Frog ID Help - blairi confirmed - new photos

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JBBoiler
Posts: 147
Joined: June 8th, 2010, 10:53 am
Location: NW Indiana

Frog ID Help - blairi confirmed - new photos

Post by JBBoiler »

The following frogs were found in Western Indiana in mid August. At the time, I assumed they were simply drab Northern Leopard frogs, but after reviewing my photos, I am wondering if they could possibly be Plains Leopard frogs. The frogs were at the edge of a slow moving stream and fall within the area that could hold Plains Leopard Frogs, however, this is considered to be a rare frog in Indiana. I would really appreciate it if any of you frog experts would provide your opinion.

Here are some photos:

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The first characteristic of the Plains Leopard frog is the interrupted dorsolateral folds. This would not be present in either the Northern or Southern Leopard frogs. I also believe I was too far North to be in an area of Southern Leopard frogs. The next characteristic is considerable yellow in the groin and to some extent on ventral surface of the thigh. Again, this frog clearly displays the yellow. Another characteristic is the light spot on the tympanum. This spot is not typically found on the Northern Leopard frogs, but I have seen it before. Also, the Northern Leopard frog usually has spots that are outlined with light borders which this frog does not appear to have. One thing missing from the description is that the Plains Leopard Frogs normally have a snout spot which does not show on this particular frog.

Here is a photo of another frog from the same location that does appear to have a snout spot, but it is difficult to see if the dorsolateral folds are interrupted and the spots do appear to have a light border.

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Finally, here is a typical Northern Leopard frog found approximately 15 miles north of these frogs:

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Again, any help in identifying these frogs would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks for any help you may be able to provide.

John B.

corey.raimond
Posts: 240
Joined: July 20th, 2010, 8:43 pm

Re: Frog ID Help - Please - Same as posted on Forum

Post by corey.raimond »

These can be tough. I would call it a plains. It does not at all look like a northern to me, so for me it is between southern and plains. I have actually seen a few southerns with the broken inset ridge near the back legs (in the Ozarks where there were not supposed to be plains anywhere near.) But since you say it is too far north for a southern, than plains makes sense. I would go back to try to find more or maybe listen in the spring. Cool find.

-Corey

matt ignoffo
Posts: 205
Joined: June 12th, 2010, 12:49 pm
Location: Chicago

Re: Frog ID Help - Please - Same as posted on Forum

Post by matt ignoffo »

I would call those blairi.

Seems like it would be an excellent find in Indiana because they get scarce in Eastern Illinois.

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JBBoiler
Posts: 147
Joined: June 8th, 2010, 10:53 am
Location: NW Indiana

Re: Frog ID Help - Please - Same as posted on Forum

Post by JBBoiler »

Thanks again to all who assisted with the Identification of these frogs. Thanks to the help of Andrew Hoffman, the identification has been confirmed as lithobates blairi (Plains Leopard Frog). This is an exciting find as these frogs are listed as state endangered in Indiana and this is apparently only the second confirmed sighting of them since they were described as a distinct species. Andrew and I met at the location last weekend and confirmed three more blairi. Here are some photos which show better the characteristics of these frogs:

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The main distinguishing feature which is clearly present is the broken and inset dorso-lateral folds. We also found L. pipiens present at this location. The more frogs we saw, the easier it became to distinguish the two. Here are some interesting photos of one of the Northern Leopard Frogs we found:


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I thought this was interesting because the frog shows traits of both species. It has the halos around the spots and the "unbroken" dorso-lateral folds of L. Pipiens. It also has the snout spot, tympanum spot and yellow in the groin and surface of the thigh of the L. blairi.

Thanks again to everyone for their help.

John B.

corey.raimond
Posts: 240
Joined: July 20th, 2010, 8:43 pm

Re: Frog ID Help - blairi confirmed - new photos

Post by corey.raimond »

Very cool, congrats on the find.

-Corey

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