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Full text of "The frog book; North American toads and frogs, with a study of the habits and life histories of those of the northeastern states"

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Witmer Stone and Wm. Everitt Cram 


David Starr Jordan and Barton W. Evermann 


Neltje Blanchan 

Neltje Blanchan 

Neltje Blanchan 

A. R. Dugmore 

Dr. W. J. Holland 

Dr. W. J. Holland 

Dr. Leland O. Howard 

Nina L. Marshall 

Julia E. Rogers 

Mary C. Dickerson 




THE COMMON TREE FROG \Hyla versicolor LeConte]- 
In and about the ponds in May. Jack-in-the pulpit means to him 
convenient shade and a comfortable seat. 





Author of "Moths and Butterflies' 


N A 



Copyright, 1906, by 
Doubleday, Page & Company 

Published, July, 1906 

All rights reserved, 

including that of translation into foreign languages, 
including the Scandinavian. 


THE original manuscript for this book concerned Toads and 
Frogs of Northeastern North America only. It was 
compiled largely from notes made during a period of 
some ten years in Minnesota, Michigan, Tennessee, New Ham- 
shire, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. It was written with 
the direct aim of making these forms known and appreciated by 
people interested in nature. 

Brief accounts of the species of other parts of North America 
were added later. These descriptions and the photographs 
accompanying them were made from living material shipped from 
various parts of the continent. This collection of material is in 
the American Museum of Natural History, New York, with the 
exception of specimens of Colour Plates XI and XVI which are 
in the National Museum at Washington. 

The Colour Plates were made from photographs from life, 
some of the plates representing eight or ten negatives. They 
were coloured from living material by Mr. Herbert L. Guild of 
Providence, working under the supervision of the author Owing 
to the careful work of Mr. Guild on the originals and to the efforts 
of the Publishers to obtain accurate reproductions, these plates 
are unusually true to life. Of course, in many cases, the colour 
represented may be only one phase in a complex and changing 

Twelve black and white plates showing typical haunts of 
common toads and frogs are from photographs by Mr. W. A. 
Dean, Artist Photographer of Providence. Various line drawings 
introduced to indicate food or enemies or to act as a calendar, 
were made by Miss Alma Field of Providence. With few ex- 
ceptions the subjects for these line drawings were taken from 
photogiaphs from life by the author. 

Sincere gratitude is especially due to three people: Dr. J. 
Percy Moore of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, 


who read the manuscript and gave many valuable suggestions; 
Dr. Leonhard Steineger of the National Museum at Washington 
who not only allowed study of the National Museum Collection 
of Salientia but also gave assisrance in the identification of speci- 
mens; and Miss Maud Slye, Instructor in the Rhode Island 
Normal School, Providence, who read the manuscript from ihe 
standpoint of its English. 

Thanks aie due to many others also, for help in getting 
living material, for opportunities for study and so on. Among 
these are Dr. Frank R. Lillie, University of Chicago; Dr Wm. 
M. Wheeler, American Museum of Natural HisiOiy, New York; 
Dr. Hans Gadow, University of Cambridge, England; Director, 
C. H. Townsend, New York Aquarium; Dr. A. D. Mead, Brown 
University, Providence; Dr. J. Van Denburgh, California Acad- 
emy of Science, San Francisco; and Dr. J. F. Illingworth, Seattle, 

It is hoped that the book not only will introduce the ele- 
mentary nature student to the fascinations of pond life but that 
it will suggest to the more advanced student serious work on the 
classification, life histories and habits of the North American 
Salientia for there remains a field of work of such breadth ihat 
what has been done seems only a beginning. 


Providence, R. I. 
June 10, 1906. 



I. ...... Frontispiece 

11- . . . . . . . . . .50 


IV. . ....... 90 

V. ...... i 08 

VI. 116 

VII. 130 

VIII 132 

*v . . . . . . . . .i 40 

y i 

^*- * ......... I y 2 

XII 1 86 

XIII. . . . . . . . . . 198 

XIV. .......... 204 

* v. . . . . . . . . 214 

XVI. ........ 218 

/ )f i- H 



I Figs. 1-3. The SPOTTED SALAMANDER (Amblystoma 
punctatum Linn): spherical eggs; full grown 
larva; spotted salamanders, i year old . . 4 
II "In May, when birch trees are in their splendour of 
leaves, frogs and toads announce spring from all 
the waterways" 5 

I 1 1 Fig. 4. Diagrams showing location of lateral line sense 

organs in dorsal and side views of Bullfrog tadpole 6 

IV Figs. 5-6. Diagrams showing ventral views of shoul- 

der girdles and dorsal views of pelvic girdles . . 7 
V Fig. 12. Explains fundamental structural character- 
istics mentioned in keys 42 

VI Figs. 13-16. Scaphiopus bolbrookii Harlan : skin of 
side and upper arm; unbroken curve of jaws; black 
horny thickening of first and second fingers . . 43 
VII Figs. 17-19. Scaphiopus bolbrookii Harlan: pro- 
portions of body and leg; elevation of eye; webbed 

foot 56 

VIII Figs. 20-25. Scaphiopus couclii Baird: natural 

positions and structural characteristics . . 57 
IX Figs. 26-30. Scaphiopus h.bombijrons Cope: vertical 
pupil; shape of head; smooth skin; development 

of inner sole tubercle 62 

X The Toads in the pond. "May ist The spreading 

leaves of the skunk cabbage and the unrolling 

fronds of the cinnamon fern" .... 63 

XI Fig. 32. Toads in artificial pond. Fig. 33. Toads' 

eggs laid June 12, 1903, and photographed 24 

hours later 66 

XII Fig. 34. Toads' eggs three days after laying. Fig. 
35. Toad tadpoles hatched four days after eggs 

are laid 67 

XIII Fig. 36. Coiled mass of toads' eggs. Fig. 37. Black 

toad tadpoles ....... 70 


List of Haif-Tones 


XIV Figs. 38-39. Formation of the toad from tad- 
pole: legs and arms appear; tail becomes 
shorter. Fig. 40. "Just toads." Fig. 41. 
Toads playing dead. Fig. 42. I year old 
toads .... ... 71 

XV Fig. 43. Drawing of the toad's moulted skin 74 

XVI Fig. 44. Right foot of the toad showing webs 
and spur. Fig. 45. Toads still retain a de- 
sire to sing in July and August. Fig. 46. 
Portion of a toad's moulted skin ... 75 

Figs. 47-48. The AMERICAN TOAD: views of 
back and bony crests of the head ... 78 

j- Figs 50-56. The Food of the Toad . 79 and 82 

Fig. 57. More of the toad's food; the gray slug 

and its eggs 83 

Fig. 58-60. How the toad eats a worm . . 86 

Fig. 61. Resemblance of toad's skin to garden 
earth. Fig. 62. Structure study of under- 
surface of American Toad .... 87 

Fig. 63. Toads go to their native ponds imme- 
diately after hibernation .... 88 

Figs. 64-67. The SOUTHERN TOAD (Bufo lentigi- 
nosus Shaw) : structural characteristics; i.e., 
size of eye, ear and parotoid glands; elevation 
of crests; arrangement of bony crests of head 89 
XXV Figs. 68-70. The ROCKY MOUNTAIN TOAD (Bufo 
I. woodhouseiGirard) : large, rough-skinned toad; 
unusually short head; structure of under parts; 
crests of the head; texture of skin of upper sur- 
face . 92 

XXVI Figs. 71-74. The ROCKY MOUNTAIN TOAD: study 
of foot; contrast of colour; character; study 

of head 93 

XXVII Figs. 75-78. Bufo fowleri Putnam; character- 
istics of under parts; eggs laid in long strings; 
spotted character of toad .... 94 
XXVIII Fig. 79. When roughly handled the toad "plays 








List of Half-Tones 


dead," even breathing movements are sus- 
pended. (Bufo fowleri, female.) Fig. 80. 
"Ready for new emergencies." Fig. 81. Pro- 
tective resemblance of FOWLER'S TOAD . 95 
XXIX Figs. 82-84. FOWLER'S TOAD; study of hand 
and foot; vocal pouch; texture of skin; 
parotoids and cranial crests ... 98 
XXX Fig. 85. Structure study of hand and foot of 
Bujo cognatus. Fig. 86. Defensive. Fig. 
87. Ready for emergencies ... 99 
XXXI Figs. 88-89. B u f ^gnatus Say; structural 
characteristics of under surface; identifica- 
tion characteristics of bony crests of head, 

of parotoids, etc. 100 

XXXII Figs. 90-92. Bujo cognatus Say: intricate pat- 
tern of lines on back; short head; length of 
foot; comparison of striped and spotted toad 101 
XXXIII Figs. 93-95. Bufo compactilis Wiegm: instincts 
for hiding and burrowing; study of hand 
and foot; parotoid glands; warts on upper 

surface 102 

Figs. 96-98. Studies of Bufo compactilis 
Wiegm. Figs. 99-100. Bufo cognatus Say; 

vocal bladder 103 

Figs. 101-106. The OAK TOAD (Bufo querci- 
cus Holbrook) : bony crests of head ; arrange- 
ment of light and dark colour on upper 
parts; covered with small warts; structure 

study of underparts 104 

XXXVI Figs. 107-109. Bufo olvarius Girard: texture 
of skin, parotoid glands, cranial crests and 
other identification points . . . .105 
XXXVII Figs, iio-iu. Bufo alvarius Girard: studies 

of palm and foot 106 

XXXVIII Figs. 112-113. Bufovalliceps: outline of jaw, 
texture of skin of under parts and structure 

of hand 107 

XXXIX Fig. 114. Bufo valliceps Wiegm: structure 
study of upper surface. Fig. 115. Bufo 



List of Half-Tones 




structure study of foot 



XLI 1 1 




XLVI 1 1 






tubercles ....... no 

Figs. 116-120. Studies of Bufo punctatus Baird 
and Girard ....... HI 

Figs. 1 21-122. The CALIFORNIA TOAD (Bufo hal- 
oplilus Baird): colour; warts; structural char- 
acteristics of head ..... 112 

Figs. 123-126. Bufo halophilus Baird: studies 
of spotted under parts; web of foot; sole tu- 
bercles; vertebral streak; warts; glandular 
elevations on tibia ...... 

Figs. 127-130. Bufo haloplilus Baird: skin 
texture; outline of head; size of ears, structure 
of hand and foot, and other identification 
characteristics ....... 

Figs. 131-133. Bufo boreas Baird and Girard: 
size; structure of concealed parts; various char- 
acteristics of identification . . . .115 

The COMMON TREE FROG (Hyla versicolour) makes 
his home in the trees along forest paths, as well 
as in those about the house and in the orchard 1 18 

Figs. 134-137. The COMMON TREE FROG (Hyla 
versicolour Le Conte): conspicuous markings 119 

Figs. 138-142. Studies of the COMMON TREE 
FROG (Hyla versicolour Le Conte) . . .122 

Figs. 143-146. (Hyla arenicolour Cope): struct- 
ural characteristics; colour; rough character of 
skin of the under parts; web and sole tubercles 123 

Figs. 147-150. The FLORIDA TREE FROG (Hyla 
gratiosa Le Conte): structure study of under 
parts and upper surfaces . . . .124 

Figs. 151-153. The FLORIDA TREE FROG (Hyla 
gratiosa): throat pouch partially extended and 
sound asleep ....... 125 

Figs. 1 54- 1 60. Studies of the GREEN TREE FROG 
(Hyla cinerea Daudin) ..... 126 

Figs. 161-164. Studies of Hyla evitatta Miller. 
A smooth skinned, plain green tree frog, closely 
related to Hyla cinerea ..... 127 

List of Half-Tones 

LI 1 1 Figs. 165-169. Hyla regilla Baird and Girard: 
the skin; eggs laid in clusters; vocal pouch and 
other structural characteristics . . . 138 

LIV "Most of the SPRING PEEPERS live on the ground 
in the woods throughout the year except for 
a few weeks in early spring, when they are 
to be found in the ponds and the marshes 

adjacent." 139 

LV Figs. 170-172. Habits of Hyla pickeringii Storer, 148 

LVI Figs. 173-177. Studies of The SOUTHERN TREE 
FROG (Hyla squirella Bosc) : a delicate, smooth- 
skinned little tree frog, one of the most active 

in North America 149 

LVII Figs. 178-183. Smilisca baudinii: changes from 
nearly black to delicate light green or fawn 
colour; fingers with slight webs; structure study 

of under parts 152 

LVI 1 1 Fig. 184. Studies of the CRICKET FROG (Acris 
gryllus Le Conte). Fig. 185. Studies of the 
SWAMP TREE FROG (Cboropbilus n. feriarum 
Baird) 153 

LIX Figs. 186-187. LitbodyteslatransCope. Fig. 1 88. 
Liibodytes latrans: characteristics of under 

surface 164 

LX Figs. 189-192. Engystoma carolinense Holbrook. 

Fig. 193. Engystoma texense Girard . .165 

LXI Figs. 194-196. Hypopacbus cuneus Cope: fat 
squat body; fold of skin on the top of head 
back of eyes; structure of hand and foot; ver- 
tebral streak; arrangement of spots and bands 
of black on upper surface . . . .170 
LXII "The LEOPARD FROG lives in meadows and fields 

adjacent to brooks and marshes" . . .171 
LXI 1 1 Figs. 197-199. LEOPARD FROGS (Rana pipiens 
Shreber): structure study of hand and foot; 
typical young LEOPARD FROGS . . . . 1 76 
LXIV Figs. 200-201. Characteristics of the COMMON 

LEOPARD FROG (Rana pipiens Shreber) . . 177 

LXV Development of the LEOPARD FROG'S EGG . .178 


List of Half-Tones 




LXVI 1 1 






LXXVI 1 1 




Figs. 208-21 1. Growth of the LEOPARD FROG 
TADPOLE 179 and 180 

Early July. "The border of the pond where the 
young Leopard Frogs develop among the 
pickerel weeds and water lilies." Fig. 212. 
The LEOPARD FROG protected by resemblance 
to grass and clover 181 

Figs. 2 1 3-2 1 6. Studies of the SOUTHERN LEOP- 
ARD FROG (Rana spbenocephala Cope) . .186 

Figs. 217-218. The COMMON LEOPARD FROG 
(Rana pipiens Shreber): head more or less 
pointed; blotch at centre of ear; dark spot on 
head in front of eyes. Figs. 219-220. The 
pbala Cope): structure of head; length and 
other structural characteristics . . .187 
"The brook and the meadows near by make the 
home of the Pickerel Frogs" . . . .188 

Figs. 221-222. Studies of PICKEREL FROGS 
(Rana palusiris Le Conte) . . . . 1 89 

Rana areolata Baird and Girard: charac. points 192 

Figs. 226-228. Structural characteristics of 
Rana czsopus Cope 193 

Figs. 229-234. Studies of the GREEN FROG . 200 

Figs. 235-241. Metamorphosis of the GREEN 

FROG (Rana clamitans Latr) . . . .201 
"The home of the WOOD FROG (Rana sylvatica 
Le Conte)" 206 

Figs. 242-245. Studies of the WOOD FROG 
(Rana sylvatica Le Conte) . . . .207 

Figs. 246-247. Eggs of the WOOD FROG. Fig. 

248. Hatching WOOD FROG TADPOLES. Fig. 

249. SALAMANDER (Amblysioma opacuni) eggs 
fastened to oak leaf. Fig. 250. The WOOD 
FROG leaves the pond while the bepatica is 

still in bloom 212 

Figs. 251-254. Structure studies of Rana dray- 
ionii Baird and Girard: foot; length of fin- 
gers; size and arrangement of spots . . 213 


List of Half-Tones 






LXXXI Figs. 255-256. Rana draytonii Baird and 

Girard: eight or more years old . . . 216 
LXXXI I Fig. 257. Rana onca Cope. Figs. 258-259. 
Rana aurora Baird and Girard: structure 

LXXXIII Figs. 260-263. Structure studies of Rana pre- 

LXXXIV Figs. 264-266. Structural characteristics of 
Rana boylii Baird and Girard. Figs. 267-268. 
Rana virgatipes Cope: outline of head; size 
of eye and ear; length of foot; relative 
proportions of body and leg; markings of 

under parts 

(Rana grylio Stejneger): beautiful frog; me- 
tallic green on head and shoulders; long 
narrow head ; smooth undersurfaces of fin- 
gers and toes 

LXXXVI Figs. 272-274. Rana grylio: toes long; head 
pointed; eyes greatly elevated; texture of 
skin; relative size of eye and ear; fold of 
skin from eye to shoulder .... 
LXXXVI I Fig. 275. Under the pickerel" weed. The 
BULLFROG is the most aquatic frog of North- 
eastern North America (Rana catesbiana 


^XXXVIII June. "We are likely to hear and see BULL- 
FROGS if we go rowing on river or pond. 
BULLFROGS prefer large ponds where the 
water is screened from the shore by willow, 
alder and other water loving plants " 

LXXXI X Figs. 276-277. Studies of the BULLFROG: 
spots of the back; ear; fold of skin extend- 
ing backward from the eye, around the ear 
and down to the shoulder .... 
XC Fig. 278. The BULLFROG is heard in the 
ponds by the first of May. Rana catesbiana 

Shaw, Wisconsin 

XCI Fig. 279. Drawing to show the floor and roof 







List of Half-Tones 


of the Bullfrog's mouth. Fig. 280. BULLFROG 
TADPOLE, one day previous to the time of activity 

of the arms 234 

XCII Fig. 281. Hand of a BULLFROG. Fig. 282. Foot 
of a BULLFROG. Figs. 283-284. Studies of the 


XCII I) Figs. 285-289. Development of the BULLFROG 
XCIV f TADPOLE: right arm breaks through skin; ab- 
sorption of tail begins; legs do all the work of 
swimming; comfortable out of water; constantly 
rushes to surface for air; tail merely a black 

stub 236 and 237 

XCV We have waded there for lilies or fished from its 

sheltered coves for pickerel, or perhaps for frogs." 238 
XCVI Fig. 290. "The BULLFROG independent, self-com- 
posed, alert is the spirit of the place" . . 239 




Fig. 7. The Common Tree Frog, (i) in resting position 
with lungs inflated and body large, and (2) 
singing, the air from the lungs forced into the 

throat vocal pouch 19 

Fig. 8. Bufo compactilis with vocal bladder extended from 

base of throat 20 

Fig. 9. Leopard Frog, drawn to show vocal pouches ex- 
tended at the shoulders 20 

Fig. 10. When the pigment cells retreat and contract, the 

resulting colour of the skin is light . . 22 
Fig. ii. When the Pigment cells send out interlacing 
branches, the resulting colour is dark. After 

Lister 23 

The unrolling fronds of the Cinnamon Fern . . 64 
The shining leaves and flowers of the " Cowslips," 

May ist 65 

The broad leaves and flower-like fruits of the 

"Cowslips." May 2oth 65 

Late June. The little Toads leave the ponds when 

the Arrowhead begins to bloom ... 70 
Fig. 49. To show the movement of the toad's tongue in 
catching an insect. The tongue is fastened in 
front instead of at the back and can be extended 
fully two inches, in an exceedingly rapid move- 
ment. Its surface is sticky . . . .81 
The toad eats the black crickets that are said to 

damage the strawberry crop .... 82 
The wingless grasshopper (Ceuthophilus) of the 

ground 82 

In May when apple trees are in bloom the Common 

Tree Frog is at the pond 120 

When Jack-in-the-pulpit appears we may expect 
to hear the trilling of Hyla versicolour from pond 
and river margins 121 


List of Text Illustrations 

March first. Spring Peepers begin calling when 
the pussy willows are gray . . . .140 

Late March. Spring Peepers are singing both day 
and night when the pussy willows are in blossom 141 

The middle of April. When pussy willow seed 
pods are ripening, Spring Peepers are calling only 
during the late afternoon and night . . . 142 

Early May. The chorus of Spring Peepers closes 
as the pussy willow is scattering feathery seeds 144 

The chorus of Spring Peepers begins when the blue 
violets of the marsh are first opening, and closes 
when these violets are struggling for light among 
rank growths of fern and hellebore . . . 145 

Pickering's Hyla is still calling in the woods, when 
the witchhazel's yellow flowers appear . . 147 

The maroon hoods of the skunk-cabbage are pic- 
turesque among moss and dead leaves at the 
time when the eggs of the Leopard Frog are 

laid 175 

Fig. 204. Series of diagrams to show cleavage of the frog's 
egg. The second very nearly corresponds to 
Fig. 202. The third represents Fig. 203. The 
last is a stage just preceding that of Fig. 205 
in which the cells are too small to be seen. 
(After Ecker) 177 

A narrow escape from the jaws of the water-tiger 182 

What are apparently /green stems come to life and 
send out powerful arms to capture the tadpoles 182 

The back-swimmer is a powerful enemy of the young 
tadpoles 183 

Late March. The Leopard Frogs are croaking in 
the pond when the blue-birds are deciding on 
a home 1 84 

July. The Leopard Frogs eat the young grass- 
hoppers that are so thick in the grass . .185 

The Pickerel Frogs are croaking when the blue 
flags are in bloom 189 

The Green Frog comes from his winter sleep soon 
after the redwings appear in the marshes . 200 


List of Text Illustrations 


Green Frogs may catch the dragon flies that have 
left their larval skins 201 

The Green Frog captures the damsel-flies before 
their wings are dried 202 

Green Frogs feed upon the fairy shrimps of icy 
March pools 203 

In June the Wood Frog is found where the fra- 
grant pyrola stands on its carpet of oak leaves 
and pine-needles 206 

The waxy flowers of the pipsissewa. June . . 207 

Like the chickadee, the Wood Frog is a gentle 
spirit of the woods .211 



I. Distinction of Batrachians from Fishes and Reptiles 

The Batrachians represent a Class of Vertebrate animals 
occupying a position between Fishes and Reptiles. There is con- 
siderable variation in general appearance among the different 
living members of the Class, so that a Batrachian is not as easily 
defined and identified as is a fish, a bird, or a mammal. There 
is no one characteristic by which it may be known, as there is 
in each of these other Classes. 

