gelatinous (jelly-like) cap located on the top part of the spermatophore. The females use her cloacal lips to pick up the spermatophores or the gelatinous cap and the spermatozoa are then stored for anywhere from a few days to a few months in a special chamber called the spermatheca, located in the roof of her cloaca. When the eggs are laid, they pass through the spermatheca and the spermatozoa are released to fertilize the eggs.
Dwarf Salamander, Eurycea quadridigitata photo is public domain, USGS
Louisiana Salamander Species List
Two Toed Amphiuma
Small Mouthed Salamander
Small-mouthed Salamander, Desmognathus auriculatus
Eastern Tiger Salamander, Ambystoma tigrinum
Southern Dusky Salamander, Desmognathus auriculatus
Spotted Dusky Salamander, Desmognathus conanti
Southern Two-lined Salamander, Eurycea cirrigera
Three-lined Salamander, Eurycea guttolineata
Dwarf Salamander, Eurycea quadridigitata
Four-toed Salamander, Hemidactylium scutatum
Louisiana Slimy Salamander, Plethodon kisatchie
Mississippi Slimy Salamander, Plethodon mississippi
Southern Red-backed Salamander, Plethodon serratus
Webster's Salamander, Plethodon websteri
Gulf Coast Mud Salamander, Pseudotriton montanus flavissimus
Southern Red Salamander, Pseudotriton ruber bioscai
Eastern Tiger Salamander, Ambystoma tigrinum
Reference: Jeff Boundy, herpetologist with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and Dundee and Rossman, The Amphibians and Reptiles of Louisiana.
Herping with Dylan -- Small-Mouths and Tigers and Spottys
Newts and Salamanders
Tiny Cricket Frog
© 2008 Yvonne L B