Are "New" Leopard Frogs in Massachusetts?

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ZantiMissKnit
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Are "New" Leopard Frogs in Massachusetts?

Post by ZantiMissKnit » April 1st, 2014, 8:23 am

So far, there have not been any reports of the new leopard frog species (as yet unnamed) in Massachusetts; however, scientists are interested in determining its range and wonder if they are, indeed, here.

Jacob Kubel of the Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Program asked me to alert members to the possibility of them being in MA.

The new leopard frog species discovered in NY/NJ two years ago sounds like a wood frog (and calls in early spring) but still uses the typical leopard frog habitat (e.g., extensive floodplain marsh instead of a woodland vernal pool). Any reports they get will help them identify areas to target for genetic testing (to see if we have the new species).

If you observe what you suspect may be this new species, please email Jake at [email protected].

Thanks!
Andrea

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mike h
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Re: Are "New" Leopard Frogs in Massachusetts?

Post by mike h » April 1st, 2014, 8:32 am

Hmmm.... that oddball at Cutler Park comes right to mind. I hope we see more there, even if it's just a plain ol' Northern!

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Re: Are "New" Leopard Frogs in Massachusetts?

Post by mikez » April 2nd, 2014, 2:51 am

hmm, never heard of such a thing. Where can I find info?

Bear in mind, the genetic integrity of leopard frogs is always questionable, especially areas with lots of humans. This is because leopard frogs were shipped around the country by the thousands to schools and institutions by biological supply companies. Many escaped or were released to blend their genes with the local populations. The supply house frog's origin was where ever the supply house could find local collectors, anywhere.

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Re: Are "New" Leopard Frogs in Massachusetts?

Post by ZantiMissKnit » April 2nd, 2014, 4:35 am

mikez wrote:hmm, never heard of such a thing. Where can I find info?
What is it you have never heard of - the new leopard frog species? It was a recent discovery (2012), initially found in New York and New Jersey. The extent of their range is unknown, which is why it's being questioned if they could be in MA.
Bear in mind, the genetic integrity of leopard frogs is always questionable, especially areas with lots of humans. This is because leopard frogs were shipped around the country by the thousands to schools and institutions by biological supply companies. Many escaped or were released to blend their genes with the local populations. The supply house frog's origin was where ever the supply house could find local collectors, anywhere.
^^This is something I hadn't heard previously. Are leopard frogs what we dissected in high school (admittedly, I didn't know my herps back then; only knew it was a poor frog I needed to cut open).

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Mike VanValen
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Re: Are "New" Leopard Frogs in Massachusetts?

Post by Mike VanValen » April 2nd, 2014, 12:44 pm

Yes, leopard frogs are the standard "high school dissection" frog. I'm pretty sure pipiens was the majority.

However, leopard frogs on Long Island and southeastern NY are actually L.s. utricularius, and are thought to have been established from escapes/released. A portion of leopard frogs in CT show influence from both species.

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Re: Are "New" Leopard Frogs in Massachusetts?

Post by mikez » April 2nd, 2014, 7:41 pm

Yes, it's the new species I never heard of. Don't know how I missed it. Seems like a big deal.

The biological houses shipped live frogs as well as pickled. They shipped them all over the country with no regard where they came from or where they were going.

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spinifer
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Re: Are "New" Leopard Frogs in Massachusetts?

Post by spinifer » April 3rd, 2014, 4:35 am

the new species has yet to be named, which makes it a little easier to miss.

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Re: Are "New" Leopard Frogs in Massachusetts?

Post by ZantiMissKnit » April 3rd, 2014, 5:13 am

spinifer wrote:the new species has yet to be named, which makes it a little easier to miss.
Exactly. When I was poking around Google looking it up the other day, I saw mention of it being observed in other states outside of NY/NJ (NC was one of them). It wasn't a source that could be verified; just hearsay.

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Re: Are "New" Leopard Frogs in Massachusetts?

Post by brick911 » April 3rd, 2014, 7:38 am

It needs a name already!

Well done, Andrea. Keep bringing this stuff into the limelight and keep making those contacts!

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Re: Are "New" Leopard Frogs in Massachusetts?

Post by cbernz » April 3rd, 2014, 9:35 am

It's been found in NY, NJ and I think CT, so they should call it Tri-State Leopard Frog. Lithobates fuggedaboutitii.

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Re: Are "New" Leopard Frogs in Massachusetts?

Post by ZantiMissKnit » April 3rd, 2014, 10:18 am

cbernz wrote:Lithobates fuggedaboutitii.
That's absolutely perfect.

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Re: Are "New" Leopard Frogs in Massachusetts?

Post by MCHerper » April 4th, 2014, 9:40 am

cbernz wrote:It's been found in NY, NJ and I think CT, so they should call it Tri-State Leopard Frog. Lithobates fuggedaboutitii.
NJ subspecies whosdatfriggingii

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Re: Are "New" Leopard Frogs in Massachusetts?

Post by Mike VanValen » April 4th, 2014, 4:43 pm

As far as I know, it has not been confirmed from CT yet.

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Re: Are "New" Leopard Frogs in Massachusetts?

Post by cbernz » April 4th, 2014, 5:14 pm

Mike VanValen wrote:As far as I know, it has not been confirmed from CT yet.
Reading the paper again, it seems like they found frogs in CT that belonged to the Rana sp. nov. clade, but they were sympatric with R. pipiens and they weren't sure if they were native frogs or if they'd been introduced.

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kyle loucks
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Re: Are "New" Leopard Frogs in Massachusetts?

Post by kyle loucks » April 5th, 2014, 4:49 pm

Gonna range down to Maryland as well.

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