Batrachians, however, are distinguished from Fishes by sev- 
eral easily recognizable characteristics. They usually have paired 
limbs furnished with fingers and toes (pentadactyle limbs), and 
never have fins stiffened by bony rays (although they may have 
fins soft and filmy in character in the young stages). With the 
exception of one order (Apoda), they do not have scales, but pos- 
sess a skin either smooth and slimy or rough with warts and 
nearly dry. Fishes breathe throughout their lives by means of 
gills, but the Batrachians, while usually living in the water and 
breathing by gills in the early stages of life, as a rule breathe 
during adult life by means of lungs, and are more or less well 
developed for land life. 1 

A popular distinction from the Reptiles is not easily made, 
since Batrachians and Reptiles sometimes correspond almost ex- 
actly in form. That is, they both have limbs of the pentadactyle 
type and in the case of Salamanders (Batrachians) and Lizards 
(Reptiles) both possess tails and elongated bodies. In fact, some 
of the common Salamanders are popularly called Lizards, show- 
ing the great superficial resemblance of certain members of the 
two Classes. 

However, Batrachians and Reptiles are very different indeed 
in all fundamental points. Instead of a more or less smooth and 
slimy skin, Reptiles have a skin protected by overlapping scales, 

'There are certain technical points of difference in characteristics of the skeletons; i.e., the 
vertebrae of Fishes are never pseudocentrous or notocentrous. The Batrachian has two occipital con- 
dyles, except in the case of some Stcgocephali. The Batrachian is characterized by the presence of a 
fenestra ovalis and stapes and by internal nares. 


as in the case of Snakes and Lizards; like the Turtles, possess a 
bony box-like shell; or like the Crocodiles and many extinct forms, 
have bony plates in the skin. Unlike the Batrachians, the Rep- 
tiles breathe throughout their lives by means of lungs in cer- 
tain cases helped by the walls of the pharynx and when adapted 
in other ways for water life, remain divers merely. 

Batrachian eggs are laid in the water and hatch into so-called 
tadpoles, different from the adults in appearance and thoroughly 
adapted for water life. The eggs of Reptiles are laid on land, and 
they hatch into perfected diminutive Reptiles fully adapted for 
land life. 1 

II. Two Orders of Living North American Batrachians Urodela 
and Salientia 

The living North American Batrachians differ enough to al- 
low classification into two distinct Orders, the Urodela and the 
Salientia. The Urodela are the Tailed Batrachians, or Salaman- 
ders, with various popular names, such as Mud Puppies or Water 
Dogs, Tritons, Newts, and Efts. The Salientia are the Tailless 
Batrachians, i. e. the Toads, Tree Frogs, Frogs, and all Batrachians 
that have the frog-like form. 

There can never be any confusion in identifying a Batra- 
chian as a member of one or the other of these two Orders. The 
Urodele is always tailed, has an elongated body and legs of nearly 
equal size; while any member of the Salientia has a relatively 
short stout body without a tail and with the long hind legs de- 
veloped for jumping and swimming. 2 

The members of the Order Urodela vary considerably in 
their habits and life histories. Like all the Batrachians, they 
usually pass through a larval aquatic existence, after which they 

1 The technical differences in the skeletons are as follows: 

The vertebrae of Reptilia are gastrocentrous, those of Batrachia never so; Batrachian skeleton 
never has sternal ribs and a true sternum; Batrachia have two occipital condyles for the articulation 
of the skull with the vertebral column, Reptilia have only one. 

2 Technical differences of the skeletons are as follows: 

The acentrous and opisthoccelous.or amphiccelous vertebras of the Urodela are many in number. 
The trunk vertebra? carry ribs or vestiges of them. The shoulder-girdle is simple, mainly cartilagi- 
nous, and not a complete circle the precoracoids not meeting in the midventral line. The pelvic 
girdle is weak, with the ilia placed at right angles to the axis. 

The Salientia have few vertebrae, which are usually notocentrous and proccelous; the last bone 
of the vertebral column (Fig. 6) is a long solid coccyx to give support to muscles for leaping. This 
coccyx consists of several vertebral segments coalesced. The pelvic girdle is large and strong; ribs 
are absent except in Discoglossidas. The shoulder-girdle is a complete circle' overlapping or fusing 
in front. (See Fig. 5.) 


may remain aquatic or may become terrestrial in habit. (Figs, i, 
2, and 3.) The aquatic forms usually have the tail flattened 
vertically to aid in swimming; while the terrestrial forms have 
a rounded tail. A few, like Necturus, keep the gills throughout 
their lives. 

The Urodela represent in numbers about one-tenth of the 
Batrachian group as known in the world at present, that is, about 
one hundred species. Of this number between sixty and seventy 
are American species. 

III. Development and Metamorphosis 

The North American representatives of the Salientia deposit 
the eggs in water, usually in shallow, stagnant water. The eggs 
may be laid singly or in small clusters, as in the case of some 
of the tree frogs (Fig. 167); in large masses, as is the habit among 
the frogs (Fig. 246) ; or in long unbroken strings, as in the case of 
toads (Fig. 34). The eggs are sometimes free in the water, but 
more often are attached to water-weeds or other objects. If free, 
the egg mass has such buoyancy that it floats at the surface of 
the water (Rana sylvatica}. 

The number of eggs in a laying depends on the species and 
often on the age and size of the individual of the species. The 
number may be as high as 12,000 in the American Toad. The 
size of the egg will sometimes help in the identification of a 
species, but there is great variation in this respect. In the first 
place, the size of the egg does not correspond with the size of the 
Batrachian, the largest frog of North America (Rana catesbiana) 
having an egg of less size than that of some of its smaller relatives. 
Besides, the size varies considerably with the individual. In a 
large collection of egg masses of Rana sylvatica or Rana palustns, 
the difference in size will be so conspicuous that unless one 
knew the opposite to be true, he would judge the egg masses to 
have been laid by frogs of different species. 

The egg is spherical, and is provided with a large amount of 
light-coloured yolk. When the eggs are first laid, part of this 
yolk can be seen occupying the lower portion of the egg under 
the more or less pigmented upper portion. (Fig. 202.) The dark 
pigmented portion of the egg at the top (later the whole surface 
becomes black or brown in colour) allows a greater absorption 
of the sun's heat than would a lighter colour. So the develop- 



ment which is wholly dependent on temperature is materially 
aided. Each egg is surrounded by a thin elastic membrane that 
fits it closely (except in Pelobatidae) and one or two gelatinous 
membranes outside of this. These membranes are not visible 
when the eggs are first laid, but swell after they come into con- 
tact with water, becoming very conspicuous, though transparent. 
These envelopes aid the development; they absorb and hold the 
warmth from the sun's rays, producing a somewhat higher and 
more equable temperature than is that of the surrounding water. 
They also serve to protect the egg or egg mass by converting it 
into a slippery unmanageable object not easily grasped and eaten 
by birds, turtles, and others of the Batrachian's enemies about 
the pond. It is reported that ducks sometimes feed upon frog 
egg masses. The membranes of the eggs are easily penetrated 
by leeches, 1 which suck out the contents, and so prove themselves 
perhaps the most destructive enemy of frog spawn. 

The breeding season is likely to occur in early spring, but 
varies with the species, some of the Salientia being able to en- 
dure more cold than others. As a rule, toads are later in their 
appearance at the pond than are frogs or tree frogs. In eastern 
North America, Rana sylvatica and Rana pipiens appear earliest 
among the frogs, Hyla pickeringii and Chorophilus n. feriarum 
among the tree frogs. The latter may be heard as early as 
February and the two species of frogs appear very soon after. 
On the Western coast, Rana draytonii; and Hyla regilla are 
breeding in January and February in California, and following 
them closely Rana pretiosa and Hyla regilla are breeding in Wash- 
ington. Members of the genus Scaphiopus have been known to 
breed at various times from March to August, always during a 
warm rain. 

The length of the breeding season varies greatly. All of a 
given species may resort to the water at about the same time 
and remain there for a short period only, as in the case of the 
Spadefoot Toad (Scaphiopus holbrookii) or less conspicuously of 
the Wood Frog (Rana sylvatica}. On the other hand, they 
may go to the ponds scatteringly and each individual linger there. 
In the latter case the breeding season may extend over a period 
of two or three months, as in the case of Bufo lentiginosus, of 
Bufo americanus, and even more remarkably of Bufo fowleri. 

l Macrobjella decora. 



- .-. 

FIGS, i and 2. The SPOTTED SALAMANDER (Amblystoma punctatiim Linn). Providence, R. I. [Enlarged.] 
The spherical eggs enclosing the embryos are within an external mass of jelly. The full-grown larva has a tail fin and ex- 
ternal gills adapting it to water life. 

FIG. 3. SPOTTED SALAMANDERS i year old. Black and yellow. These are typical representatives of the 
Urodela which together with the Salientia, or frog-like forms, constitute the two classes of the North American 



In May, when birch trees are in their splendour of young leaves, frogs and toads announce spring from all the waterways. 


Investigation has yet to prove that any given North American 
species has more than one true brood each year. The fertiliza- 
tion of the egg is external and the grasp of the male is back of 
the arms, except in the Discoglossidae and the Pelobatidae, where 
it is inguinal, as among the Salamanders. When several species 
are breeding in a given pond, they may divide the space and form 
themselves into colonies. The same exclusiveness is true later 
of the tadpoles also. 

For details of the development of the frog's egg, see pp. 176 to 
1 8 1 , and for those of the toad's egg, see pp. 67 to 7 1 . The Salientia 
show their close relationship by the similarity in the development 
of the eggs. The time element varies with the species and with 
the temperature in the case of a given species. Some embryos 
hatch in less time than others in two or three days even (Bufo 
americanus) instead of in as many weeks (Rana pipiens) and 
thus may be at an earlier stage of development at the time of 
hatching. They may therefore either pass through a quiescent, 
clinging stage after hatching (Figs. 35 and 248), or omit this 
and become active at once. There may be differences in colour, 
in the extent of the development of the external gills, and in other 
details, but, on the whole, if we know the story of development 
in one species, we know what to look for in other species also. 

This applies equally to the metamorphosis of the tadpole. 
(See American Toad, pp. 69 and 70, and Bullfrog, pp. 235 to 238.) 
The length of life of the tadpole before its change into the frog 
may vary from two or three weeks to as many years. Some of the 
interesting points possible to observe during the metamorphosis 
are the following: The arms and legs develop simultaneously, 
but the arms are concealed under the opercular membrane. (Fig. 
280.) The left arm appears first, because of the presence of the 
breathing-pore orspiraculumontheleftside. (Figs. 284 and 285.) 
The eyes are elevated, become free, and have movable lids per- 
fected. The lachrymal canal shifts upward and backward tow- 
ard the eye and enters the lower eyelid. (Fig. 287.) The horny 
parts of the mouth are dropped and the mouth cavity increases 
in size. The tail becomes smaller by absorption from within. 
The tadpole takes on habits of rushing to the surface or of resting 
wholly out of the water (Figs. 287 and 288), showing that the 
lungs, which for some time before had been functional in company 
with the gills, now take on all of the respiratory work (except 



that performed by the skin). Within a short time after the ap- 
pearance of the arms, the skin of the opercular membrane has 
grown to that of the arm and a distinct seam is visible at the 
line of union. (Figs. 289 and 229.) This seam is sometimes visible 
in the second year after the metamorphosis. 

The metamorphosis may take place in a relatively short space 
ot time, often being hastened by lack of food. Hunger causes 
earlier degeneration and resorption of the edible portions of the 
tail and opercular membrane, and hence hastens the metamor- 
phosis. On the other hand, the change may be delayed by good 
feeding and low temperature, and by any disturbance which 
results in requiring the expenditure of energy on the part of the 
tadpole. As the tail becomes smaller and no longer functional, 
its colour darkens until it is nearly black. This is due to the 
concentration of the pigment that was previously spread out, 
giving colour to the tail and its fin. 

One of the most interesting structures of the tadpole is the 
system of the lateral line organs. These are sense organs of the 
skin that appear to the naked eye as dots of lighter or darker 
colour, but are really tiny papillae at the ends of tubules of the 
skin. They are arranged in curving rows on the top of the head 
and around the eyes. They also extend backward to the tail or 
beyond, usually in three irregular rows on each side. (Fig 4) 
Their arrangement differs somewhat in the different genera and 
species and they are more prominent in some than in others. In 
a given individual they may be more conspicuous at some times 
than at others, depending on the colour of the tadpole at the time 
the observation is made. Each papilla is in direct connection 
with a fibre from the lateral branch of the vagus nerve, and the 
system of organs is supposed to provide a special sense necessary 
in some way to aquatic life. Organs of the lateral line are uni- 
formly possessed by Fishes; the organs of the lateral line possessed 
by the Salientia are known in the tadpole stage only, and dis- 
appear at the time of the metamorphosis. (See p. 14.) There 
has been much difference of opinion as to the exact function of 
these organs, but they are now regarded as refined organs of 
touch, making the creature sensitive to vibrations of the mass 
of water. They have developed from the skin, which is sensitive 
to waves and currents of water. It is thought that the internal 
ears have developed from organs of the lateral line, and the ears 



































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'c u 

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u u 




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in o 

w -a 

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are sensitive to the most delicate vibrations of the water pro- 
ducing sound. The sense organs of the skin, the lateral line and 
the ears, then, are closely related in origin and in function. 

IV. The Families of the Salientia or Tailless Ealrachia 

The Tailless Batrachia of North America, as far as known, 
are represented by seven families, containing together twelve gen- 
era and fifty-six species. In addition, there are a few forms that 
rank as subspecies. All show slight modifications of one narrow 
plan of structure, and are sometimes distinguished from one an- 
other by close discrimination only. Their natural classification 
rests on minute details of internal structure. It is based, for the 
most part, first, on the ventral structure of the shoulder-girdle 
(Fig. 5); and second, on the shapes of the sacral diapophyses, 
those bones that form wing-like extensions of the sacral or ninth 
Vertebra and connect directly with the ilia or hip-bones. (Fig. 6.) 


I. Superfamily Arcifera. 

The two halves of the shoulder-girdle (coracoids and 
precoracoids) overlap in front so that the chest is capable 
of expansion. (Fig. 5.) 

A. Sacral diapophyses dilated. (Fig. 6.) 

1 . Terminal phalanges of skeleton not claw-shaped. 

a. Vertebra opisthocoelous, ribs present, teeth on 

upper jaw. 
Family i. Discoglossida (Ascaphus, p. 51). 

b. Vertebrae opisthocoelous, or proccelous, ribs absent, 

teeth on upper jaw. 
Family 2. Pelobatidce (Scaphiopus, etc., pp. 43 and 53). 

c. Vertebrae proccelous, ribs absent, teeth absent. 

Family 3 Bufonidce (Toads), pp. 44 and 63. 

2. Terminal phalanges of skeleton claw-shaped and 

supporting adhesive disks. 

a. Vertebrae procoelous, ribs absent, teeth on upper 
jaw. Family 4. Hylidce (Tree Frogs) , pp. 46 and 1 1 7. 

B. Sacral diapophyses cylindrical. (Fig. 6.) 

Vertebrae procoelous, ribs absent teeth on upper jaw. 
(Very like the frogs, except for the arciferous shoulder- 
Family 5. Cysiignatlidce (Lithodytes, etc., pp. 45 and 163). 



II. Superfamily Firmisternia. 

The two halves of the shoulder-girdle meet in front and 
unite (coracoids and epicoracoid cartilage), so that the 
chest is not capable of expansion. (Fig. 5.) 
A. Sacral diapophyses dilated. 

Vertebras proccelous, ribs absent, teeth absent or pres- 
ent. Family 6. Engystomahda (Engystoma pp. 48 and 
1 66). B. Sacral diapophyses cylindrical. 

Vertebrae precocious, ribs absent, teeth on upper jaw. 
Family 7. Ranidce (Frogs), pp. 48 and 171. 

Family I. Discoglossida 

This is the most primitive family of the Salientia, resembling 
the Salamanders in the possession of ribs and in other detailed 
characteristics of the skeleton. The tongue is round and only 
slightly free behind, so that it cannot be extended for the capture 
of food. At the breeding season the clasp of the male is lumbar 
or inguinal, as among the Salamanders and the Pelobatidas. The 
tadpoles have the breathing-pore situated on the midline below, 
instead of on the left side as in all other families of the Salientia. 

Until 1897, when a new genus of the Family was found at 
Humptulips, Washington, the Discoglossidas contained only four 
genera, and were supposed to be unusually limited in distribution. 
They were reported from Europe, southwestern Asia, northern 
Africa, and the island of New Zealand only, never having been 
found in the Western Hemisphere, or in tropical Africa, Asia, or 
Australia. (Refer to p. 51.) 

Family II. Pelobatidce 

This family, related to the Discoglossidas below and the Bu- 
fonidae above, also shows some primitive characteristics of struc- 
ture, and the clasp at the breeding season is inguinal. The mem- 
bers of the Family are strictly nocturnal, as is evidenced by the 
vertical pupil of the eye. They are burrowing in habit. The 
foot is unusually thick and leathery and is provided with a large 
sharp-edged digging spur (inner sole tubercle). 

The Family is well represented in North America and Mexico 
and in the Eastern Hemisphere, with the exception of tropical 
regions. Seven genera are known and about twenty species. 
North America has four representatives of the one genus Scaphi- 
opus. (Refer to p. 53.) 



Family III. Bufonida 

The Bufonidae includes batrachians differing greatly from 
one another in appearance. They always have parotoids, and 
the ear is fully developed. But they may be short and stout 
or quite the opposite, rough and dry-skinned or smooth and slimy. 
In habit of life they may be terrestrial, burrowing, aquatic, or 
even arboreal. 

The family includes eight genera, with many more than a 
hundred species, but, curiously enough, one of the genera, Bufo, 
includes all but fifteen of these species. The Bufonidae is the 
most nearly cosmopolitan of all the families in its distribution; 
Madagascar, Papuasia, and the small islands of the Pacific, are 
the only regions not possessing representatives. The greatest 
number of genera is found in Central America ; the greatest number 
of species, mainly Bufo, of course, occur in Central and South 
America. The genus Bufo is lacking in the Australian region. 

Bufo is the only genus of the family found in North America, 
but this genus has thirteen species and a few allied subspecies. 
Texas has the greatest number of these species. (See p. 63.) 

Family IV. Hylidce 

This family embraces the arboreal Salientia, or Tree Frogs. 
It is most nearly related to the Bufonidae, and is, next to the 
Ranidae, the largest family of the Salientia. 

The tree frogs are relatively small in size and are often green 
in colour. The ends of the fingers and toes are provided with 
adhesive disks, by means of which the creatures climb with great 
skill. They have large resonating pouches, and voices that are 
surprisingly loud when compared with the small size of the singers. 

Their distribution is cosmopolitan, with the exception of 
the African region. The rich forests of Central and South America 
have the largest number of representatives of the family some 
one hundred thirty species; Australia has about thirty species 
and North America fifteen. In the rest of the world, six species 
only are represented. Of the North American species, ten 
are members of the genus Hyla; the others belong to Acris, Cho- 
rophilus, and Smilisca. (Refer to p. 1 17.) 

Family V . Cyslighaihidce 

The old family of the Cystignathidae is nearly as large as the 
Hylidae. It is not well defined, but overlaps in its characteristics 



the Hylidae, the Pelobatidae, and the Ranidae. It resembles the 
first in sometimes possessing adhesive disks on fingers and toes; 
the second, in that the sacral diapophyses are in some species 
dilated instead of cylindrical; the third, in nearly all ways, except 
the fundamental one that it has a shoulder-girdle of the arciferous 
instead of the firmisternal type. 

The various members of the family show habits aquatic or 
terrestrial, burrowing or arboreal, and have proportions and struc- 
tures adapting them to these various existences. The largest 
number of species occurs in Mexico and Central and South Amer- 
ica, but Australia is also well provided with them (twenty spe- 
cies). Outside of these regions, the Family is not known, except 
for the few forms found in North America, due to the overlapping 
of the northern and southern zoological realms. North Ameri- 
can genera are Lithodytes of Florida and Texas and Syrrophus 
of Texas. (Refer to p. 163.) 

Family VI. Engystomatidce 

With some exceptions, these "Narrow-mouthed Toads" 
have, as the name implies, a narrow pointed head and a small 
mouth in sharp contradistinction from the type among the Sali- 
entia. . t These structural characteristics of the family are related 
to the habit of feeding upon ants and minute insects only. 
The body is usually very stout, making the small size of the head 
all the more striking. The ear is usually invisible. Most mem- 
bers of the family possess no teeth on the jaw. There are never 
palatine teeth, but often there is a serrated ridge across the roof 
of the mouth in front and a second one farther back. These 
ridges may 'be a modification in structure due to ant-eating 

The shoulder-girdle is always of the firmisternal type, but 
it differs greatly among the various members of the family in its 
details of structure. The pupil of the eye may be vertical, cir- 
cular, or horizontal. The legs may be short or long; the toes 
provided with disks or not. In fact, outside of the fundamental 
distinguishing features (shoulder-girdle firmisternal, sacral dia- 
pophyses dilated), there are few points of likeness among the 
members of the family. Boulenger has divided it into three sub- 
families, and the unlikenesses are evident also from the fact that 
there are only about twice as many species as genera. 



