One more metamorph ID post

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d_tigrinum
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One more metamorph ID post

Post by d_tigrinum »

Hi there,

I posted for metamorph Id help a couple months ago, someone thought they were Woodhouse toads but I didn't get many answers so I thought I'd try again. They have really not grown much despite getting a constant barrage of fruit flies- they are now about an inch long. Their paratoid glands are visible now, but I can't make out any cranial crests, and I don't know if that's simply because those have yet to develop. I am including photos of the tadpole stage as well as current photos. To recap, I am in southeastern WA and believe the options are Woodhouse's or Western toad.

(Forgive the chicken scrawl on a couple of the photos :) those were to help keep track of who was who)

Thanks for any help!
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Jeff
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Re: One more metamorph ID post

Post by Jeff »

It does take some growth to get the cranial crests to appear - expect them next spring.
Your toads are typical Woodhouse's,
and, thanks for the update - much appreciated.
Jeff

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Kelly Mc
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Re: One more metamorph ID post

Post by Kelly Mc »

Haha I was just about to post that I will stick with boreas, not being able to see a hint of that crest..

Thanks Jeff !


Kel

d_tigrinum
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Re: One more metamorph ID post

Post by d_tigrinum »

Jeff wrote:
September 17th, 2021, 2:36 pm

Your toads are typical Woodhouse's,
Thank you Jeff! I really appreciate it. Would you mind clarifying what characteristics separate Woodhouse from Western toad for you? From looking at photos of metamorphs of both species, I am having trouble picking up on what the differences are at that stage.

Last update- they were released yesterday at their pond of origin to go forth and terrorize local insects. Hop free lil buddies!

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Jeff
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Re: One more metamorph ID post

Post by Jeff »

After a much more careful look I believe the first toad is woodhousii and the second 'could' be boreas. I've seen grown boreas boreas in N California, Washington and Montana, but have a backup of having seen hundreds of small boreas halophilus in California. I've seen woodhousii/fowleri across their range. The bigger head and more rounded dark marks on the upper jaw of #2 are like boreas, but also similar to markings of SE Washington woodhousii, whereas the relatively smaller head, combined with the delineated vertical bars of the upper jaw in #1 are typical of Woodhouse's toads.
Another important point: populations of woodhousii from the northern Intermountain West and N Great Plains have a raised frontal area, which pour over the cranial crests as the toad grows. In other words, Woodhouse's toads from Washington lack visible cranial crests.
A great visual of this latter point can be seen in "Amphibians of Washington and Oregon" (William P. Leonard et al., 1993). The raised frontal mound is visible in the first 3 toads (Washington and Idaho), but the 4th toad, from SE California, has cranial crests.
Thanks again for your interest,
Jeff

d_tigrinum
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Re: One more metamorph ID post

Post by d_tigrinum »

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d_tigrinum
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Re: One more metamorph ID post

Post by d_tigrinum »

Jeff wrote:
September 22nd, 2021, 4:13 pm
In other words, Woodhouse's toads from Washington lack visible cranial crests.
A great visual of this latter point can be seen in "Amphibians of Washington and Oregon" (William P. Leonard et al., 1993). The raised frontal mound is visible in the first 3 toads (Washington and Idaho), but the 4th toad, from SE California, has cranial crests.
Thank you again (and sorry I took so long to reply this time around)! I will look into the field marks you describe for separating these species in metamorph form. I'll definitely check out that book as well.

That's interesting about the cranial crests, do you mean Woodhouse's toads from WA lack cranial crests until they reach a certain size, or in general? We did find adults during our surveys that showed crests, but if they don't always show in adults in this region, that would be good to know.

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Kelly Mc
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Re: One more metamorph ID post

Post by Kelly Mc »

If you are ID-ing toad species, a loupe lense (I like the hands free glasses type, the inexpensive ones are perfectly adequate) or clear zoom shots of aspects above and lateral are critical for visuals purposes.

With very young anurans the 'topography" derm detail presents with faint, burgeoning buds or 'braille' of future features.

Magnification is power.

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Jeff
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Re: One more metamorph ID post

Post by Jeff »

I tried to find on-line photos of northwestern Woodhouse's toads with no luck, so I hope you can get a copy of Leonard's book.
I have not seen an ontogenetic series of woodhousei from the intermountain west, so I don't know what changes occur in cranial morphology and when they occur. My observations in your direction are limited to eastern Utah and western Nebraska. Perhaps the crests develop as in all woudhousii complex toads, but in the northwest the frontal "boss" expands over the crests with time.
Jeff

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Kelly Mc
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Re: One more metamorph ID post

Post by Kelly Mc »

Only Here. Cool.

d_tigrinum
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Re: One more metamorph ID post

Post by d_tigrinum »

Kelly Mc wrote:
October 5th, 2021, 11:16 am
If you are ID-ing toad species, a loupe lense (I like the hands free glasses type, the inexpensive ones are perfectly adequate) or clear zoom shots of aspects above and lateral are critical for visuals purposes.

With very young anurans the 'topography" derm detail presents with faint, burgeoning buds or 'braille' of future features.

Magnification is power.
What a great suggestion- thank you! Magnification ---> knowledge ---> power : )

d_tigrinum
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Re: One more metamorph ID post

Post by d_tigrinum »

Jeff wrote:
October 6th, 2021, 6:37 pm
ontogenetic
Thank you for teaching me a new word!

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