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Amphibians:

The Manchaug Pond watershed is home to 5 species of frogs, 2 species of treefrogs and 1 species of toads.

Listen to their calls here!  Think you can recognize a frog from its call? Take the frog quiz!

Frogs, Toads and Salamanders

The Manchaug Pond watershed is home to 5 species of frogs, 2 species of treefrogs and 1 species of toads.

Frogs

TRUE FROGS:

Manchaug Pond Foundation Conservation Wildlife

American Bullfrog (Lithobates catesbeianus)

American Bullfrog (Lithobates catesbieanus)

Our largest frog, the bullfrog has a voice to match both its size and its name. Heard individually it is easy to detect the familiar “chug-o-rum” call of the male bullfrog. A dense chorus of bullfrogs can sound like an agitated herd of cattle. Bullfrogs chorus in late-spring and early summer from marshes, ponds, river backwaters and the weedy margins of lakes.

Manchaug Pond Foundation Conservation Wildlife

Green Frog (Lithobates clamitans)

Green Frog (Lithobates clamitan melanotus)

These very common frogs are found throughout Massachusetts where they breed in ponds, marshes, and river backwaters and side-channels. Their calls are short, explosive banjo-plucks, sometimes linked together like a series of echoes. Listen for them in mid to late spring.

Manchaug Pond Foundation Wildlife

Northern Leopard Frog (Rana pipiens)

Leopard Frog (Lithobates pipiens)

Less common than the pickerel frog, which it resembles in both appearance and somewhat in call, the leopard frog typically breeds in shallow marshes, weedy ponds and open vernal pools. Listen for their staccato version of the pickerel frog growl, mixed with chuckling grunts in early to mid-spring.

Pickerel Frog (Lithobates palustris)

Pickerel frogs breed in ponds and slow-moving portions of rivers. That is where you can hear the male’s snoring, belly-growl calls. Because they do not form dense choruses and will at times call from under water, it can sometimes be hard to pick out the calls of pickerels frogs from among choruses of other amphibians. Listen for pickerel frogs in early to mid-spring.

Wood Frog (Lithobates sylvaticus)

This small frog with the distinctive dark mask is typically the first calling amphibian to begin chorusing each spring. Listen for its quacking-clucking calls emanating from woodland vernal pools on the first warm afternoons and evenings of spring.

TREEFROGS:

Spring Peeper (Pseudacris crucifer)

The calls of spring peepers –known as pinkletinks on Martha’s Vineyard – are familiar to most residents of Massachusetts. Yet many people who know it by its high, clear, upward slurring whistle, have never seen this tiny ¾ to 1¼ inch treefrog. Listen for peepers calling from vernal pools, wet meadows and the margins of lakes and ponds throughout early and mid-spring.

Toads

American Toad (Anaxyrus americanus)

The American toad is the common hop-toad of back yards and gardens. It’s warty, ungraceful appearance belies a quite beautiful voice that is typically heard in early spring. The long, melodious trill typically lasts 8-15 seconds but can be as much as 30 seconds long. The calls of American toads can be heard emanating from pond edges, beaver impoundments, and open vernal pools.

Information courtesy of UMass Amherst Massachusetts North American Amphibian Monitoring Program

Salamanders

Redback Salamander (Plethodon cinereus cinereus)

Spotted Salamander (Ambystoma maculatum)

Resources for more information:

Creating an Amphibian and Reptile Friendly Backyard

Massachusetts North American Amphibian Monitoring Program

* All photos are taken in the Manchaug Pond watershed located in the towns of Sutton, Douglas and Oxford, Massachusetts.

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