The Engystomatidae are tropical in their distribution. The 
only North American species found outside of southern Texas 
is Engysioma carolinense. This is found in a belt across the con- 
tinent from Florida to Texas, inclusive, and as far to the north as 
Virginia (Cape Charles), southern Illinois, and Missouri. (Refer 
to p. 1 66.) 

Family Vll. Ranidce 

The Family of the Ranidae is the most specialized of the 
Salientia; it is also one of the most unified families in its structural 
characteristics. The shoulder-girdle is not only always firmis- 
ternal in type, but also usually agrees with the type for the fam- 
ily in its details (such as the presence of the precoracoids and a 
well-developed omosternum and sternum furnis'hed with a bony 
style). The cranium also constantly shows the same character- 
istics (such as the absence of a frontoparietal fontanelle). 

The family contains a large number of genera, and it is very 
widely distributed. Australia, New Zealand, and southern South 
America are the only parts of the world not possessing represent- 
atives of the true frogs. Some two hundred species (by far the 
largest number) are found in the tropical portion of the Eastern 
Hemisphere. North America has only one genus, Rana; there 
are seventeen known species, and one form of the rank of a sub- 
species (Rana c. latiremis). They are most numerous in the 
eastern part of the continent, though several species are found 
west of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. See p. 171. 

V. Phylogeny 

It is not until recent years that the Batrachians have been 
recognized as a distinct Class, intermediate in position between 
the Fishes and the Reptiles. This is partly because of the rela- 
tively high specialization of some of the living batrachian species, 
a specialization that removes them from the direct line of evolution 
and makes necessary a large amount of comparative morphologi- 
cal and embryological investigation before their true relationship 
can be discovered. In France and Germany, in England and 
lastly in America, this work has been going on since the time 
of Linnaeus in the eighteenth century. Linnaeus classified Batra- 
chians, some of the Fishes, and Reptiles together, calling them 
Amphibia. Since then Batrachians have been classified with 



the Fishes and again and again in various combinations with the 
Reptiles. They were first recognized as a group distinct from 
both Fishes and Reptiles in I804, 1 and were then called Batrachia. 

There is now no question but that the Batrachians, no mat- 
ter how they differ in form, are closely related to one another 
and are descendants of the Fishes. Neither is there any question 
that in the past ages some primitive forms of Batrachians, now 
extinct, formed the direct ancestors of the Reptiles. An under- 
standing of their relation to other animal races has been facilitated 
by the discovery of fossil remains of Batrachians and Reptiles. 
Fossil Batrachia the Stegocephali 2 have been found which 
by the structure of the skeleton show evidences of descent from 
either the Dipnoi or Crossoptergii (extinct Fishes). Fossil Rep- 
tiles - - Proreptilia and Theromorpha 3 have been discovered 
which in their turn seem to produce a gradually traced line of 
evolution from these extinct Stegocephali to higher Reptiles. 

The Stegocephali are found in largest numbers in the Car- 
boniferous strata of North America and Europe. They thus 
must have flourished during the Coal Period in North America, 
that early epoch in the history of the earth following the Age of 
Fishes and preceding the Reptilian Age. At this time, the conti- 
nent, which extended from what is now the Appalachian Moun- 
tain region west to Kansas and Nebraska only, was in a semi- 
emerged condition. The great areas of marsh were filled with 
jungles and rank growths of fern and conifer, with an animal life 
represented by many of the lower invertebrate forms (among 
them some of the lower insects), and by the vertebrate classes 
of the fishes, these early batrachians (the Stegocephali) and a 
few of the early reptiles. But there were no flowering plants, 
no moths, or butterflies, bees, or wasps; and the great silence was 
unbroken by bird or mammal. That the Stegocephali did not 
flourish much beyond this Coal Period is proved by the fact 
that their remains are found in ever smaller numbers from the 
lower Permian (at the close of the Carboniferous era) through 
the Trias (of the Reptilian era), and that above this, their repre- 
sentatives are almost wholly lacking. 

l Brongniart, " Essai d'une Classification Naturelle des Reptiles." 

2 Stegocephali (Cope); Labyrinthodontia (Huxley). The latter represents the former in part 

3 The fossils which have been assigned here may prove to be Stegocephalian instead of 



In North America to-day, the Carboniferous strata made in the 
Coal Period are best represented in the region of the Alleghenies. 
It is in this region, in the upper Coal Measures of Pennsylvania, 
Ohio, and adjoining states that the fossils of the Stegocephali 
are found. They have also come to light in the Coal Measures 
of Nova Scotia. 

These earliest four-footed, air-breathing vertebrates were 
often of considerable size (several feet in length). This is proved 
not only by their skeletons, but also by footprints left by them 
on slabs of sandstone both in Europe and in America. Usually 
they resembled the Salamanders in shape, sometimes possessing 
very long tails. The body carried a partial armour of bony plates 
or scales and the head was heavily armoured. The skeleton 
is in a relatively generalized condition such as might have 
developed into the relatively more specialized types found in the 
lower Batrachians (Apoda and Urodela) and in some extinct Rep- 
tiles. The presence of pentadactyle limbs of course proves the 
Stegocephali higher than all Fishes, but the shoulder-girdle is prim- 
itive, resembling that in the Dipnoian Fishes, and the pelvis 
and cranium present features very different from those of the 
typical Fishes, but in some respects like those in the Dipnoi and 
Crossoptergii and some extinct Reptiles. That the Stegocephali 
are not Reptiles is proved perhaps by the presence of two 
occipital condyles, whereas Reptiles have but one; it is proved to 
a certainty by the structure of the vertebrae. (They are never 
gastrocentrous, as in Reptiles.) 

The path of evolution from these extinct Stegocephali to 
the Urodela and the specialized Salientia is obscure. It is not 
known whether the intermediate ancestors were forms breathing 
by mean of gills throughout their lives (Perennibranchiata) or 
were already air-breathers. In fact, it is not even known whether 
the Urodela and Salientia arose separately from the Stegocephali 
or whether they had intermediate common ancestors. The oldest 
form of the Salientia known is represented by fossils from the 
Jurassic beds of the Rocky Mountains (representing the middle 
period of the Age of Reptiles). So little is known of this form, 
however, that it has little weight. The earliest reliable evidence 
of anything approaching modern types is given by a small skele- 
ton found in the Cretaceous of Belgium (the latest period of the 
Reptilian Age, just previous to the Tertiary) ; this is thought to 



be a perennibranchiate Urodele (Hylaeobatrachus). Probably Ba- 
trachia were abundant throughout the Reptilian Age (Mesozoic), 
but were represented by delicate, marsh-living animals not suited 
to fossilization. The modern types of the Salientia appear in 
the Tertiary with about as many genera and species as now. 

Not only do the Salientia show their development from the 
Fishes through fossils, but their structure still tells the story of 
their descent. In addition to this, some points of the proof are 
shown in their development through a larval form adapted to 
water life. 

The adult structure which constitutes the main likeness is 
the three-chambered heart with its valved conus arteriosus and 
the symmetrical arrangement of arterial arches. Two of the 
telling points in the development are the presence of lateral line 
sense organs previous to the metamorphosis (p. 6), and the 
existence of four or five gill arches in the larva. It is thought 
that the gills of the tadpole are not phylogenetically related to 
the gills of true Fishes, but that they are so related to the ex- 
ternal gills possessed by some of the Dipnoi and Crossoptergii, 
or that they have developed in response to the needs of the tad- 
pole in its adaptation to a water environment. This is true 
even of the so-called internal gills, which replace the first external 
gills and are covered by the opercular membrane. They have 
been called internal because they were under this opercular mem- 
brane, not because they were homologous with the internal gills 
of Fishes. 

The lowest of the Salientia and the most nearly related to 
the primitive Batrachians are the Discoglossidae (outside of the 
Aglossa, which are not represented in North America). These 
have not only the primitive characteristics of the skeleton (ver- 
tebrae opisthocoelous, distinct short ribs, etc.), but they have other 
structures also in primitive condition. Such is a tongue adherent 
to the floor of the mouth, so that they must capture food with 
the jaws, as do the Urodela. The Pelobatidae are perhaps inter- 
mediate in position between the Discoglossidae and the Bufonidae 
and lead also to the Cystignathidae. These last, in their turn, 
point towards the Hylidae. The Ranidae are thought to be the 
highest among the Salientia. 

Thus, historically, Batrachians are more interesting than any 
other vertebrate Class. They bridge the greatest gap in verte- 



brate evolution: they made the change from water life to land 
life at the time when the earth reached the condition in which 
land existence was possible. 

Their small numbers now only one-eighth that of the 
Fishes, one-fourth that of the Reptiles, and one-tenth that of 
the Birds -- and the few fossils found would seem to prove that 
they never became a dominant group. Not remaining perfectly 
adapted for water life, as are the Fishes, never becoming in- 
dependent of water and fully adapted to land life, as are the Rep- 
tiles, they have been at a disadvantage as a race. They have 
been limited in their distribution to moist situations near water, 
and have been wiped out of existence in large numbers when con- 
ditions changed, because they were not able to migrate over dry 
regions until they again found a proper habitat. Also, during 
those ages when the earth was occupied by Fishes, Batrachians, 
and Reptiles only, the Batrachians could not but be unequal 
to the situation, pitted against two devouring races, the Fishes 
in the water and the Reptiles on land. 

VI. Temperature and Hibernation 

All Batrachians, like Fishes and Reptiles, are cold-blooded, 
i.e. they have a variable body heat, depending on the tempera- 
ture of the environment. In this they are distinguished from 
Birds and Mammals, which have an unvarying body temperature. 

Because of this variation of the body temperature with that 
of the surroundings, Batrachians can endure extremes of heat 
and cold, but are greatly influenced by them. With decreasing 
temperature the processes of respiration and circulation gradually 
slacken speed, and the animals become more and more lethargic 
until they sleep. With rise of temperature to a limit varying 
from 20 to 30 Centigrade in the different species, they gain in- 
creased activity. 

Members of the Salientia can endure an astonishing amount 
of cold; even freezing in the water of a pond or in the mud at 
its bottom will not of necessity cause death. The circulation 
and all life processses may stop, but if the blood and protoplasm 
of the heart do not fall much below freezing-point, the frozen 
parts will recover. Since sleep is induced in specimens at vary- 
ing temperatures below 10 C., it is easy to understand why Ba- 
trachians are not found in the extreme north. 


In the autumn, when the frog or toad feels this slowness and 
inactivity of the body functions, it creeps away into some pro- 
tected place or burrows into the soil. (Refer to p. 33.) The 
burrow is pushed to a greater or less depth, depending on whether 
the place chosen is at the bottom of a pond, under logs or stones, 
or in the open earth of gardens or fields depending also on the 
species and on the age and consequent size and strength of the 

This hibernation or sleep induced by cold continues until 
a return of high temperature. If by any cause climatic conditions 
of the spot chosen should change, or if chance led the batra- 
chian into a deep well, cave, or other cold situation so that a 
sufficiently high temperature never returned, hibernation would 
continue for years perhaps, until, still sleeping, the creatures 
died from exhaustion of vital forces. Frogs that have been frozen 
are always found in the hibernating position. 

The Salientia can endure a greater degree of cold than of 
heat. It is thought that in water death occurs at 40 C. Thus 
tadpoles and water frogs are often killed in large numbers in 
the shallow pools of Texas. Land frogs and toads hide away 
in cooler situations under moss and stones in shaded regions and 
pass through a period of aestivation till lower temperature re- 
turns. The tree frogs can endure much higher temperature than 
can dry-skinned toads or water frogs. It is said that they can 
sit in the sun at a temperature of 60 C. (120 F.). This is pos- 
sible because of the moisture secreted by their skins. The fact 
is that they do not actually experience this high temperature 
because evaporation keeps the surface cooled to a much lower 

VII. Tie Poisonous Character of Frogs and Toads 

When annoyed or when taken roughly in the hand, mem- 
bers of the Salientia squirt out from the urinary bladder a trans- 
parent fluid wholly harmless in character and usually odorless. 
When handled very roughly by an enemy, a secretion is given 
out in minute quantities from glands in the skin. This is not 
harmless if taken into the system of an animal; it is a poison 
varying in amount and intensity with the species. 

The skin of the Salientia is thickly set with glands. These 
may be so small that they are invisible to the naked eye, the 



skin appearing perfectly smooth. On the other hand, they may 
be larger, and if large, are either few and scattered or many and 
aggregated the latter condition being illustrated by the warts 
and parotoids of the toads and by the lateral folds of some of 
the frogs. 

It is thought that these glands are of two kinds, slime-glands 
and poison-secreting glands. The slime-glands have for their 
chief function assistance in the process of respiration by the skin. 
But it is thought by some that their secretion serves a secondary 
purpose of protection; that it is an alkaloid and acts as a nar- 
cotic. The larger poison-secreting glands are sometimes so few 
and scattered as to be invisible to the naked eye, but often are 
gathered together in conspicuous elevations. In these aggrega- 
tions of glands the openings are sometimes plainly visible to the 
naked eye. (Parotoid glands, Figs. 48 and 89.) The secretion is 
milky in appearance and acid in character and is .thought to act 
as a convulsive. 1 

The value of the secretion lies in its protection of the Batra- 
chian from enemies who would otherwise devour it. This poison 
is not aseptic, as is the case in poisonous snakes, but acts upon 
the heart and central nervous system. That of the European 
toad Bujo vulgaris has been compared to Digitalis and Erythroph- 
lasum. 2 Numerous experiments have proved that toad poison 
injected into the system will kill any vertebrate, the dose being 
proportionate to the size of the animal. 

If a young dog takes a toad into its mouth, it will 
never repeat the act, and perhaps suffers much discomfort for 
twenty-four hours or more because of this first offence. Snakes 
eat toads without any apparent discomfort. Skunks are fond 
of toads as an article of food, but before they eat them they 
roll them roughly under their paws on grass or other low vege- 
tation until the poison has been sent out from the glands and 
rubbed off on the grass. Rana cesopus, the gopher frog of Florida, 
eats toads, but ejects the poison from the mouth almost imme- 
diately after swallowing the toad. If the frog is in water, this 
poison floats at the surface in conspicuous white foamy masses. 

Frogs have less poison in the skin than toads have, and serve 
as food for all sorts of animals, especially for birds. Herons feed 

iPhysalix, 1890. 
2 Boulenger, iSgy. 



largely on bullfrogs ; leopard frogs have been found in the stomach 
of a loon ; l bronzed grackles have been observed eating wood 
frogs, 2 and so on. 

The poison secreted in the skin of theSalientia concerns only 
the enemies who feed upon them; it does not affect man. The 
secretion, even if rubbed on the hands, cannot cause the forma- 
tion of warts; however, it will produce an irritation and smarting 
if transferred from the hands into the mouth or eyes. It is said 
that German violinists purposely handle toads before playing, 
and that the secretion prevents the hands from perspiring greatly. 3 

VIII. Regeneration of Lost Parts in tie Salientia 

In the Urodela the power to regenerate lost parts is very 
great. Not only the gills and the tail of a salamander, but the 
limbs also, will be reproduced perfectly if bitten off by some hungry 
beetle or fish, or torn off by one of its own kin. 

This power of regeneration extends also to the more special- 
ized group, the Salientia, but the reproduction of the lost part 
is the more perfect, the younger the specimen. The tadpole's 
tail may be bitten off or injured again and again, and each time 
it will grow to its previous size. 4 This is true even at the 
time when the period for the resorption of the tail has almost 
been reached. 

If the hind limb of a metamorphosing tadpole be injured, 
even amputated, above the knee, before the completion of the 
metamorphosis, it will be regenerated completely. After the 
frog form is attained, the power of regeneration is largely lost, 
although the injured limb will always show some tendency 
toward replacing the lost portion. 

IX. Voice among ihe North American Salientia 

All members of the North American Salientia can produce 
sound. This sound is caused by air passing over vocal cords 
in the larynx of the throat, and so it constitutes a true voice. 
The loud croaking given during the breeding season is produced 

i Hills (T. M.), Zoological Society Bulletin, N. Y. Zool. Soc., April, 1904. 
2Miller (W. De W.), Plainfield, N. J., Bird Lore. 
3 Boulenger. 

For the relation of this regeneration to the notochord, see Bryn Mawr College Monographs, 
1902. Morgan (T. H.) and Davis (S. E.). 



usually by the males only of a given species. The air enters at 
the nostrils (the mouth is kept closed) and passes back and forth 
from mouth to lungs over the vocal cords. The sounds can be 
produced under water, and often are in the case of our common 

The Salientia possess internal vocal sacs in the region of the 
throat or on each side at the shoulder. These, when inflated, may 
push out and stretch the loose outer skin of the body, and thus 
show as external vocal pouches. The vocal sacs are filled with 
air, through openings from the mouth, and act as resonators, in- 
creasing the volume of sound. Single external vocal pouches at 
the throat are possessed by Engystoma and Hypopachus, by 
Bufo fowlen, Bufo -pundatus, Bufo lentiginosus, Bujo americanus, 
Bufo I. woodbousei, and by all members of the Hylidae. (Fig. 7.) 

Fig. 7. The Common Tree Frog (i) in resting position 
with lungs inflated and body large, and (2) singing, the air 
from the lungs forced into the throat vocal pouch. 

Vocal bladders inflated from the middle of the base of the throat 
are to be found in Bufo cognatus, Bufo compadilis, and Bujo 
quercicus. 1 (Fig. 8.) Vocal pouches visible at the shoulder are 

1 Living male specimens of Bujo hemiophrys and Bujo debilis have not been examined. 



Fig. 8. Bufo compactilis with vocal bladder extended 
from base of throat. 

conspicuous in 
Rana pipiens and 
Rana sphenocepka- 
la, Rana areolata 
and Rana cesopus 
and in Rana virga- 
tipes and Rana 
grylio. (Fig. 9.) 
Other North 
American mem- 
bers of the Sali- 

entia, as far as examined, have internal vocal sacs which show 
their positions during the croaking but do not inflate so greatly 
as to have the skin over them become thinned. 

Each species has its typical call, or " song," with definite 
pitch and quality of tone. 
The calls are exceedingly 
simple, seldom involving 
anything like rhythm or 
melody. However, sev- 
eral of the calls contain 
notes of different pitch 
usually sliding into one 
another (Bufo jowleri, 
Rana catesbiana), and 
all are given with an em- 
phasis and expression pe- 
culiar to the given spe- 
cies, so that we cannot 
say that the calls lack 
character. In a few 
cases they are decidedly 
musical and pleasing to 
the ear. 

The typical call of 

the Salientia Consists Of Fi S- 9- Leopard frog, drawn to show vocal 

, T-, pouches extended at the shoulders. 

a single note. 1 he note 

may be short and repeated in very rapid succession, as that of 
Acris gryllus', or longer and given in less rapid succession, as is 
that of Hyla pickeringii; or decidedly prolonged and given at 



still greater intervals, as in the case of Bufo americanus. This 
single note may be of any pitch whatever, high or low; and frogs 
of the same species may give calls of different pitch; in fact, there 
seem to be two or three prevailing tones in the case of some spe- 
cies. This is decidedly true of Bufo fowleri and Hyla pickeringii. 
Again, the note may be smooth and unbroken (Hyla pickeringii), 
vibrated so rapidly that it reminds one of the buzzing calls of 
some Orthopterous insects (Engystoma carolinense) , or trilled 
in a pronounced fashion (Hyla versicolor). The quality may 
vary as greatly as the pitch, being sweet and musical (Bufo amer- 
icanus), sonorous and musical (Rana catesbiana), harsh and 
squawking (Bufo compactilis), like the rattling of pebbles (Acris 
gryllus), and so on. The character and expression in many 
cases is easily recognizable: for instance, the song of Bufo ameri- 
canus is reposeful, almost serene; that of Hyla versicolor sug- 
gests comfort, just as the purring of a cat does; Bufo Fowleri 
voices woe and desolation with every note; and Bufo quercicus 
would seem to be expressing most active distress in its tones 
like those of a lost chicken. 

Enough to say that these calls of the Salientia are easily 
recognized after being once heard and identified, and although 
they are less complex and musical than those of the birds, 
nevertheless we get much pleasure from the recognition of these 
primitive songs of a primitive race. They not only act as tol- 
erably accurate barometers, thermometers, and calendars, but 
in our travels through new parts of the country announce to us 
something concerning the fauna of the place without investi- 
gation on our part. 

During spring and early summer we are likely to hear not 
the voice of a single performer of a given species, but the com- 
plex sounds produced by a chorus of performers. The result 
of the many voices may be a harsh and discordant medley or 
an effect of harmony, depending on the species, the number 
singing and the vigor and rapidity with which they are produ- 
cing the sounds. Rana catesbiana and a few others do not 
sing in chorus. 

The females, as a rule, produce less loud and emphatic calls 
than those given by the males. They never show external vocal 
pouches. In some cases they seem to be voiceless. However, 
many that were thought voiceless have, during later investiga- 



tion, been heard to produce sounds. Further investigation will 
probably prove all to have the power of producing weak sounds 
of some sort. Many frogs and toads, both male and female, 
give a high-pitched cry when greatly annoyed, and some of the 
frogs open the mouth and produce a scream so loud and so much 
like the human voice that it is startling in effect. The female 
bullfrogs (Rana catesbiana) of Wisconsin can give the low-pitched 
"jug-o-rum" call with a vigor almost equal to that of the male, 
also swelling the internal vocal sacs to a size almost equal to 
those of the male. 

X. Colour and Colour Change 

Colour in the Salientia is largely due to pigment in the skin. 
This pigment may be black, red, yellow, or metallic. The black 
pigment is granular and is enclosed within cells (chromatophores) 
which have the power of changing shape. With a low power of 
the microscope, these dark, branched cells can easily be seen in 
the thin web of a frog's foot or in the fin of a tadpole's tail. There 

is usually a layer 
of black pigment 
cells just below 
the epidermis, 
which, itself, is 
white and trans- 
parent. These 
pigment cells 
may contract or 
expand, radiat- 

dfc % ingmanybranch- 

A ^| es. If they con- 

tract and retreat, 
the surface of 
the frog is left 
9 light in colour 

Fig. 10. When the pigment cells retreat and contract, ^ ' 
the resulting color of the skin is light. expand, St retch- 

ing out black an- 
astomosing branches toward the transparent epidermis, the skin 
appears dark (Fig. 1 1). Each cell is connected by means of a 
slender nerve fibre with the sympathetic nervous system, which 


Colour Change 

in turn is connected with the central nervous system of the 
animal. Therefore the cells can act in harmony and as the result 
of a common stimulus. This stimulus may be brought to the cells 
by reflex action from outside influences (such as light and heat) 
acting directly on the skin, or by outside influences (such as the 
colour of the surroundings) acting through the eye. 1 Or, on the 
other hand, the stimulus may be sent from within the animal by 
reflex action, and may have its origin in the character of the 
food or some item of the physiological condition of the creature. 

Fig. ii. When the pigment cells send out interlacing branches 
the resulting color is dark. After Lister. 

It is easily proved that certain definite stimuli bring about 
definite results. Bright light or heat causes the cells to contract 
and the skin to become lighter in colour. Darkness or cold causes 
expansion of the cells and resulting dark colour of the skin. Thus 
hibernating frogs are dark-coloured; the same frogs sitting in 
bright light are so light-coloured that they would seem a different 
species to the casual observer. Absence or presence of moisture, 
other conditions being equal, seems also to play a part in causing 
the pigment cells to contract or expand. Toads kept in a dry 

1 Blind specimens change colour much less rapidly than do those that are normal. 



place or found along a dusty road are light in colour, while those 
kept or found in moist surroundings will prove to have the pig- 
ment cells spread so that the skin is dark-coloured. Activity 
on the part of the toad or frog has a marked tendency to pro- 
duce a change to lighter colours; this is true even when there 
are counteracting influences, such as darkness. 

The change from light to dark and vice versa may take place 
in as short a period of time as ten minutes (Hyla regilla, Hyla 
squirella, etc). Again, the time necessary is habitually a half-hour 
or more, as is the case with Hyla versicolor and Hyla gratiosa. 
The rapidity varies with the species; but this further fact is al- 
ways true, that in all species colour changes are likely to take 
place more rapidly during the season of greatest activity (the 
breeding season) and at a time when the creatures are abundantly 
fed. During great scarcity of food, when the vitality is reduced, 
the frog assumes a light colour, and retains such even under 
strong counteracting influences. 

Notwithstanding all these facts, there must be much not yet 
understood regarding the change from light to dark and the re- 
verse, since there are so many contradictions of these facts that 
come under observation. Almost any given Hyla (gratiosa, versi- 
color, cinerea, squirella, regilla) may take on some given colour, 
usually a medium shade, and retain it for months without any 
change during bright days and dull, when warm or cold, wet or 
dry. This is true, also, of various species of Rana, perhaps of 
all ; they seem to have a natural individual tendency toward a given 
colour or shade and retain it in spite of changing conditions and 
in company with other individuals of the same species which con- 
stantly respond to these changes. 

Again, frogs and tree frogs sometimes surprise one by be- 
coming their lightest when kept in complete darkness and when 
all conditions would seem to point towards their taking on their 
dark dress. This is noticeably true of Hyla pickeringii and Hyla 
cinerea. Again, some species of tree frogs, Hyla squirella in par- 
ticular, will change back and forth again and again very rapidly 
for hours at a time when the conditions remain the same. Thus 
the process of change would seem not to be a wholly automatic 
one nor the result entirely of reflex action. There are probably 
internal factors to be taken into account, factors that have to 

Colour Change 

do not only with the physiological condition, but also concern the 
primitive sensations and emotions of the frog. Some scientists 
go as far as to say that changes of colour in Batrachia "can be 
inhibited by the will and can be produced at will." 

A frog that possesses a layer of black pigment cells under 
the epidermis will, as indicated, change from light to dark, but 
if there are no other pigments or other structures, the shades 
passed through will be dull browns and greys. If yellow pigment 
is possessed also, the changes will be from black through bright 
browns to light yellowish shades. Green colour is not produced 
directly by a pigment, but as the result of black and yellow pig- 
ments and a structure, namely, the so-called interference layer. 
This is a single layer of polygonal cells between the epidermis 
and the black pigment layer. These cells contain minute yellow 
particles, which crowd to the sides of the cells next the epidermis. 
If these cells were empty, the result would be simply that the 
black pigment layer would be farther from the surface and 
would be seen through the interference layer. This would make 
the colour appear blue instead of black, giving the ordinary 
colour phenomenon of dense media, as seen in the colour of 
the sky (i. e. all the light waves of great wave lengths are 
absorbed and only those of short lengths are reflected). When 
the interference cells contain yellow, the blue is seen through the 
yellow and the resultant colour is green. 

The green colour thus produced may be more blue or more 
yellow, and may change to brown when the black pigment cells 
expand greatly and press close about the cells of the interference 
layer, thus diminishing the density. A fragment of the outer 
skin of a green tree frog examined from underneath, of course 
appears black, because we are looking directly at the black pig- 
ment layer. The same piece looked at from above and against 
the light appears brown, but examined from above with light 
from above, it appears green and shows the polygonal cells of 
the interference layer. 

Therefore frogs that have the interference layer and black 
and yellow pigments appear green or brown and can change from 
one to the other with great rapidity. Sometimes to these pig- 
ments and the interference layer are added pigments of other 
colours, red, white, and metallic, or iridescent. Consideration 


of all these facts gives us some understanding of the astonishing 
changes and combinations of colours seen in some of the North 
American tree frogs, such as Hyla regilla. 

As a rule, the colouration of the Tailless Batrachia is seldom 
plain green or brown but is more or less spotted, mottled, or 
striped, so that the animal blends with the detail of its background 
and is more or less invisible. There are no Salientia in North 
America that, like some of the black and yellow salamanders, 
present sharp contrast of striking colours, and so warn their neigh- 
bours of their poisonous character. 

Broadly speaking, the lower Families have less complex pig- 
mentation and skin structure than the higher forms, so that 
their colours are likely to be greys, browns, and olives, with some 
admixture of red and yellow. This is true of the Discoglossidae, 
Pelobatidae, and Bufonidae. The most complex colouration is 
possessed by the Hylidae and Ranidae. With exceptions, they 
have the interference layer well developed, and so are brown or 
green, changing from one to the other and through many shades 
of each, besides having^additional effects produced by red, white, 
and metallic pigments. Of the Ranidae, Rana palustns, sylvatica, 
and virgatipes represent some of the species that, as far as ob- 
served, are never green ; catesbiana, grylio, clamiians, and pipiens 
are among those that change rapidly from green to brown. 

The colours of the upper parts of the frog or toad make it 
harmonize with its surroundings. Many Hylidae and Ranidae 
have bright colours on portions of the body concealed during 
rest, but displayed in leaping and swimming: witness the orange 
yellow of Hyla versicolor, Hyla andersonii, and Rana palusiris, 
and the bright red of Rana draytonii, as well as of Rana pretiosa 
and Rana aurora of the Pacific Slope. These brilliant colours are 
called flash colours. 1 They may act as recognition marks for 
others of the same species, or may serve to startle the enemy and 
warn of the more or less poisonous character of the possessor. 

The colour patterns of the Salientia are interesting when 
we consider their origin in past ages. They have come into ex- 
istence slowly, through the influence of light, and probably as a 
direct result of the alternating spots and bars of sunshine and 
shadow cast on the creatures by the sun shining through the 
foliage of their environment. The pigment was gradually mar- 

1 Hans Gadow, Cambridge, England. 


Animal Behaviour 

shalled into definite arrangement, and those frogs in which the 
arrangement was such as to be helpful in hiding them in their 
environment were missed by enemies, while others were destroyed. 
The protective arrangements were inherited and again emphasized 
through'generation after generation until we have in the Salientia 
of to-day animals wellnigh invisible in their haunts. When we 
do see them against their background of water and foliage, it is 
wonderful how greatly the elongated spots and horizontal bands 
of light and dark that make up the pattern on the back and that 
cross the folded legs resemble the alternating sunshine and 
shadow made by the sun shining between plant stems and grass 
blades. The light-edged rounded spots of Hyla gratiosa and 
Rana pipiens are marvellously like the shining sun-spots that 
dance on the ground when sunlight is streaming through dense 

One of the most complicated conditions exists in the cases 
where a given pattern is vividly displayed when the frog wears 
a dress of some medium shade and is wholly obscured in the 
light and dark phases of colouration. This is true of the colour 
pattern of Acris gryllus, Smilisca baudinii, Hyla gratiosa, Hyla 
versicolor, and others among the Hylidae, and of Rana catesbiana, 
Rana grylio, Rana onca, and perhaps others among the Ranidas. 

The origin of the colour of Salientia is still a problem. It is 
largely a chemical problem, closely connected with the food of 
the species and with the conditions of the chosen environment. 
The pigments are thought to be mainly excretory in origin, waste 
products deposited in the skin perhaps through the influence 
of light and heat instead of disposed of in the ordinary fashion. 
The white pigment is thought to be guanin, related to uric acid, 
and the metallic pigments are named from their composition 
"guanin cells" or " iridocytes." 

XI. Animal Behaviour 

" How intelligent is the creature?" is a question of interest 
in the study of any animal. How many of its actions are the 
result of automatic response to the various stimuli of the environ- 
ment? How many can be explained wholly as instincts, that is, 
racial habits inherited through a long line of ancestry and per- 
formed alike by each and every member of the race? How many 
actions denote intelligence higher than this? 



Watch a tree frog leap, catch a swaying branch with pre- 
cision of aim, and balance itself perfectly on the frail support. 
See the toad that has jumped to the top of the aquarium bal- 
ance itself for a few minutes on the edge of the thin glass while 
it makes an examination of the surroundings before proceeding. 
Watch a frog that is sitting on some support adjust itself as you 
tip the support now in one direction and now in another. These 
actions look as wonderful as the feats of a rope-walker. They 
are, however, automatic actions, and could be done by a frog 
whose brain had been removed. The frog has a nervous sys- 
tem that makes most delicately co-ordinated muscular response 
through an elaborate system of reflex actions. 

Frogs and toads are sensitive to various forces in their en- 
vironment and give response according as they are acted upon 
by these forces. For instance, the earth's gravity affects the 
tree frog so that it is not at ease unless its head is uppermost. 
Watch the frog turn again and again in desperate effort to keep 
its head uppermost when its support is alternately held upright 
and reversed in position. 

On a warm day the frogs are in full view among the late 
vegetation of the pond. The next day, after a drop in temper- 
ature, not a frog can be found. Frogs in captivity remain out 
of the water or sit with head and shoulders protruding until the 
air becomes colder than the water. At this time they disappear 
and lie with flattened bodies and lowered heads at the bottom 
of the aquarium until a return of higher temperature. Thus 
frogs give automatic response to temperature'stimuli. 

The frog's method of eating is attended with much nervous 
alertness, and sometimes with unsatisfactory results to the frog. 
The food consists, in general, of living worms and insects, which 
are seized and swallowed alive. The frog uses his hands to help 
put the food into his mouth. The mouth has the sense of touch 
highly developed, but the sense of taste is present in only small 
degree. In all cases, movement of a small living object gives 
the visual stimulus, and, psychologically speaking, brings to the 
frog the suggestion of something to eat. Long experience of the 
race has taught that only immediate and swift motor response 
will result in capture of the food the miller or grasshopper 
may take wing, the slug disappear under a board, or the cater- 
pillar roll into a ball and " play dead." Usually, the result of 


Animal Behaviour 

the immediate seizure of the moving object is satisfactory, since 
almost all small insects and worms are part of a toad's or frog's 
menu. But sometimes lack of examination of the object brings 
dire results. Such is the case when a large stag beetle is 
swallowed. Its huge pinching mandibles produce terrible effect 
at once in the frog's stomach. Fortunately, the frog has a wide, 
short oesophagus, so -that any disagreeable object can be disgorged 

This lack of examination of food has made possible various 
stories about the toad: that is, that the American toad will seize 
and swallow shot rolled toward him until he is heavy with it, 
and that the Southern toad will again and again swallow the 
burning ends of matches, mistaking them for fireflies. It also 
explains an incident related in an old " American Naturalist." 
A toad was seen to pick up an elm twig that had just fallen from 
the tree above him, and the observer amusingly interprets that 
the toad used the hands to play with the twig as though playing 
upon a flute before finally dropping it. 

However, although frogs and toads do, as a rule, seize moving 
objects without examination and will try to eat even one's finger 
or pencil, nevertheless there are many exceptions. Especially 
in the case of the toads is a more intelligent method often pur- 
sued. The moving object, if it is at all large or formidable, may 
be stalked some distance and examined closely. In fact, the toad 
may discriminate the forward-moving end and make.'special effort 
to take the creature head first. If grass or earth are taken with 
the food, the mouth distinguishes these through the sense of 
touch, and the toad removes them, or tries to, using the hands 
awkwardly for the purpose. 

Also after swallowing a stag beetle or a very large unman- 
ageable earthworm, the toad learns by his experience, and 
cannot be tempted again by the same or similar objects. The 
permanency of the lesson has not been tested. Experiments with 
labyrinth tests have proved that the green frog can profit by 
experience. 1 The learning is very slow indeed, but after fifty to 
one hundred experiences, a habit is perfected, and when tested 
after the lapse of a month, still persists. 

The frog's sense of sight is fundamental not only in the cap- 

1 The Instincts, Habits, and Reactions of the Frog. Robert M. Yerkes. Harvard Psycholo- 
gical Studies, Vol. I. 

2 9 


ture of food. It is the sense on which almost total dependence is 
placed for protection. 

We are walking along the grassy margin of a lake. In a 
small cove ahead, screened by shrubbery, a green frog gives a 
vigorous croak. A second frog, a third, then many others, join 
till there is a harsh medley of sounds. This continues for some 
time; suddenly one loud voice stops, and instantaneously all are 
hushed. Why? We were trying to see through the shrubbery, 
and although perfectly silent, set a long flexible branch swayinjg, 
which the frog evidently saw. Shall we say, as do myth and 
story, that frog orchestras have leaders who intentionally signal 
the others when to begin, are on the watch, and again give an 
intentional signal on the approach of danger? Not at all. 
Human interpretations will not serve for the frog world. The 
following is the explanation. 

Frogs are extremely alert in sight and hearing, especially 
in sight. There was no movement anywhere in the horizon of 
the pond, and one frog gave expression to the physical joy of 
existence. This croaking was evidence to all the other frogs that 
there was no danger present; their eyes gave the same proof of 
safety that the first frog had gained, and one by one they joined 
in the chorus. The bushes moved. One frog saw the motion 
(not necessarily the frog that croaked first), was frightened, and 
responded with instant silence. Perhaps others saw also; if 
not, the sudden hushing of the one voice implied danger, and 
every frog obeyed an impulse of fear and became silent. That is 
all. Except that we have reasoned it out, while the frogs felt 
and acted only. 

Frogs see small objects best at a distance of three or four 
feet. They will very often let a fly or worm crawl immediately 
under their " noses " while they are staring with eager eyes far 
ahead. Toads are] less far-sighted than frogs. However, frogs 
may see an approaching enemy a person, a bear, or a large 
bird ten or more feet away, that is they may give a motor 
response when the enemy is at that distance. 

There is the familiar " splash " ahead. One frog has seen 
us. A second " splash," and a third, long before we can approach 
near enough to see the frog blending as it does with the colours 
of the bank. These second frogs and others ahead have the ad- 
vantage in escape over the first, for they were put on the alert 


Animal Behaviour 

by the ominous meaning of the splash of the first. The sudden 
splash made by a frog leaping into water is associated with danger, 
since a frog is not likely to leap into the water unless it is startled 
it walks or jumps short distances to the edge of the water, 
slips lightly into it, and swims. This splash, then, puts a frog 
into a waiting state of unusual keenness of sight and alertness 
of muscle. The frog may lift the head or take on a more atten- 
tive pose, but usually the only external evidence of this alert state 
is a changed rate of breathing. The throat movements are more 
rapid, except in cases where the attention demanded, or the fear 
induced, is relatively intense; in such a case, the breathing move- 
ments may cease altogether for several seconds at a time. 

It is not only the result of out-of-door observation, but it 
has been proved by experiment that a frog does not give a mo- 
tor response to sound alone (an illustration of a true inhibition 
phenomenon), but that a sound stimulus intensifies the effect 
of an accompanying visual or other stimulus. This explains not 
only the instances given, but many others. It means, for instance, 
that if the frog hears an insect before seeing it, he is put on the 
alert, so that when he sees it his dash for it is more vigorous and 
effective than it would have been with the visual stimulus alone. 
The gopher frog of Florida, sitting at the mouth of its burrow, 
hears a crunching on the sand or a crackling of twigs, and be- 
cause of the warning of his ears is ready to beat a more vigorous 
retreat when the enemy appears than he otherwise could. It 
is unfortunate for the frog that the approach of the snake is so 
soundless, and that the heron hunting at the pond is so often 
statuesque and silent. 

Frogs can hear sounds made in air, whether the frog's ear 
is in air or under water. It is thought that the hearing is keenest 
when the ear-drum is half in air and half in water. Frogs can 
hear sounds of both high and low pitch. The green frog is said 
to hear sounds varying in pitch from 50 to 10,000 vibrations 
per second. In captivity, frogs prove constantly that they hear 
sounds of all sorts. They often respond with croaking when the 
sound stimulus is non-startling in character, whether that stim- 
ulus be the croaking of another frog, the sound of running wa- 
ter, or of human voices. It is probable that one of the most 
ominous sounds in the ears of a frog is the pain-scream of one 
of its own species. This is a high-pitched sound produced with 

3 1 


the mouth widely opened. It is given only when the frog is 
injured by an enemy or is in a state of great fear. The cry ex- 
presses distress in large measure, and must imply to the listen- 
ing frogs the presence of great danger. 

The frog's ear has the functions of balance and orientation 
as well as the sense of hearing. 1 Sometimes in spring, after the 
breeding season, a frog is found that has the ear badly injured. 
Such a frog keeps the head lowered on the wounded side. It 
cannot progress directly, but moves in a circle instead. The auto- 
matic action of the frog's ear in the work of orientation is inter- 
estingly seen when we move a frog in its aquarium or moss gar- 
den from one part of the room to another; or when we walk 
from one place in the house to another with a toad or frog sitting 
on some support which is carried in the hand. At each corner, 
even at the slightest change in course, the frog turns its head to 
adjust itself to the new direction. 

Sight and hearing are correlated senses, serving in the cap- 
ture of food and the escape of enemies. The sense of sight and 
the temperature sense are correlated in receiving stimuli which 
result in various protective actions. In normal temperature, 
frogs are attracted by light and move towards it (positively pho- 
totactic). That a frog jumps into the water when frightened, in- 
stead of landwards, probably illustrates the fact that a frog moves 
toward the stronger light or more brightly illuminated surface. 

Frogs in captivity constantly illustrate this relation to light. 
In trying to escape from an opaque pail, they leap upwards; in 
a glass aquarium they struggle to get directly through the glass 
(even when the glass is covered with'white paper so that they 
cannot see through it). A tree frog will try for hours to get out 
at the upper end of a glass beaker turned upside down; darken 
the upper part and the frog will go to the source of light below 
and find the opening. A frog moves not only towards diffused 
light but towards direct sunlight as well. However, it does not 
remain in the sunlight, but takes a station near it, in diffused light 
or shadow. 

Frogs do not distinguish between a lighted space and a white 
solid. They will turn towards a white card or paper and try 

1 The static and acoustic functions lie in the labyrinth organs (connected with the tympanum by 
means of the columella), since there is no organ of Corti, as in mammals. It is thought that the 
papilla basilaris (the nerve end organ from which originates the organ of Corti in mammals) is the 

iv*rof f*r\Tie*fmt*fl \n tlif ar-midir- ( unr-t Jr\n 

most concerned in the acoustic function. 


Animal Behaviour 

to jump through it, and they may struggle at the impossible 
task of working their way into the solid white surface made by 
the leaf edges of a closed book. 

That frogs are attracted by light and have definite orienta- 
tion in regard to it sometimes produces interesting results when 
frogs are in captivity, where the light comes strongly from one 
or two directions only. The same response to the same stim- 
ulus may place six or eight pickerel frogs in a row, each in resting 
position with toes tucked under and head resting meekly on the 
body of the frog in front of him; or a half-dozen green frogs 
may make burrows in the moss side by side in a row and sit in 
the burrows all facing the same way six pairs of bright eyes 
alert and contented. 

In increased temperatures the positive response to light is 
still greater up to a temperature of 30 C. Above this, the frogs 
move away from the light instead of toward it. In decreased 
temperatures, the response is less until at 10 C. frogs move away 
from the light (negatively phototactic). This is true whether the 
frogs are in air or water. Experiments l which have proved this 
are interesting because of the explanation they give of the aesti- 
vation habits of the Salientia in the high summer temperatures 
of Texas and Mexico and the hibernation habits during the win- 
ters at the north. Green frogs kept in a moss vivarium in win- 
ter remain out on the moss in normal temperatures, but disap- 
pear under the moss at once if the temperature of the room drops 
much below normal, or if a window is opened and the cold wind 
is allowed to blow over them. 

Many North American frogs and toads show protective in- 
stincts or racial habits, the immediate cause of which seems to 
be unusually strong stimuli acting on the nervous system. When 
a toad, frog, or tree frog is disturbed suddenly, it may fill the 
lungs with air until they puff out at the sides, making the crea- 
ture as broad as long. At the same time, the head is lowered 
to the ground and the frog certainly looks on the defensive. It 
seems reasonable that it would prove well-nigh invulnerable to 
the attacks of an enemy like the snake that expected to swallow 
it whole and head first. 

A toad very often flattens and spreads the body and remains 
motionless on the ground when startled by the approach of an 

1 The Response of the Frog to Light. E Torelle. American Journal of Physiology, vol. 9. 



enemy. This makes it almost invisible, because of the likeness 
of its skin in colour and texture to the soil. Many of the Salientia 
play dead in response to an unexpected tactual stimulus. The 
common toad will often hold the legs tight against the body and 
inhibit all movement even the breathing vibrations of the 
throat when seized by a dog or other enemy. The leopard 
frog may stretch the legs backwards stiff and straight, fold the 
arms on the breast, and inhibit the breathing movements. It 
certainly looks like a dead frog as it lies motionless in one's hand 
for fully a minute; suddenly with a lightning movement it is 
gone before the hand can be closed over it. The cricket frog 
plays dead in water. Taking a position with arms and legs rigid 
and throat collapsed, it floats about helplessly like any stick or 

A very different protective instinct is possessed by some 
members of the group. For instance, the gopher frog of Florida 
has a ludicrous method of spasmodic instead of continuous ac- 
tivity. When trying to escape an enemy, it remains motionless 
for some seconds, after which it moves a short distance with 
indescribable swiftness and stealth, and then appears statuesque 
again in a new spot. This is repeated several times till the frog 
is two or more feet from the enemy, when a few successive pro- 
digious leaps take him far out of reach. The tree frog Hyla evii- 
tata, when startled, may leap to a twig and take a position be- 
hind it. Here, hugging the twig closely, it will keep out of the 
range of vision of the enemy by moving alternately back and 
forth, to the right when the enemy moves to the left, and vice 
versa. This instinct is probably possessed by many of the tree 
frogs, though observed in this one only. 

On the whole, it would seem that frogs and toads possess 
but a low order of intelligence. There are but few glimmerings 
of anything above automatic response to stimuli, behaviour 
resulting from reflex actions and hereditary instincts. They 
certainly form crude ideas of food and enemies. They evidently 
associate certain stimuli with crude ideas, such as the coming 
of an enemy or something to eat. It has been proved by ex- 
periment that they may associate two kinds of stimuli: after 
having received an electric shock on touching given wires, they 
afterwards leap as soon as they touch the wires and before the 
electric current is turned on. 



They feel discomfort from hunger, cold, and lack of water; 
physical comfort from food, warmth, and moisture. They feel 
physical joy and express it in song. They certainly possess the 
one emotion, fear. Frogs are more excited^byjfear than^are toads. 
A frog when frightened will dash into anything or from any height. 
A toad will proceed to the edge of a table or window, and stop 
to examine the surroundings before jumping. 

Frogs and toads can be tamed somewhat. They will come 
out of their burrows for food at a given time and will take it from 
the fingers. They will get used to the movements of people and 
to all kinds of sounds. On the other hand, they walk over one 
another, and in fact pay no attention to one another outside of 
the time of the breeding season. Occasionally there is an excep- 
tion to this. The sexual instincts of the green frogs are excited 
even in winter when the frogs are fed. Also, on occasions, Rana 
pipiens and Rana onca will snap at the head of a companion frog 
who has taken a worm that he^ was trying to capture. Whether 
this is an exhibition of anger, or the frog is still trying to get 
the moving worm which is gradually disappearing and finally 
disappears in the other frog's mouth, is a question not easily 
settled. Judging from the general meekness of toads and frogs, 
it would seem more probable that the latter explanation is the 
correct one. 

XII. Geographical Distribution. 

The Tailless Batrachians are widely distributed. Toads, or 
representatives of the genus Bufo (about 100 species), are 
found all over the world except in Australia and Madagascar. 
The genus Hyla, the largest among the Salientia (150 species), 
is almost cosmopolitan in its distribution, being found every- 
where except in Africa. The genus Rana (140 species) has a 
range extending all over the northern world, though it is prac- 
tically lacking from Australia, Africa, and South America. 

Most of the North American Salientia belong to these three 
genera, Bufo, Hyla, and Rana. There are only four genera 
(Ascaplus, Scaphiopus, Acris, and Clorophilus ') peculiar to the 
continent, and of these, two (Ascaplus and Acris) possess a single 
species each, and one of these (Ascaplus) has, as far as known, 
an unusually limited range. 

1 chorophilus has one representative in the Neotropical realm (Peru). 




The more specialized a race of animals and the more per- 
fectly it is adapted to life in a given haunt, the more dependent 
is its distribution on the physical features of a continent. The 
Salientia, though members of a relatively generalized Class, are 
in several respects most highly specialized; and they are illus- 
trations of such perfect adaptation that they are helpless in the 
face of any condition radically different from those of the chosen 

For instance, they are cold-blooded, and so cannot live in 
extreme northern latitudes or in the highest altitudes, because of 
the attendant decrease in metabolism with lowered tempera- 
ture. (See p. 15.) To a large extent, they breathe through the 
skin and absorb water through the skin, hence they must live 
in moist situations. They have not endurance enough to mi- 
grate even short distances over dry regions. Again, no Batra- 
chian can live in salt water, 1 and not only is salt poisonous to 
them, but lime is, also. Therefore they can neither live in lime- 
stone regions or in those impregnated with salt, nor can they 
cross such regions. 

Thus the North American Salientia must be dependent on 
the physical features of the North American continent. We 
shall not expect to find them north of a line of o C, annual mean 
temperature, because just north of this the ground remains frozen 
the year through, except at the surface. We shall not, more- 
over, expect to find as many species for some distance south of 
this limit as there are in the southern part of the continent. We 
shall not look for them in the bordering salt marshes, gulfs, and 
bays, nor in Salt Lake nor on the salt plains of the West. There 
must be relatively few of them on the dry Western plains, in the 
Rocky Mountains, and in the desert and plateau regions of Cali- 
fornia, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, Mexico, New Mexico, and Texas. 
Also, the species living in these latter places must be the species 
least dependent on moisture, namely the Toads; or those that live 
in deep burrows, never leaving these burrows except during rain 
(the Spadefoot Toads). We shall not expect to find tree frogs 
(Hylidae) in treeless though fertile regions, such as the prairies of 
the Middle West. However, this point is less certain, since the 
condition is less vital. Moisture and other conditions being right, 
tree frogs can adapt themselves to life on the ground, and may 

1 Certain species can endure water with i% salt; sea water has about 3.2%. 



suffer retrogression in the structures which facilitated arboreal 

The distribution that we should expect from the physical 
features of North America is exactly the one we find on a study 
of its Salientia. The thermal barrier to their spreading gives 
only a few species to southern Canada. Very few species are 
reported from the Western plains and Rocky Mountain region; 
among them are the burrowing Spadefoot Toads, which are al- 
most peculiar to the region. The dry plateaus of the Southwest 
yield mainly toads, some six species. The tree frogs are almost 
wholly limited to southern and southeastern regions, with emi- 
nent exceptions, such as Acris gryllus, the Cricket Frog, which 
has the disks of the toes reduced, and may be found on the ground 
either in forest regions or prairie districts. The riches of the 
continent in genera and species of Salientia are found in the 
moist forest-covered southeastern United States, in Florida, the 
Gulf States, and eastern Texas. The northern part of the Pacific 
Slope west of the Sierras also has some abundance of species. 

A comparative study of the distribution of living and ex- 
tinct animals, together with a study of the geological history of 
the world, has resulted in a division of the globe into faunal re- 
gions, each of which has its subregions. The western hemisphere 
has a tropical region (Neotropical) at the south, made up of South 
America, Central America, the West Indies, and Mexico. A 
boreal region at the extreme north consists of Canada from New- 
foundland to Alaska, with a southern boundary corresponding 
in general to the northern outline of the United States (the main 
exceptions/to this correspondence are due to southerly extensions 
along the mountain chains). The stretch of temperate America 
between these two is the austral l region, which is very nearly 
confined within the limits of the United States. 

The Austral region has been divided into life zones that 
stretch across the continent south of the boreal zone from coast 
to coast. Their boundaries are very irregular. Along the east 
and west coasts the southern Austral zones penetrate far north- 
ward, and in the high altitudes of the eastern and western 
mountain districts the more northerly austral zones, and the 
Boreal also, reach long arms southward. The eastern wooded 

1 The Austral and Boreal of Merriam (1892) correspond to the following: Nearctic of Slater 
(1858); Medio-columhian and Aqulonian of Blanford (1890); Sonoran and Holarctic of Lydekker 
(1896); Medio-columbian and Holarctic of Cope (1896). 



portions of the austral zones, counting from north to south, 
are known as the Alleghenian, Carolinian, and Austroriparian 
faunas, respectively. In a consideration of the distribution of 
the Salientia the first two may be taken together for the 
sake of convenience and called the Eastern subregion. The dry 
portions of the austral zones from the elevated plains to the 
west coast are known as the Transition, Upper Sonoran, and Lower 
Sonoran faunas. ' 

The Eastern subregion presents throughout similar con- 
ditions of environment for the Salientia. Everywhere are fertile 
fields or prairies, extensive wooded tracts, and a multitude of 
lakes and ponds, rivers and brooks, all affording suitable haunts 
and an abundance of insect food. Because of the thermal con- 
ditions, there are more species near the southern limits, and 
they diminish in number toward the north. This part of the 
continent is the home of the genus Rana, possessing eight species. 

The species distributed throughout the extent of this sub- 
region are as follows: Rana clamitans, Rana palustris, Rana pi- 
piens, Rana sylvatica, Bufo americanus, Hyla versicolor, and 
Hyla pickeringii. Species not found outside its boundaries are 
Rana palustris, Rana sylvatica, Rana virgatipes, Bufo fowleri, and 
Hyla evittata. Bufo fowleri is reported only from Massachusetts, 
Rhode Island, and New York near the coast; Hyla evittata, Hyla 
andersonii, and Rana virgatipes are found only in the country 
east of the Alleghenies, New Jersey to Virginia. 2 A few species 
found in a more or less limited section of this subregion are re- 
ported from other subregions also; such are, Cboropbilus nigritus 
triseriatus, Hyla andersonii, Acris gryllus, and Scaphiopus bol- 

The boreal region has but few representatives of the Tailless 
Batrachians. At the east it has Rana septentrionalis peculiar to 
itself and gains Rana clamitans, Hyla pickeringii, Bufo ameri- 
canus, and a few others from the austral zones just south. At 
the west it has Rana cantabrigensis and its subspecies latiremis, 
Bufo boreas, Bufo bemiophrys, and Choropbilus n. septentrionalis. 

The Austroriparian subregion consists of the southeastern 
United States, i. e. the coast region south from isothermal 77 

!For boundaries of Mcrriam's Life Zones, see chart in Bulletin No. 10, U. S. Department of 

2 The eastern part of the Carolinian division of Verrill or the Cisalleghenian division of Cope. 



(Norfolk, Virginia), and those states bordering the Gulf of Mex- 
ico, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and the 
eastern one-third of Texas. It also contains the country along 
the Mississippi to southern Illinois. West of the Mississippi, its 
boundary line extends southward from Missouri to the mouth of 
the Rio Grande in Texas. 

This subregion has a large number of toads and frogs. It 
is the richest of all the subregions in members of the Hylidae. Its 
forest areas and many streams, its relatively high temperature 
and humid air, make it peculiarly well adapted to the needs of 
this group. The subregion has many species peculiar to it ; namely, 
Hyla cinerea, Hyla squirella, Hyla gratiosa, Hyla femoralis, 
Choropbilus ornatus, Choropbilus ocularis, Chorophilus occidentalis, 
Engystoma carolinense, Bufo quercicus, Bufo lentiginosm, Rana 
grylio, Rana asopus, and Rana spbenocepbala. Of these species 
peculiar to the subregion, many are found in the eastern sec- 
tions and Texas as well, but Bufo quercicus and Rana grylio are 
not found west of the Mississippi and Hyla gratiosa and Rana 
cesopus are not found outside of Florida. Peninsular Florida is a 
faunal region distinct from the Austroriparian, but the evidence 
of this does not rest largely in the distribution of the Salientia. 
Florida has a member of the Cystignathidae (Litbodytes ricordii), 
a wanderer from the West Indies. 

The Austroriparian overlaps the Sonoran subregion in Texas. 
The species that it gains from the Sonoran in this overlapping 
are either toads or members of the Cystignathidse adapted to 
live in rocky ravines or among limestone cliffs. They are the 
following: Bujo compactilis, Bufo debilis, Bufo valliceps, Bufo 
punctatus, Bufo I. woodbousei, Litbodytes latrans, and Syrrophus 
marnockii. This subregion, though itself poor in toads, gets so 
many additions from the two adjacent subregions that it makes 
a showing of seven species, possessed mainly by Texas, of 

The Sonoran subregion is made up of the Upper and Lower 
Austral zones from the Western plains inclusive to the Pacific 
Coast. At the south it includes Lower California, Arizona, New 
Mexico, and western Texas, as well as the northwestern part of 
Mexico. At the north it extends into Montana east of the Rocky 
Mountains, to British Columbia between the Rocky Mountains 
and the Sierra Nevadas, and not quite as far north as Oregon west 



of the Sierras. It is greatly broken into by the colder and less 
dry Boreal and Transition zones that extend southward in the 
high altitudes and moister valley regions of the mountains. 

The whole subregion is made up of arid elevated plains and 
plateaus, of desert regions and mountain ranges. It is notable 
for its lack of Batrachia, the only genera of the Salientia at all 
well represented being Bufo and Scaphiopus. There is no species 
common to the whole Sonoran subregion. Unlike the Eastern 
Austral zones, it presents great natural barriers to the spreading 
of animal races, and so is cut into divisions, each having its more 
or less peculiar fauna. 

That part of the subregion east of the Rocky Mountains is 
grass-covered, but relatively dry and treeless. It not only has 
an arid atmosphere, but it is so elevated that the temperatures 
are low. It has but few species of Salientia; two almost peculiar 
to it are Bufo cognatus and Scaphiopus bammondii bombifrons. 

In Texas this dry region is separated from the moist Austro- 
riparian subregion of the eastern one-third of the state by the 
boundary of the first plateau (one of the series of three steppes 
which present a terraced rise westward from near sea-level to 
4,000 feet above). This line passes near Fort Worth, Austin, 
and San Antonio, Texas, to the valley of the Rio Grande. In 
topographical, climatic, and faunal conditions, western Texas is 
as different from eastern Texas as Colorado is from Missouri. 
Austroriparian Texas is a plain with low hills of red sand and 
with shallow valleys and ravines. It is largely forest-covered, 
has a great fertile prairie in the central region, and many swamps 
in its southern portion. It is well watered also by the moist 
winds from the Gulf. In sharp contrast with this, the Sonoran 
portion - - especially the region of the first plateau is of 
peculiar interest. It is dry because of its elevation and because 
all prevailing winds are depleted of their moisture in crossing 
eastern Mexico or eastern Texas. It is picturesque with deep 
forest canyons. The lower levels are covered with buffalo grass 
and with various species of cacti and yuccas. Species peculiar 
to this district are Lifhodytes latrans and Syrropbus 1 marnockii. 
But from the surrounding sections of country the following long 
list of species is gained: Hyla cinerea, Smilisca baudinii, 
Cboropbilus n, triseriatus, Rana areolata, Rana pipiens, Engystoma 

1 Lithodytes and Syrrophus are both Mexican genera. 



carolinense, Scaphiopus couchii, Bufo debilis, Bufo pundatus, Bufo 
compactilis, and Bufo valliceps. 

The country between this western section of Texas and the 
Western plains north of it, on the one hand, and the Sierras on the 
other, presents little besides barren mountains, desert valleys, and 
areas of sagebrush. It possesses two species of toads and one 
spadefoot; namely, Bufo I. woodbousei, Bufo cognatus, and Scaphi- 
opus bammondii. However, this part of the Sonoran subregion 
is penetrated even as far as Arizona and New Mexico by the less 
dry Transition zones, and so this part of North America has a 
few other species of toads and frogs; these are Rana onca, Rana 
pipiens, and Bufo boreas nelsoni. The last is the southern moun- 
tain subspecies of Bufo boreas which is found at the north - - both 
east and west of the Sierras. Rana pipiens, abundant in eastern 
North America, in Texas, and on the Western plains, reaches its 
western limit just east of the Sierras. 

At the south, in Arizona and New Mexico, in addition to 
Bufo cognatus, Bufol. woodbousei, and Rana pipiens, are found Bufo 
balopbilus, Bufo alvarius, Bufo punctatus, and Hyla arenicolor, 
the latter two entering from Mexico. 

The peninsula of Lower California has no species of Salientia 
peculiar to it. It reports Rana draytonii, Hyla regilla, Bufo punc- 
tatus, Bufo balopbilus, and Scaphiopus couchii. 

The narrow stretch of country between the Pacific and the 
Sierra Nevada, made up of California, Oregon, and Washington 
is arid in its southern portion (Sonoran) 1 , humid and forested 
at the north (Transition). At the south are found Bufo balo- 
pbilus, Hyla regilla, Rana draytonii, and, rarely, Rana boylii. The 
north has a longer list; namely, Bufo boreas, Bufo balophilus colum- 
biensis, Hyla regilla, Scaphiopus hammondii, Rana draytonii, Rana 
boylii, Rana pretiosa, and Rana aurora. These are, for the most 
part, species not found elsewhere in North America. Some of them 
follow the temporary streams of the rainy season into the desert 
regions of California and Nevada on the eastern slope of the 
Sierras. Hyla regilla, for instance, is often found in springs from 
fifteen to forty miles distant from other water, having been 
stranded there during flood times of previous years, when the 
springs were temporarily in connection with streams. 

1 Named Diegan division by Dr. John Van Denbergh, San Francisco. 




relatively Smooth 


of femur- - 

\ v Black Cheek 


\ along 

Lateral JauJ 


/Vertical Pupil 

Fingers with 
Adhesive .Disks 


Cranial Crests 


/ Parotoid/jUnd 


Patch Horizontal 

4~tH Finger 
Palm Tubercle s 

Angle of 







x Inner Sole Tubercle -- J|^n^4 

OL Q 1 
uter Oole 



Sacral Hump 

' f 

Cranial Crest 

Paroioid ' 


FIG. 12. To explain fundamental structural characteristics mentioned in the keys. 



1 3 


FIGS. 13 and 14 (i and 2). Scaphiopus holbyookii 
Harlan. Raleigh, N. C. Very scared looking when first 
awakened. The skin of the side and upper arm is free 
from the muscles underneath and drops down in a fold over 
the lower arm when the creature is resting. The black 
pupil is vertical. 

FIGS. I5anu _t> ^3 and 4) An uncanny-looking fellow 
Photographed to show wide front and the unbroken curve 
of the jaws, also the black horny thickening of the first and 
second fingers. The parotoid gland is round. The ear is 
distinct (in front of and below gland). 


(For terms used in Keys, refer to Fig. 12. For method of using Keys, see 
footnote 2.) 


(See page 7 for internal characters determining classification into Families.) 
I. Pupil of eye vertical. 

A. Inner sole tubercle small; ear not visible; parotoid glands present; size 

small. Northwestern United States (Washington). 

Ascaphus, of the Family' Discoglossidce. (See p. 51.) 

B. Inner sole tubercle large, with extensive cutting edge. 

PelobatidcB. (See First Key, p. 43.) 
II. Pupil not vertical; either horizontal or round. 

A. Parotoid glands always present. 

BujonidcB. (See Second Key, p. 44.) 

B. Parotoid glands lacking. 

1 . Fingers and toes more or less enlarged at tips, to form adhesive disks. 

a. Disks T-shaped, small; undersurface of frog smooth. 

Cystignathidce. (See Third Key, p. 45.) 

b. Disks round, large or small; undersurface more or less granulated. 

Hylida. (See Fourth Key, p. 46.) 

2. Fingers and toes without disks. 

a. Head narrow and mouth small; a fold of skin on top of head behind 

eyes; ear not visible; size small (ij inches, or less). 

Engystomatidce. See Fifth Key, p. 48.) 

b. Head not unusually narrow; mouth large; ear distinct; size 2 inches 

or more (except in immature). 

Rvnidce. (See Sixth Key, p. 48.) 


I. Ear distinct; parotoids round, flat; black granulations on top of head; two 
curved yellowish lines on back. Eastern North America. 

Scaphiopus holbrookii. (See Colour Plate II, also p. 53.) 

1 These keys are more or less artificial. Unfortunately, they cannot be based on colour, because 
of the great variation and the lack of stability in both colour and colour pattern in the members of 
this order. Also, it has been impossible to avoid detail and combine brevity with definiteness, be- 
cause of the similarity of the various species. 

2 Method oj using Keys. As long as the specimen agrees with the characteristics named in the 
Key, read continuously until a technical name is designated at the extreme right. As soon as the 
specimen disagrees with the Key characteristics, skip from the point of disagreement to the num- 
ber or letter next in order. 

In all instances where size is not mentioned, medium size (about 3 inches) is understood. 



II. Ear indistinct; parotoids lacking. 

A. Skin smooth; head arched between the eyes in front, sometimes black 

and horny here, and on the end of the muzzle; size small (2 to 2$ 
inches). Western Plains. 

Scaphiopus h. bombijrons. (See Fig. 26, also p. 61.) 

B. Skin rough, with closely set tubercles; head not arched between the 

eyes in front. 

1. Muzzle truncate in profile; short, thick through at end; two or four light 

bands on back present or not. North America, west and south of 
Rocky Mountains. 

Scaphiopus hammondii. (See p. 59.) 

2. Muzzle rounded in profile; with or without intricate arrangement of 

light bands on back and sides. Southwestern North America. 

Scaphiopus couchii. (See Colour Plate II, also p. 57.) 

I. Parotoid glands short, either roundish or triangular. 

A. Head rounded above, thick through; cranial crests not present; glands 

on tibiae; size large. 

1. Muzzle relatively long, sloping in profile; skin very rough, with warts 

of many sizes; tendency to arrangement of warts in dorsal rows. 
Northern Pacific region. 

Bujo boreas. (See Fig. 133, also p. 115.) 

2. Muzzle short, steep in profile; skin warty, but relatively smooth on 

and between the warts; femur extremely short. Southern Pacific 

Bujo halophilus, (See Fig. 121, also p. 113.) 

B. Head flat, thin through; skin evenly and closely tubercular. 

1. Cranial crests high, sharp-edged, conspicuous. Mexico and Texas. 

Bujo valliceps. (See Colour Plate V, also p. 108.) 

2. Cranial crests not present; granulations on various parts of head; size 

small (two inches). Southwestern North America. 

Bujo punctatus. (See Colour Plate V, also p. no.) 

II. Parotoids longer, oblique, descending on shoulders. 
A. Cranial crests not present; skin evenly tubercular. 

1. Head flat and thin through; granulation on muzzle; parotoids unusually 

large; toad very small (if inches). Southwestern North America. 

Bujo debilis. (See p. 112.) 

2. Head thick through, short; femur very short; sole tubercles unusually 

large; size medium. Mexico and Texas. 

Bujo compactilis. (See Fig. 93, also p. 102.) 



B. Cranial crests straight; head short; leg short; underparts unspotted. 

1. Crests thick, divergent backward from a bony elevation above and 

between nostrils; two large sole tubercles, each with cutting edge. 
Western Plains and Rocky Mountains. 

Bujo cognatus. (See Colour Plate V, also p. 99.) 

2. Crests narrow, inconspicuous; skin very tubercular, spinouson legs and 

arms; size small (i^ inches). Southeastern United States. 

Bujo quercictis. (See p. 104.) 

C. Cranial crests curved around eyes; glands on tibiae; size large. Arizona. 

Bujo alvarius. (See Colour Plate V, also p. 106.) 

III. Parotoids oval (sometimes kidney-shaped in C), extending straight backwards 
from the posterior angle of the eye. 

A. Head long (three and a half times in total length); cranial crests greatly 

elevated, and swollen into knobs behind; underparts unspotted. 
Southern United States. 

Bujo lentiginosus. (See Colour Plate IV, also p. 89.) 

B. Head very short (five times in total length); cranial crests variable, 

usually parallel on a raised occiput; underparts unspotted, except on 
breast; sole tubercles large; size large. Rocky Mountain region and 

Bujo 1. -woodhousei. (See Colour Plate IV, also p. 91.) 

C. Head medium in length (four times in total length); cranial crests di- 

vergent behind; warts often large, and arranged singly in dorsal spots; 
underparts spotted. North America, east of the Rocky Mountains. 
Bujo americanus. (See Colour Plate III, also p. 63.) 

D. Head short (four and a half times in total length); cranial crests variable, 

usually parallel; warts never very large, usually arranged several in 
each dorsal spot; underparts unspotted. Eastern United States, near 

Bujo fowleri. (See Colour Plate IV, also p. 93.) 

E. Head short (four and a half times in total length); muzzle vertical in 

profile; cranial crests parallel; no crests behind eyes; tendency to 
arrangement of warts in dorsal rows; underparts spotted. North 
Dakota and Manitoba. 

Bujo hemiophrys. (See p. 98.) 


I. Leg short (length to heel equals length of body forward to ear); muzzle 

rounded in profile. 

A. Posterior femur spotted; [head long (one-third total length); muzzle 
pointed, as seen from above; ear round; size small (i J inches). Texas. 

Syrrophus marnockii. (See p. 165.) 



B. Posterior femur unspotted; head shorter (one-fourth total length) ; muzzle 
rounded; ear a vertical oval; size 3 inches. Texas. 

Lithodytes latrans. (See Colour Plate II, also p. 163.) 

II. Leg longer (length to heel equals length of body forward to eye, or some 
point anterior) ; muzzle truncate in profile. 

A. Head longer than wide; sides somewhat tubercular; size small (i inch). 

Lithodytes ricordii. (See p. 164.) 


I. Disks on fingers and toes of medium or large size (never so small that they 
are difficult to discern). 

A. Skin coarsely granulated above, like undersurface; fingers webbed; head 

broad, short; size 2 to 2^ inches. Florida. 

Hyla gratiosa. (See Colour Plate X, also p. 124. 

B. Skin rough, with small warts. 

1. Posterior surface of femur reticulated with yellow and black; size 2 

inches. Eastern North America. 

Hyla versicolor. (See Colour Plate VI, also p. 117.) 

2. Posterior surface of femur not reticulated or spotted; size if inches 

Southwestern North America. 

Hyla arenicolor. (See Colour Plate X, also p. 122.) 

C. Skin smooth, or nearly so. 

i. Posterior surface of femur spotted or blotched. 

a. Head short, relatively narrow; body long; white spot under eye 
and one at arm insertion; a black spot on shoulder; size 2 to 
2 inches. Mexico and Texas. 

Smilisca baudinii. (See Fig. 178, also p. 151.) 

b. Head broad, flat; form stout; upper surfaces green, bounded with 

line of white (even across wrists and heels); green extends in 
scallop on throat; size if inches. New Jersey and South 

Hyla Andersonii. (See Colour Plate VII, also p. 131.) 

c. Muzzle pointed, projecting much beyond the line of the jaw; 

fingers not webbed; an oblique cross on the back; size i inch. 
Eastern North America. 

Hyla pickeringii. (See Colour Plate X, also p. 138.) 


d. Muzzle rounded, projecting but slightly beyond the jaw; no light 
spot under eye, nor distinct line along jaw; fingers slightly 
webbed; there may be a pattern of spots and bars similar to 
that of Hylaversicolor (Fig. 134); size i inches. Southeastern 
United States. 

Hyla jemoralis. (See p. 150.) 

2. Posterior surface of femur not spotted. 

a. Frog long and slender; colour plain, i.e. no evanescent pattern of 

spots and bars on head, back, and legs; size if to z\ inches. 
' (i) Light bands from the muzzle along the sides, also on the tibiae. 
Southern North America. 

Hyla cinerea. (See Colour Plate X, also p. 126.) 

(2) No light bands; colour plain green above, white below. 

Hyla emttata. (See Fig. 161, also p. 128.) 

b. Frog not unusually long and slender; light line along jaw (im- 

mediate edge of jaw dark). 

(1) Form robust; head thick through; canthus rostralis very 

prominent; back marked with evanescent pattern of 

bands and elongated spots; size i inches. Pacific Slope. 

Hyla regilla. (See Colour Plate VIII, also p. 134.) 

(2) Form more delicate; head not so thick through; canthus 

rostralis well marked, but not sharply angled; back marked 
with evanescent pattern of rounded spots; size i| inches. 
Southern United States. 

Hyla squirella. (See Colour Plate X, also p. 148.) 

II. Disks on fingers and toes so small that they are scarcely discernible. 

A. Skin rough; webs very large; muzzle long and pointed; legs long; size 

i inch or less. North America, east of Rocky Mountains. 

Acris gryllus. (See Fig. 184, also p. 153.) 

B. Skin smooth; webs minute, or lacking. 

1. Muzzle truncate in profile, long, slender; upper jaw edged with white; 

legs very long; size under i inch. Southeastern United States. 

Chorophilus ocularis. (See p. 162.) 

2. Muzzle rounded in profile, slightly projecting beyond line of jaw. 
a. Posterior surface of femur unspotted. 

(i) A light line along jaw; usually longitudinal bands on back, the 
middle one forking posteriorly; size i inch, or slightly more, 
(a) Leg to heel equals total length. 
Head long. 

Chorophilus nigritus. (See p. 157.) 



Head short. 
Chorophilus n. jeriarum. (See Fig. 185, also pp. 157 and 160.) 

(b) Leg shorter (length to heel equals length of frog forward 

to eye) ; head long. Middle and Western United States, 
east of the Rocky Mountains. 

Chorophilus n. triseriatus. (See pp. 157 and 160.) 

(c) Leg short (length to heel equals length forward to shoulder 

or ear) ; head long. Northern North America. 
Chorophilus n. septentrionalis. (See pp. 157 and 160.) 

b. Posterior surface of femur spotted; a light blotch above the dark edge 
of the jaw; leg short (length to heel equals length forward to 
ear or eye); size ij inches. Southern United States. 

Chorophilus ornatus. (See p. 161.) 

I. Two large sole tubercles; toes with short webs; muzzle short in front of 
eyes (less than twice the longitudinal diameter of the eye); size ij 
inches. Texas. 

Hypopachus cuneus. (See Colour Plate II, also p. 169.) 

II. One small sole tubercle; no webs; muzzle in front of eyes longer (more 

than twice the longitudinal diameter of the eye). 

A. Skin very smooth; form slender; head to shoulder one-third total length 
size i inch. Texas. 

Engystoma texense. (See Fig. 193, also p. 168.) 

B." Skin finely tubercular; form stout; head to shoulder one-fourth total 
length; size i\ inches. Southern United States. 

Engystoma carolinense. (See Colour Plate II, also p. 166.) 


I. Lateral folds present. 

A. Skin with longitudinal folds between the lateral folds; definitely outlined 
spots on the back and sides; leg to heel equals or exceeds total 

1. Spots squarish; undersurfaces of legs bright orange-yellow. Eastern 

North America. 

Rana palustris. (See Colour Plate XIII, also p. 188.) 

2. Spots rounded. 

a. Head long (two and a half times in total length) ; circular white spot 
at centre of ear; spots on back not outlined with light. Southern 

Rana sphenocephala. (See Colour Plate XII, also p. 186.) 


b. Head shorter (three to three and a half times in total length); 
spots outlined with light. North America, east of the Rocky 

Rana pipiens. (See Colour Plate XI, also p. 171.) 

B. Skin corrugated with elongated warts between the lateral folds and on 

the sides; definitely^outlined rounded spots on back and sides; length 
of leg to heel not as great as total length. 

1. Head long (two and a half times in total length). Florida. 

Rana asopus. (See Colour Plate XIV, also p. 193.) 

2. Head shorter (one-third total length). Southern United States. 

Rana areolata. (See Fig. 223, also p. 192.) 

C. Skin relatively smooth between the lateral folds. 

1. Ear of male larger than eye; legs short; no black cheek-patch. 

a. With definitely outlined spots on back and sides; size small (2$ 

inches); web large. Nevada, Utah. 

Rana onca. (See Colour Plate II, also p. 196.) 

b. Without pattern of spots; size 3^ or 4 inches. Throat of male yel- 

low. Eastern North America. 

Rana clamitans. (See Colour Plate XIII, also p. 198.) 

2. Ear of male not larger than eye; legs long; black cheek-patch usually 


a. With red in the colouration. 

(1) Leg to heel equal to total length; skin unusually smooth. 

Northern Pacific region. 

Rana aurora. (See Colour Plate XIV, also p. 216.) 

(2) Leg to heel not equal to total length ; skin may be tubercular 

in old specimens; size large. Pacific region. 

Rana draytonii. (See Colour Plate XV, also p. 213.) 

b. No red in the colouration; brown or grey. 

(1) Length of leg to heel exceeds total length. Eastern North 


Rana sylvatica. (See Colour Plate XIV, also p. 205.) 

(2) Length of leg to heel just equals total length, or is less than 

total length. Northern United States and Canada. 

Rana cantabrigensis. (See p. 211.) 

D. Skin very tubercular over the whole upper parts; webs conspicuously 

large and broad. 

i. Leg short (length to heel equal to length of body forward to car); sole 
of foot rough with tubercles; eye set obliquely. Northern Pacific 

Rana pretiosa. (See Colour Plate XVI, also p. 218.) 



2. Leg long (length to heel equal to total length); ear obscure, covered 
with tubercles; size small (2^ inches). Pacific region. 

Rana boylii. (See Colour Plate II, also p. 221.) 

II. Lateral folds not present; ear of male larger than eye; legs relatively short; 
webs large. 

A. Webs quite to the tips of the toes; head long (two and a half times in 

total length); size large (4 to 5 inches). Southeastern United States. 

Rana grylio. (See Fig. 269, also p. 226.) 

B. Webs leave one joint of fourth toe free; body stout. 

1. Head narrow; size medium. New York to Minnesota and Canada. 

Rana septentrionalis. (See p. 224.) 

2. Head broad; size very large (7 to 8 inches). Eastern North America. 

Rana catesbiana. (See Fig. 276, also p. 227.) 

C. Webs shorter (two joints fourth toe free); head narrow, long; size 

small (2^ inches). New Jersey. 

Rana virgatipes. (See Colour Plate XIII, also p. 222.) 


Fig. i. Hypopachus cnneus Cope. Brownsville, Texas. May 
be gray or warm shades of brown. There is much red on the con- 
cealed anterior surface of the femur. 

Fig. 2. Engystoma carolinense Holbrook. Raleigh, N. C. 
Fig. 3. Lithodytes latrans Cope. Helotes, Texas. 
Fig. 4. Scaphiopus holbrookii Harlan. Providence, R. I. 
Fig. 5. Scaphiopus couchii Baird. Brownsville, Texas. This 

spadefoot may be gray, green or brown. 
Fig. 6. Rana onca Cope. Las Vegas, Nevada. The spots are 

evanescent in character ; they may be outlined with light 

or not. 
Fig. -j.Rana boylii Bd. and Gird. Mill Valley, Cal. This is 

the Yellow-legged Frog of California. 

Refer to Index to locate descriptions. 







Ascapbus truei Stejneger 


Colour: Dull reddish brown, with a few indistinct blackish 
markings on the back. *sA dusky band between the eyes. The 
top of the head in front of this band pale reddish grey narrow- 
ing in the midline in front and bordered on each side below the 
line of the canthus rostralis by a band of black. This black band 
extends backward through the eye to the shoulder along the lower 
border of the parotoid gland. A black spot below the arm in- 
sertion. Posterior surface of arm irregularly spotted. Femur, 
tibia, and under side of foot edged by an irregular dark band 
which is sometimes edged with white. Underparts light, clouded 
with dark, especially across the breast. Fingers and toes tipped 
with light. 

Measurements: Size small; i.e. length i finches. Head slightly 
broader than long. Nostril nearer to the eye than to the tip of 
the muzzle. Space between eyes equal to width of eyelid. Arms 
and legs relatively long; arm, I inch; leg (total length), 2\ 
inches. Length of leg to heel equals length of body forward to 
eye. Tibia longer than femur. 

Structure: Skin granular, slimy, wrinkled, and irregularly 
warty above. Smooth and wrinkled below. Parotoid gland 
elongated, extending from the eye backward toward the shoulder. 
A narrow elongated gland on the side, corresponding in position 
to the lateral fold of frogs. Head flat ; muzzle elongated, abruptly 
descending on the sides, obtusely pointed in front. Canthus ros- 
tralis prominent. Ear hidden. Fingers long and slender; three 
palm tubercles, no tubercles under the joints. Foot but slightly 
webbed; no tarsal fold; inner sole tubercle medium in size; no 
tubercles under the joints. 

Range: One specimen only of Ascaplus truei has been found. 
Humptulips, Washington, 1897. 

1 Refer to pp. 7, 8, and 43. 

S 1 

The American Discoglossoid Toad 

This curious little batrachian (a member of the Discoglossidae, 
(see p. 8) is the lowest known form of the Salientia in North 
America. In fact, no other Discoglossoid toad has been found 
in the Western Hemisphere, and the discovery of this one in 
1897 marks one of the most important steps in the history of the 
Batrachology of North America. 

Although having the form of the Tailless Batrachian, and 
many of its structural characteristics, such as parotoid glands 
and a tongue free behind, it has a skeleton showing the funda- 
mental features in a primitive condition, as in the Tailed Batrach- 
ians or Salamanders. It thus supplies an important item in the 
story of the evolution of the Salientia. (See p. 14.) 

The geographical distribution of the Discoglossoid toads has 
been most interestingly worked out by Dr. Leonhard Stejneger, 
of the National Museum. 1 He makes the region southeast of the 
Himalayas, in Asia, the original home of the family. From here 
they radiated to New Zealand, in early Cretaceous times, to west- 
ern America (over the land bridge that existed between Asia and 
North America) in upper Cretaceous times, and to western Eu- 
rope in early Tertiary times. Curiously enough, although at 
the moment of publication of his theory no Discoglossoid toad 
had ever been found in the region indicated as the centre of ra- 
diation, a new species 2 was announced from there one month 
later by Boulenger. 

1 1905. A R&ume' of the Geographical Distribution of the Discoglossoid Toads, in the Light 
of Ancient Land Connections. Leonhard Stejneger. American Geographical Society, vol xxxvii, No. 

2, pp. 91-94- 

Oct. 20, 1905. Science, p. 502. The Geographical Distribution of the Bell-Toads. Leonhard 

2 Bombina maxima Boulenger. Tong Chuan Fu, province of Yunnan. 



Scapbiopus hoibrookii Harlan 


Colour: Greenish, yellowish, or ashy brown above, with or 
without a curved line of yellow extending backward from each 
eye. (See Fig. 17.) Iris golden. Light yellow colour about upper 
jaw, on sides, and on outer margins of the legs and arms. In 
the case of the female, the yellow is replaced by yellowish white. 
The under parts are dingy white, becoming purplish posteriorly. 
(For colouration, see Colour Plate II.) 

Measurements: Size somewhat below medium, i. e. length i\ 
inches. Female not much larger than male. Body stout and toad- 
like. Head large and with very wide front. (See Fig. 15.) Lower 
leg shorter than upper leg. Legs short; i. e. length of leg to heel 
about equal to length of body (to posterior margin of ear). (See 
Fig. 17.) 

Structure: Skin relatively smooth, though close inspection 
shows small tubercles plainly visible on back and sides. No bony 
crests on the head. The thin skin is completely adherent to the 
cranial bones and is penetrated by small black bony granules. 
The eyes are exceedingly prominent; pupil vertical. Ear dis- 
tinct, smaller than the eye. The upper jaw lacks the indenta- 
tion common among toads. (See Fig. 1 5 and compare with Fig. 
no.) The parotoid glands are small and round. (See Fig. 16.) 
The inner tubercle of the sole is a large black spade-like process; 
there is no outer sole tubercle. (See Fig. 19.) 

Range: Scapbiopus hoibrookii is found in every part of 
eastern North America, including Texas and Florida. It is re- 
ported from Martha's Vineyard, which fact, as Cope says, may 
indicate the late separation of that island from the mainland. 

A strange weird-looking creature is the Hermit Spadefoot 
when he is turned out of his ground burrow. At first sight he 

1 Refer to pp. 7, 8 and 43. 



looks like a small brown ball of earth, but almost immediately 
air is expelled from the lungs, so that the inflated sides collapse, 
and two elevations rise at the smaller end and become two round 
staring eyes (Fig. 13) of so brilliant a gold that they seem wholly 
out of place in such a dusky surrounding. In the centre of each 
golden circle is a very narrow black vertical slit, which gradually 
broadens into an oval black pupil. Awkward hands are lifted 
one at a time and rubbed over the eyes. The Spadefoot, now 
quite awake and alert (Fig. 1 5) begins trying to escape. He does 
not stealthily creep away as do many of the toads; he does 
not startle one with a prodigious leap, as do the frogs and tree 
frogs. He begins sinking out of sight into the soft earth, and in 
less time than it takes to tell it, has wholly disappeared from view. 

If we wait a moment and then remove the earth carefully 
from over him, we find him cosily settled in his usual hibernating 
position. His head is bent downward so that his chin rests on 
his front feet. These feet and the back ones are tucked closely 
under him, his eyes are shut, and his sides are puffed out because 
of the expansion of the lungs within. 

If we take him out and put him on a piece of paper or some 
other solid substance, instead of directly on the ground, we can 
observe the backward digging movement of the feet and can hear 
the scratching and scraping as the horny parts of the feet (Fig. 19) 
are vigorously rubbed against the hard surface. By this time, 
however, the creature is thoroughly awake and greatly frightened. 
(Fig. 1 8.) Finding its digging efforts unavailing, it creeps stealth- 
ily forward or hops in regular toad fashion for a short distance, 
and then tries again to dig a burrow in which to hide. 

The Hermit Spadefoot is not well known. It burrows into 
the ground and sleeps days or weeks, perhaps years, at a time. 
A gravedigger once found one 3 feet 2 inches from the surface 
of the ground, with no evidence of entrance or exit to the burrow. 1 
The Spadefoot is seldom discovered in gardener orchard; but 
it is certainly true that if a Spadefoot toad were turned out of 
its burrrow by the plough, the casual observer would not give 
it a second glance, because it looks so much like an ordinary 
dingy brown toad, unless one sees its eyes. 

The mystery surrounding the life of the Spadefoot is increased 
by the fact that when he does leave his burrow it is always under 

1 Vol. I, No. 7, Bulletin of Amer. Museum of Nat Hist., Col. Nicholas Pike. 


The Hermit Spadefoot 

cover of the darkness of night. Toads are lovers of the dusk; 
the Spadefoot is wholly nocturnal in habit, a fact which might 
be inferred from the cat-like vertical pupil of the eyes. 

There is one time when the Spadefoot Toads make them- 
selves conspicuous. This is when they come out of their bur- 
rows, hundreds strong, and go to the ponds or temporary pools 
for the purpose of depositing the eggs. This time is usually in 
the spring, 1 and is always coincident with a very heavy rain- 
storm or with a long-continued, warm drizzling rain. They are 
likely to remain in the pond only one night, or two at most, but 
during this time keep up a continual chorus of loud calls that can 
be heard at a great distance. The Spadefoot Toads swim and float 
awkwardly, sit on projecting stones and tufts of grass, and in fact 
turn the dead and shallow temporary pool of the meadow into 
a scene of great activity. The females make a low, grunting 
sound; the loud calls are given by the males only. Each call 
is relatively short, and is somewhat louder than that of the com- 
mon toad. Its carrying power is greatly enhanced by a throat- 
sac which acts as a resonator. This sac swells to three times the 
size of the creature's head. The call is often started while the 
Spadefoot is floating with his body horizontal and his legs 
outstretched. Increase of air in the throat region changes the 
centre of gravity so that the body is thrown forcibly and instan- 
taneously into a vertical position in the water. 

The chorus is somewhat unusual in quality, and when it is 
heard at night it takes on an extra note of weirdness from the 
surroundings. An idea of its effectiveness can be gained by read- 
ing the accounts of it given by various observers. Now it is de- 
scribed as "a loud bellowing," again it is said to consist of "weird 
plaintive cries," or of "shrill ear-piercing groans." One writer 
calls it "a deafening, agonizing roar, hoarse and woeful." 

After the eggs are laid, the Spadefoot Toads disappear entirely, 
leaving no trace of their hiding-places. In fact, it is not known 
whether they burrow in the neighbourhood of low land where 
temporary pools are likely to form, or whether they go a con- 
siderable distance into higher land before they burrow. At any 

1 F. S. Smith, April 29, 1879. New Haven, Conn. 

C. C. Abbot, May, 1874. April 10, 1884. June 26, 1884. Trenton, N. J. 
C. W. Hargitt, August 10, 1887. Martha's Vineyard. 
C. S. Brimley, May, 1895. Raleigh, N. C. 



rate, these facts are well authenticated: They disappear with never 
a stray one left behind, and they may not appear again in the 
same locality for many years. 

They leave the pond filled with eggs strings of eggs fas- 
tened to grass blades or stretched from weed to weed. In most 
of the cases observed, the ponds dried up before there was time 
for the development of the eggs, and in all cases the devel- 
opment seemed to be hastened because of the drying of the pond. 
The eggs hatch in from seven to fifteen days, according to the 

The tadpoles appear velvety black in water, but when ex- 
amined closely are rich brown in colour. They are short and 
stout-bodied, with narrow, spotted tails. In about two weeks 
after hatching, the delicate thread-like arms appear and the ab- 
sorption of the tail begins. They leave the water while the tails 
are still quite long. Like toads, they will drown if they have 
no opportunity to get out on land. The tadpoles may show the 
yellow dorsal lines characteristic of the adults even before the 
front legs appear. 

The first instinct of the little Spadefoots is to burrow. The 
feet are supplied with the apparatus for digging, although it is 
not as hard and horny as it becomes later, and so necessitates 
making the burrow in soft earth. The diminutive creatures have 
been observed to feed greedily on flies and young spiders. 

One observer records an exodus of thousands of young Spade- 
foot toads from their native pond. For hours they "trudged" 
in leisurely fashion up a steep hill, apparently not stopping for 
food on their way. 1 When picked up in the hand, they made a 
faint squeaking noise. 

The adult Spadefoot is an unintelligent and somewhat un- 
canny-looking creature its appearance quite matching its mys- 
terious habits and underground life. (Fig. 15.) The wide, rounded 
head bears two extremely prominent eyes set far apart. The ver- 
tical pupil has a narrow downward-projecting slit at the lower 
end. The iris has a black triangular indentation at its anterior 
margin. One-fourth inch behind the eye and about equalling 
it in size, is a round parotoid gland. 

The skin is smooth, compared with that of the common toad, 

1 The life history of the Hermit Spadefoot is taken from the accounts of various observers cited 
in Bibliography, pp. 241 to 250- 
























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Scaphiopus Couchii 

but on close examination is seen to be finely warty. While at- 
tached firmly in the region of the head, it is loosely attached on 
much of the body, and wrinkles at every turn. (See Figs. 
1 6 and 18.) When the Spadefoot is in resting position, the loose 
skin of the upper arm extends in a fold down over the lower arm 
and hand. (See Fig. 13.) 

The fingers are thickened at their tips; there is a black, horny 
thickening of the upper surfaces of the two inner fingers. (See Fig. 
15.) The foot is depressed, and the skin covering it is thick and 
somewhat horny in character, converting the foot into a living 
spade. At the base of the shortest toe is a long, black, horny 
spur to aid in digging. The same black horny substance is seen 
at the tip of this inner toe. (See Fig. 19.) 

Except during the breeding season, the Spadefoot is found 
only by accident. It sits in its burrow, showing only its peculiar 
golden eyes at the doorway. The turnip-shaped burrow is about 
six inches long and somewhat oblique in position. The earth on 
the interior is hard and smooth, packed into this condition by a 
continued energetic turning-about on the part of the owner of 
the burrow. The Spadefoot is solitary in habit, and will not tol- 
erate the presence of a neighbour in the burrow. 



Colour: Variable; green, olive, or brown bright or dull 
of light or dark shade. Streaked or banded more or less irregu- 
larly with light (bright yellow or dull yellowish). These bands 
may be continuous and symmetrically placed, producing a regu- 
lar pattern, or may be so irregular and broken as to give the 
appearance of spots only. Small tubercles of the anterior back 
and head are black; those of the sides, posterior back, and tibia 
may be yellow. Buttocks with white tubercles. Iris metallic 
yellow, sometimes reddish. Underparts light, skin transparent 
and purplish posteriorly. Hands and feet light-coloured. (See 
Colour Plate II, also Figs. 20 to 25.) 

Measurements: Size below medium; i. e. length 2 to 2| inches, 
Head inch long (specimen of 2j inch length). Space between 
eyes equals or slightly exceeds width of eyelid. Leg short; length 



to heel equals length of body forward to ear or eye. Tibia shorter 
than femur. (Fig. 24.) 

Structure: Skin rough, with small tubercles on head, back, 
sides, and tibias. Skin of underparts slightly rough, smooth an- 
teriorly. Parotoids small, flat, covered with tubercles; indis- 
tinct. Head rounded in front; slight indentation in upper jaw. 
Muzzle slightly projecting, with gradual slope to the jaw. Ear 
round, indistinct. Pupil vertical, with narrow slit in iris below. 
Iris has triangular indentation at front. Nostrils nearer to the 
end of the muzzle than to the eye; they are directed upwards. 
Hand with one large and two small palm tubercles; third finger 
longest; first and second black and horny (male). Foot large, 
fully webbed, and supplied with a large black inner sole tubercle. 
(Fig. 25.) 

Range: Scapbiopus coucbii (Baird) is reported from Mexico, 
Lower California, and Texas. In Texas, it has been found at 
Brownsville, Waco, and Helotes. 

This Southern Spadefoot is an attractive and alert-looking 
creature, very different from the uncanny, smooth-skinned Eastern 
Spadefoot (Scapbiopus lolbrookif) and the Northwestern form 
Scaphiopus la, bombifrons. It is often very bright in its colour- 
ation and shows habits of jumping and walking instead of con- 
stantly burrowing; it would thus seem more adapted to terres- 
trial existence than are its near relatives. The adaptations for 
subterranean and nocturnal life are well marked, however, in the 
development of the inner sole tubercles and in the vertical pupil 
of the eye. 

There is great variation in the arrangement of the colour. 
The bands of light may be so reduced as to give an irregularly 
spotted appearance merely. On the other hand, they may be 
so broad as to make the creature appear light-coloured banded 
with dark. The typical arrangement of the light is as follows: 
A curved or V-shaped band between the eyes anteriorly, with the 
bend pointing backwards; second and third larger, more elon- 
gated V-shaped bands more or less parallel to this, starting back- 
ward from the eyelids on the top of the head posteriorly and from 
the posterior angles of the eyes respectively. The third meets, 
in the midline of the back, oblique converging bands from the 


The Western Spadefoot 

lower posterior sides. In addition, there are lateral bands from 
above the ear backward, and conspicuous short ones (usually 
seven in number) on the muzzle and side of the head and neck, 
extending from above downward to the line of the jaw. 

When several of these Spadefoot Toads are kept in captivity, 
they protest noisily until they get accustomed to the new en- 
vironment. The voice is low-pitched and harsh; the sounds are 
made both by the male and female. A vocal pouch, in the case of 
the male, expands not only at the throat region, but also at the 
sides over the arm insertion and on the sides of the breast 
giving the creature a broad ludicrous front. 

Scaphiopus coucbii was found breeding in the pools at Browns- 
ville in July, 1905. 

Scaphiopus hammondii Baird 1 


Colour: Brown or grey, with or without two (or four) curved 
dorsal stripes of lighter colour. Tubercles tipped with red or 
orange. Muzzle not barred vertically with light (as in Scaphiopus 
coucbii). Underparts light, unspotted. Throat of male 

Measurements: Size medium or below, i. e. length 2 to 3 inches. 
The total length of leg and foot exceeds very slightly the total 
length of head and body 

Structure: Upper surface closely set with relatively coarse 
tubercles. Skin of underparts smooth. Parotoids lacking or ob- 
scure. Ear obscure. A fold of skin back of the angle of the jaw. 
Outline of jaw from below, acuminate oval (more acute than in 
Scaphiopus couchii). Muzzle short, thick, perpendicular when 
seen in profile. (Muzzle more truncate and protruding, but less 
thick than in Scaphiopus couchii). No canthus rostralis. 

Range: Scaphiopus hammondii Baird is widely distributed. 
It is found both east and west of the Sierras and also has an ex- 
tensive range north and south. It is reported from Mexico, south- 

1 Spea hammondii Baird, and judging from the type specimens in the National Museum, 
Spea hammondii intermontana Cope, also. (Cope's Batrachia of North America.) 



ern California, New Mexico, Texas, Utah, Nevada, northern Cali- 
fornia, and Washington. 1 

This Western Spadefoot resembles Scapliopus coucbii in 
having a tubercular skin and the parotoids either obscure or 
lacking. It differs in having a more pug-dog expression pro- 
duced by the shorter, more truncate, and projecting muzzle; also, 
the ear is more obscure. There can never rise confusion in dis- 
tinguishing it from Scapbiopus bolbrookii or Scapbiopus bam- 
mondii bombifrons, both of which are comparatively smooth- 
skinned. The lack of parotoid glands and black granulations 
of the head will also distinguish it from Scapbiopus lolbrookii, 
and it differs from bombijrons in having the cranium between the 
eyes flat instead of arched. 

There is considerable variation in colouration and in size in 
the species. The pattern of dorsal lines may be present in whole 
or in part only, or may be obscured. The northern specimens 
attain a larger size than those in southern California and Texas. 

This species, like the other Spadefoot Toads, is interesting 
because of its adaptation to existence in dry regions. It remains 
in subterranean burrows throughout the year except during con- 
tinued or heavy warm rains. It is said to be very noisy dur- 
ing the breeding season. Young specimens were obtained from 
San Diego, California, in early April. They measure three-fourths 
inches long, having a blackish skin already covered with reddish 
warts, and feet that show the black horny spade well developed. 
They have the characteristic thick projecting muzzle and obscure 

Scaphiopus bammondii has been known to deposit its eggs in 
pools formed by heavy rains, in July and August. It is likely 
to appear in gardens and vacant lots in cities as well as in more 
isolated country places. 

1 San Diego, Olancha, Redding, California; Painted Desert, Arizona; Helotes, Texas; Pyramid 
Lake, Nevada; Salt Lake City and Provo, Utah; Fort Walla Walla, Wash. 


The Spadefoot of the Western Plains 

Scapliopus hammondii bombifrons Cope 


Colour: Yellowish olive. Muzzle darker through midline. 
Indistinct curved dark band on the head between the eyes. Two 
curving (more or less parallel) dark bands, extending backward 
from the eyes. These bands are made up of closely placed spots, 
each spot containing a smooth orange-coloured tubercle at its 
centre. Similar spots with orange-red tubercles are scattered 
irregularly over the sides and posterior portion of the back. There 
may be four distinct light yellow bands running lengthwise along 
the back. There may be a dark spot on the canthus rostralis. 
Iris golden. Tibia spotted irregularly or vermiculated with dark. 
Underparts dingy white, purplish posteriorly; throat blackish. 

Measurements: Size small, i. e. length 2 inches. Space be- 
tween eyes equal to or greater than width of eyelid. Leg short; 
length of leg to heel equal to length of body forward to shoulder 
or ear. Tibia not longer than femur. 

Structure: Skin smooth and fine in texture, with a few tuber- 
cles on the sides, posterior portion of the back, and on the tibias. 
Muzzle short in front of eyes (no longer than horizontal diameter 
of eye). Outline of jaw as seen from below, acuminate oval. 
Truncated muzzle elevated. Eyes face forward and outward; 
pupil vertical. Nostrils slightly farther apart than distance 
between eyes. No canthus rostralis. Ear indistinct. Top of 
head between the eyes anteriorly is horny-looking, also in front 
of this beween the nostrils and on the end of the muzzle. It is 
not only horny-looking, but it is elevated in two arches from the 
front backward. (See Figs. 26 to 30.) Parotoids obscure or lack- 
ing. Hands unusually small and fingers short. Whole palm horny, 
so that the palm tubercles are not easily made out. Foot exten- 
sively webbed, but the webs are deeply indented. Inner sole 
tubercle not only large, but greatly extended, so that it is most 
effective in digging. 

Range: Scapbiopus bammondii bombifrons is typical of the 
northern part of the Western plains. It ranges from northern 
Texas to Montana. It is reported from Montana, Dakota, Idaho, 
and Colorado. 



This Spadefoot is especially characteristic of the elevated 
plains of the Western part of the continent. It has the habits 
of the Eastern Spadefoot (Scapliopus holbrookii), in that it bur- 
rows during the greater part of the year, only coming out during 
heavy and continued rains. In its range it is very abundant, 
and so when it does appear, every ditch and pool of water may 
show representatives. Being dependent on rain, its breeding 
season varies greatly from year to year. Cope observed speci- 
mens in Montana in which the metamorphosis was completed 
August 20th. He observed in Idaho the full-grown, fat larvae 
with the tails unabsorbed trying to feed upon animal food. They 
were in small burrows that they had made in the wet sand some 
distance from the lake margin. Some of them, in which the meta- 
morphosis of the mouth had proceeded so far that there was a 
wide gape, had whole grasshoppers l in their mouths or partially 
projecting from them. This observation also was in August. 

This Spadefoot croaks vigorously when taken in the hand. 
The throat swells into a resonating pouch wider than long, and 
widest just back of the jaws, in a line with the front of the arm 
insertions. The creature is very active and alert in habit. It 
burrows into sandy soil dexterously and rapidly, using the feet 
and legs to good effect. The curved horny 'elevations on the 
head combined with the shortness and thickness of the muzzle, 
produce a most curious pug-dog expression. The horny arches 
are probably closely connected with the burrowing habit, the 
head being used to keep the burrow open in front. The amount 
and hardness of this horny growth of the epidermis of the head 
varies in different specimens: there may be a thin dark-coloured 
layer only, or the horn may be thick and as black and hard as is 
the inner sole tubercle. In some specimens this black horny sub- 
stance is found not only on the head but also in a broad dorsal 

Cahptenus spretus. 





























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Cl. U5 

W 3 






FIG. 31. Toads go to the ponds in early May. The male sits more erect in the water. His throat is dark-colored when 
not distended in singing. 

May ist." The spreading leaves of the skunk cabbage and the unrolling fronds o the cinnamon fern." 


Bufo americanus Le Conte 

1. Colour: Extremely variable; usually yellow-brown, light 
or dark in shade, with or without patches and bands of lighter 
colour. A light vertebral stripe may be present. There may 
be much bright red and yellow on the warts. There are likely 
to be four irregular spots of dark rich colouring along each side 
of the vertebral line. Under parts light, with few or many 
spots. (See Fig. 52.) Throat of male, black. Female much 
brighter and more variegated in colour than male. (Fig. 47.) 
(For colouration, see Colour Plate III.) 

2. Measurements: Male 2 J to 3 inches in length; female much 
larger. Head large; its length contained 4 to 4^ times in total 
length. Legs medium in length length of leg to heel equal to 
length of body forward to eye. 

3. Structure: Skin conspicuously warty. Parotoid glands 
medium in size, more or less reniform in shape; situated just back 
of eye. Straight, narrow, diverging bony ridges extend back- 
ward between the eyes; each meets at right angles a second bony 
ridge extending back of eyes to a point above ears. The first 
ridge extends a little beyond the point of meeting with the second. 
There is little or no evidence of a ridge extending between the 
end of the second ridge and the parotoid gland. (See Fig. 48.) 
Inner sole tubercle of foot conspicuous because of size and black 
colour. Outer tubercle smaller. (See Fig. 44.) 

Range: Bufo americanus is the common toad east of the 
Rocky Mountains from Mexico to the Great Bear Lake. It 
shares the Southern States with Bujo lentiginosus, and southern 
New England and New York with Bufo fowleri. The species 
varies considerably in different parts of its range, the variation 
showing itself in intensity of markings, prominence and arrange- 
ment of the cranial crests, and in size. 2 

1 Refer to pp. 7, 9 and 44. 

2 Bujo copei Henshaw and Yarrow (James Bay, type locality) seems to be a small, promi- 
nently spotted Bujo americanus, judging from the type specimens in the National Museum. Bujo 
aduncus Cope may possibly be Bujo americanus. The type specimen is lost, and the species has not 
been rediscovered. 



It is the first of May, late in the afternoon. 
We stand at the edge of a pond, under a maple 
brilliant with its fringes of red keys. A marshy 
place at our left is yellow with "cowslips." 
Farther back from the water are the broad 
spreading leaves of the skunk cabbage and the 
unrolling fronds of the cinnamon fern. Every- 
where about the margin of the pond the green 
arrowhead leaves are just thrusting their pointed 
ends above the water; the new red leaves of the 
yellow pond-Hies are resting on the surface or 
struggling up to it. 

Suddenly out in the centre of the pond hun- 
dreds of small fish leap from the water to escape 
some enemy below, and drop back, making over- 
lapping circles of motion that widen and spread 
until all is placid again. There is no silence; all 
is life. The red wings are indulging in a lively 
conversation in the marsh near at hand. The 
ever-present green frogs are croaking from the 
ooze and immersed brown leaves just in front of 
us. They are so near that we can see their yellow 
throats and green sides expand again and again 
as the explosive calls are repeated. 

What is the new sound? Very near at hand, 
there is a sweet tremulous call that continues for 
several seconds, then stops abruptly. There it is again, but from 
another direction, and slightly different in pitch. Now it comes 
from all quarters many voices answering and blending into 

It is not difficult to locate the singers. They are toads, with 
throats distended into conspicuous light-coloured sacs astonishingly 
larger than their heads. They are quite unconscious of our 
presence as they sit erect in shallow water, showing their bright 
eyes and their enlarged throats. (Figs. 31 and 83.) 

The sounds are of such quality that they influence us to loiter. 

We sit down on the dry exposed roots of the maple to watch, and 

to listen to these creatures expressing the glad life within them. 

The simplicity and quiet joyousness of it all take hold upon us. 

Suddenly there is a slight commotion in the shallow water 


The unrolling fronds 

of the Cinnamon 



THE AMERICAN TOAD \Bufo americanus Le Conte. 
Providence, R. I.] 

Figs, i and 3 represent male toads ; 2 and 4, females. 

Fig. i. So surprised by the suddenness with which they were 
removed from their respective places and set down before 
the camera, that they retain unnatural positions and sub- 
dued expressions for some minutes. The toad at the left 
just from its dark burrow (note small pupil) ; the one at the 
right from bright sunlight. 

Fig. 2. Delicate coloration possessed just after moulting the 

Fig. 3. Coloration perhaps most often seen. 

Fig. 4. Bright color often assumed by female when active on 
a warm, sunny day. 




The American Toad 

The shining leaves 

and flowers of the 


May 1st. 

at our left, and out 
comes a snake, making 
its way along the bank 
towards the mass of 
golden "cowslips." 
But such a queer snake 
one never saw. It has two long 
legs extending straight out from 
the neck. It is the work of but a moment to 
stop its course and hold it firmly to see what 
strange monster is here. Do you see? The 
sna ^ e ^ as P art ially swallowed a large toad, 
headfirst, and the toad's long hind legs are 
extending on each side from the angle of the 
snake's jaws. It is one of our singers, too intent 
on his singing to see the stealthy approach of his enemy. Pity 
wins the day; we must save the toad, although the snake will 
lose a good dinner, and probably a well-earned one. So we in- 
crease our pressure on the snake slightly, and the toad is released. 
With eager hops he proceeds back to the water. The snake goes 
on until hidden under the shining leaves and yellow flowers of 
the "cowslips." Humbly and thoughtfully we continue our 
walk. The crooning tones of the singers in the pond become 
more and more indistinct until they are lost altogether, and we 
come again into the busy world of men. 

In late May, go to the woods, when the new wintergreen 
leaves are coming up red. Proceed to 
the pond at the edge of the woods, espe- 
cially if it be late afternoon. Stand and 
look out over the water with its opening 
yellow pond-lilies, some of their leaves 
still wearing their baby red. See the 
brilliancy and delicacy of the colum- 
bines that cluster with the ferns at 
your right. Look for the broad 
leaves and flower-like fruits of 
the "cowslips" along the pond 
margin at the left. Hear the 
emphatic call of the oven-bird at The broad leaves and fl wer-like fruits 
your back, the love notes of the of the Cowslips. May aoth. 



chickadee far away among the trees, and the merry tinkle of the 
bobolink in the meadow beyond the blue flags. By this time, how- 
ever, you have probably heard sounds from the pond itself. The 
explosive note of the Green Frog proceeds from the shallow water; 
the purring trill of " the Tree Toad " comes from some spot im- 
possible to locate. But listen! The toad's lullaby note ' comes 
from the far margin, sweeter than all others if we except the two 
notes in the chickadee's spring call. We could never have believed 
it to be the voice of a toad if we had not seen and heard on that 
first May day. The sustained note is not only high-pitched and 

tremulous; it seems to have a dual character, 
as though a low note were droned at the same 
time that a high one was whistled. Imitate 
the call by whistling the upper and at the 
same time humming the lower of the following 
two notes. 1 The imitation may be good 

enough to bring response again and again. 

If we go to a pond at night, we shall have every opportunity 
both to see and to hear toads, especially if we carry a lantern. 
Instead of being frightened by the light, they are attracted by 
it and may gather about it. If the lantern is set on the ground, 
they sometimes try to climb to its top. An especially enthusi- 
astic one may sit on the toe of our boot, swell out his throat and 
sing. Even taking them into our hands will not quell their ar- 
dour at once. They continue to sing even while we take hold 
of the distended throat, which is hard from the pressure of the 
air within. 

If we row on river or lake, pond or park lagoon, some 
moonlight night late in May, their voices, which seem somewhat 
woeful in the silence of the night, make a fit accompaniment to 
the slow dip of oars and the low gurgle of water at the boat's 
stern. We are reminded that this song has been compared to 
the slow opening movement of Beethoven's " Moonlight Sonata." 2 
As late in the season as this there will be heard also an occasional 
deep bass note from a bullfrog, a loud and somewhat startlingly 
weird sound of the night, not at all in harmony with the gentle, 
drowsy song of the toads. 

1 In late May and June we can hear at the ponds of Rhode Island and Massachusetts the call 
of the Fowler's toad. This call is far more conspicuous and much less musical. (See p. 95-) 

2 " Familiar Life in Field and Forest." F. S. Matthews. 




FIG. 32. The toads may be removed to anartificia pond 
and the eggs will be laid as though there had been no dis- 

FIG. 33. Toad's eggs laid June 12, 1903. Photographed 
June 13, 24 hours later. Eggs enclosed in curling, cylindrical 



FIG. 34. Photographed June 15, 1903, three days after 
time of laying. The coils are straightening; the jellymass is 
much less solid ; the eggs show the head and the tail ends of 
the tadpoles. 

FIG 35. Toad tadpoles are hatched June 16, 1903, four 
days after the eggs are laid. The jelly-mass is almost wholly 

The American Toad 

The American toads are in the ponds from late April until 
July. They may appear much earlier if the spring is early. The 
males who alone do the singing are the first arrivals. Dur- 
ing a large part of these months they sing both day and night. 
If the season is unduly cold, they may be silent for days or weeks 
together, reappearing on the return of a higher temperature. 

The eggs which are laid 1 in long curling masses (Figs. 33 
and 36), (likely to be tangled among the waterweeds and stretched 
from object to object in secluded, shallow parts of the pond), 
are black above and white underneath. They are arranged in 
a single row, in a transparent jelly-like mass cylindrical in shape, 
and are fertilised in the water as they are laid. The toads may 
be removed from the pond to an artificial one, and the eggs will 
be laid as though there had been no disturbance. (Fig. 32.) 

The jelly-like substance about the eggs is scarcely visible 
when the eggs are first laid, but it swells in contact with the 
water until it becomes very conspicuous. Perfectly clean and 
transparent in the beginning, it soon becomes discoloured by 
the sediment of the water until one may look directly at coils of 
the eggs and not see them, because of their resemblance to debris 
at the bottom of the pond. 

The eggs are small (less than i^ mm. in diameter). Their 
number is incredibly high. Various layings counted have yielded 
between four and twelve thousand eggs each. If the eggs are 
laid early, the development is comparatively slow. But if the 
eggs are laid later, when the temperature is more steadily high, 
or if they are kept in the warm atmosphere of the house, the 
development is remarkably rapid. 

Those figured here were laid Friday, June 12, 1903, indoors. 
They were photographed on Saturday, twenty-four hours later, 
when they were very much increased in size and all the fertilised 
eggs were entirely black. (Fig. 33.) 

Monday they were photographed again. (Fig. 34.) The 
jelly-mass is now much less solid; the coils are straightening, but 
still hold their cylindrical shape. The eggs are no longer eggs, 
but young tadpoles in which head and tail are easily distinguished. 
What is our surprise twenty-four hours later just four days 

'April 14, 1890; April 6, i8<jt. Baltimore, Md. T. H. Morgan. 

Bujo americantts breeds in April and May, sometimes in July. C. F. Hodge, Worcester, 

6 7 


from the time of laying to find the tadpoles out of the jelly- 
mass clinging to its outer surface or to nearby waterweeds. (Fig. 
35.) The rounded head is uppermost, the tail with its thin fin 
hangs downward. At the place where we should expect the 
mouth to be, there are two small black elevations, called suckers. 
(Fig. 210.) These secrete a sticky substance by means of which 
the young tadpoles attach themselves to weeds or grasses. The 
jelly-mass is now almost wholly disintegrated and the unfertil- 
ised eggs are very conspicuous swollen gray-and-white objects. 
These are masses of foul matter, which should be removed if the 
tadpoles are developing in a small amount of water under arti- 
ficial conditions. 

By Thursday the head, body, and tail are still more clearly 
differentiated one from another, and finger-like extensions from 
the neck are conspicuous when the tadpole is viewed from above 
or below. These are the gills for breathing; they have been 
present fully forty-eight hours, but were so small and delicate 
that they were very, difficult to see. Ever since the tadpoles 
emerged from the jelly-mass (which has now totally disappeared), 
they have moved with a vigorous wiggling of the tail whenever 
disturbed. Now they are becoming more active and start off 
on short circuitous voyages when there seems to be no visible 

On Friday, when they are a week old, their activity is still 
greater. The head is apparently much larger, but the gills are less 
conspicuous than before and seem to be farther back on the 
neck. The fact is, a membrane is growing backward from the 
anterior part of the head. This membrane will eventually cover 
the gills and the neck region, making the tadpole look as though 
it consisted of a large head and a tail, but no body, because head 
and body become so thoroughly blended. 1 

On Saturday they are still clinging quietly, except for occa- 
sional sallies to neighbouring weeds by very circling routes. The 
gills are wholly covered, except for two minute finger-like ends on 
the left side. (See Fig. 211.) 

On Monday, the tenth day, we have veritable " pollywogs," 
as black as tiny coals, with tails that are in a continual wiggle, 
and small round mouths that are in constant search for something 
to eat. For the mouths are now open for the first time. These 

1 For details of the development, see Leopard Frog, pp. 176 to 181. 


The American Toad 

mouths are provided with horny jaws for scraping the tiny plants 
from their supports and for biting of? the delicate ends of larger 
plants. 1 The baby toad is not different from other babies in 
being very hungry when it first comes into the world. He finds 
the minute green plants just to his taste, and perhaps, too, the 
microscopically-small animals that are in the ooze of the pond 
bottom or in the slime at its top, or that cling to water weeds 

At any time between the middle of June and the middle of 
July, the shallow water of ponds will be found swarming with 
toad tadpoles in every stage of development from the fully- 
formed tadpole just described to the perfect little toad. (Figs. 37- 
40.) They are exceedingly attractive little creatures. The 
younger ones may change to toads within the twenty-four hours, 
so rapid is the development. 

The whole length of the tadpole when it is from four to six 
weeks old and is approaching the last stage of its development is 
about one inch. The tail with its filmy fin constitutes three-fifths 
of its entire extent. The soft skin is nearly black, but when we 
look at it closely especially with a lens we can plainly see a 
fine stippling of gold. The two nostrils are very prominent, 
showing as small white openings. The eyes are small; the pupil 
is round and black, and is surrounded by an iridescent iris. 

The tadpole now breathes by internal gills 2 situated at the 
sides of the throat. The water enters at the nostrils and at the 
mouth which is continually opening and shutting for the pur- 
pose passes through openings in the side walls of the throat, 
thence over the gills, and out through an opening at the left side. 3 
This opening is shaped like a funnel with the small end outermost. 

When the tadpole begins to change into the toad, the first 
sign which we can observe is the appearance of the hind legs. (Figs. 
37-38.) These are mere rounded buds in the beginning and pro- 
ject straight backward. Soon the division into toes can be seen, 
and the joints are perfected. Then the leg is bent and the foot 
projects outward. Now the tadpole begins using the legs, as well 
as the tail, in swimming. 

In ten days or two weeks after the appearance of the hind legs, 

1 The tadpole of Bulo americanus has the following mouth structure : The broad upper lip 
has two rows of teeth; the broader lower lip has three rows of teeth; the border of the lower lip is 
fringed with papilla and is doubled in at the corners of the mouth. 

2 See Leopard Frog, pp. 180; also Bullfrog, pp. 236. 

6 9 


the front ones suddenly appear, fully formed. The fact is they 
have been growing for quite as long a time as the back legs have, 
but were concealed under the membrane that covers the gills. 
(See Fig. 280.) When ready for activity, the left one is extended 
through the breathing-pore, and the right breaks directly through 
the skin. We now have a strange-looking creature like a little 
toad with a long tail. For, before the front legs appeared, changes 
had begun in the region of mouth and eyes. The small mouth has 
been replaced by a large one, 1 the opening of which extends far 
back under the eyes. The eyes have increased in size, and have 
become elevated so that they look like the toad's eyes as we 
know them in the adult. Now the tail seems mysteriously shorter. 
It continues to become shorter (absorbed from within), until it is 
a mere stub (Fig. 39), and finally disappears altogether. These 
visible changes with the marvellous and radical transformations 
that have taken place within, convert our black wiggling " polly- 
wog " into a perfect toad. But so smooth and small ! There is 
no sign of a wart on his brown back and he is smaller than the 
majority of our tiny tree-frogs at a corresponding stage of develop- 

For some time before the com- 
pletion of the metamorphosis, 
the tadpoles prefer to be wholly 
or partially out of water. This 
fact shows that lungs have quite 
taken the place of the internal 
gills, and that our little water 
animals have been converted 
into land animals. If confined 
in deep water, tadpoles con- 
stantly rush frantically to the 
top to exchange a bubble of 
foul air for one of fresh (Fig. 
39 ), and they will finally drown 
if not given opportunity to 
stay above water. 

Just as soon as they lose 
the tails, toads are likely to 

Late June The little Toads leave the 

ponds when the Arrowhead begins 

to bloom 

1 See Bullfrog, pp. 236 to 238. 




FIG. 36. A small portion of an extended coiled mass of toad's eggs found at the bottom of an irrigation ditch. [May 
2, 1904, Rhode Island.] 

FIG. 37. By the middle of June, the shallow water of ponds is swarming with black toad tadpoles in every stage of 
development. [Enlarged.] 




FIG. 38. The hind legs appear. They project straight backward. The joints 
are perfected and the foot projects outward. The legs and the tail are used in 
swimming. Visible changes are occurring in the region of the mouth and eyes. 
The arms appear. [Enlarged.] 

FIG. 39. The tail becomes mys- 
teriously shorter. The little toad con- 
stantly rushes to the surface of the 
water for air. [Enlarged.] 

FIG. 40. Just toads. 

FIG. 41. They stick up their paws in ridiculous fash- 
ion as they " come to " after playing dead. [6 weeks old.] 

FIG. 42. One-year-old toads are so tame and confiding 
that we involuntarily wish them good luck whenever they 
cross our path. 

The American Toad 

leave the pond 1 a whole army of atoms of life, so small and so 
like the ground that if their numbers were few we should scarcely 
see one of them, or if we did, might think the little hopping thing 
merely a cricket. (Fig. 40.) But sometimes the day of their final 
transformation coincides with the day of a gentle rain. A happy 
coincidence it seems for them, but it is likely to prove rather 
tragic instead. They cover the sidewalks and the roadways; 
and before each individual of the migrating multitude finds a 
sheltered corner he can call home, many hundreds have lost 
their lives under the wheels of carriages and the feet of hurrying 
pedestrians. The same apparent " deluge " of toads may come 
if a warm rain occurs shortly after the time of their change to 
land animals. They are so delicate at first, so used to life in the 
water, that they travel only when the air is moist. This means 
that they will leave their native pond at night, and that until 
they are less sensitive must remain secreted during the daytime 
under stones and chips, in the cracks of board-walks or under the 
protecting cover of leaves and grasses. But let a rainfall come 
before they are too widely scattered or their ranks too greatly 
thinned, and truly it seems as if the toads must have rained 
down ! For the great warm drops splash down on the boards, and 
see, there are baby toads just where the raindrops struck. 

The wet margin of river and pond in early July may be alive 
with baby toads. When the toads have been out of water for a 
few days they are found farther back in the grass. They congre- 
gate in large numbers on sunny brown earth patches. These 
they match so well in colour, that, as we approach, their simulta- 
neous hopping into the shelter of the grass gives the illusion that 
the whole patch of earth is moving. 

Those that have been out of the water for two or three weeks 
differ greatly in general appearance from the tiny black things 
with fragile legs that we see on the wet mud nearer the water. 
They are one-half inch long, very fat-bodied and show spots of 
bright red-brown. In six weeks they may measure one inch in 
length and are correspondingly fat. They may be light orange- 
brown in general colour with bright orange on the two large warts 
behind the eyes and on the under sides of hands and feet. When 
they are handled they play dead for seconds at a time and finally 

i This happens generally between the middle of June and the middle of July, according to the 
advancement of the season. For the enemies of the toad tadpoles in the pond, see " Leopard trog, 

pp. iSl, 182. a 

7 1 


" come to life " sticking up their little orange paws in most ridicu- 
lous fashion before they tumble over and hop away (Fig. 41.). 

We cannot see the army of toads as it leaves the water with- 
out wondering what will be the fate of these defenseless creatures. 
We try to get ten of them all at once into our closed hand. It is 
no easy task, although there is plenty of room. As fast as one 
little fellow goes in, another hops out on the other side. But 
while they hop out of our hands, they themselves hop, without 
fail, into our hearts. The midgets have such bright eyes, wise 
expressions, and alert ways, and their legs seem so inadequately 
small, even for such tiny bodies. We know that if they proceed 
along sidewalks and roadways, unavoidable danger comes crashing 
down upon them, and that if they hunt the mosquitoes and other 
small insects of the fields and meadows, they must meet enemies 
unnumbered. Among these are snakes, crows, and several hawks 
and owls 1 , besides ducks and hens. These are enemies not only 
of young toads, but of the full-grown ones also. The full-grown 
toads do not eat the young ones. In this they are very different 
from most of their relatives. For the young toad, the most to be 
feared among these enemies is perhaps the hungry baby snake, 
who finds him a most palatable morsel. 2 Probably many of the 
small toads succumb also to severe cold or rapid changes of 
temperature during the winter. 3 

However, in the spring, one-year-old toads are numerous. 
They have grown greatly. There is considerable variation in 
their size, showing that all have not had equally good conditions 
or did not start out with equal vigour. They have gained 
the rough coat and the colour-pattern of dress of the older toads, in 
fact they lost their smoothness of skin long before they went to 
sleep for the winter. Toads at this stage are so tame and con- 
fiding that we involuntarily wish them good luck whenever they 
cross our path. (Fig. 42.) Toads do not resort to the ponds 
for the breeding season until they are three or four years old. 

1 A. K. Fisher. " Hawks and Owls from the Standpoint of the Farmer." Reprint from 
the Yearbook of the U. S. Department of Agriculture for 1894. 

2 These young snakes seem to be fully aware that they have the advantage of the toads, and the 
toads are equally aware of the situation. It is no unusual thing to see a baby snake much smaller 
than one's lead pencil pestering an old toad of considerable size. The great gentle fellow never 
turns in retaliation aiihough he might easily swallow the snake if he tried -but proceeds hop- 
ping desperately along the roadside, getting nipped on the haunches every few moments. 

3 It is thought that young toads burrow much less deeply into the soil for their winter hiberna- 
tion than do toads of more years of experience and more physical strength. 

7 2 

The American Toad 

During these years they make their home in field and garden and 
have for their main interest in life the capture of their insect food. 

Toads live to be very old. Authentic record gives the story 
of one that lived to be thirty-six years of age and then was killed 
by accident. However, there is much fable connected with the 
stories of their being found imbedded in rocks and trees. It is 
certain that other conditions being right, the toad can live for 
some time without food. This time may be stretched into 
months or possibly into years if the temperature is continually 
such that the toad is kept in a hibernating state. 1 

The rapidly growing toad sheds its outer horny skin every 
few weeks to take care of the increase of size within; the older 
toads moult at least four times a year. The skin is shed in one 
piece (Fig. 43) and is swallowed. The process is not often seen, 
except by one who has toads under special observation, for it 
requires but five minutes or even less time, and is not preceded by 
any peculiarities of behaviour. When the toad is about to shed 
his skin, he takes a position with his back greatly humped, his 
head bent downward, and his feet drawn under him. The outer 
skin over the whole external surface of the toad becomes naturally 
free or loose from the skin underneath, and splits of itself along 
certain definite lines; namely, along the midline of the head and 
back, across the posterior end of the body, along the midline of the 
under side of the body, and across the breast from arm to arm. (See 
Fig. 43.) The splitting is difficult to see, because the skin is thin 
and dark in colour, like the new skin, which is exposed by the split- 
ting. In fact, the whole process of the moult is difficult to see, not 
only because the old skin is thin and dark, but also because 
throughout the operation the old skin adheres closely to the wet 
surface gradually exposed. To understand the moulting, it is 
necessary to know that the skin of the head is continuous^over the 
lips with the skin of the mouth, and that the skin that covers the 
lips is also shed. 

After the skin has split along the lines described, the toad 
begins a process by which the loosened skin is drawn into the 
corners of the mouth. In fact, throughout the moulting it is the 
mouth that does the work of getting off the skin. The process 

1 Careful experiments have been made by Buckland to test the matter. Toads were confined 
in boxes of limestone and of sandstone and were buried three feet deep in a garden. At the end of 
thirteen months when the sandstone boxes were opened, the toads were dead; those in the limestone 
died before the end of two years. 



consists of repeatedly opening the mouth widely and expanding 
the body so that the loosened skin (which is split at the posterior 
end and along the back) is forced slightly forward, then shutting 
the mouth. By this method the skin is gradually sucked and 
dragged into the mouth at the angles of the jaws. The toad 
sometimes uses the front feet as hands to help him get the skin 
down from over the eyes. 

This method of sucking the skin in at the angles of the jaws 
might eventually remove the whole skin if it were not for the 
obstacles presented by the legs and arms. The hind legs are re- 
moved from their coverings by bringing them forward under the 
toad and pulling them backward, rubbing them forcibly against 
the body. This is done in just the manner in which we might 
remove the arm from its sleeve, provided we had no other hand to 
help. However, the problem is rendered much less difficult by 
the fact that the skin of the leg and foot splits on the under side 
almost to the tip of the longest toe. (Fig. 46.) The skin of the foot 
is sometimes turned wrong side out during the process, but more 
often it remains in its usual position. 

After the toad has removed the back legs from their coats 
and has dragged into the mouth as much as possible of the freed 
skin, he has so far completed the moulting that the hind parts 
are all free and the old skin, much wrinkled and plainly showing the 
warts on its surface, lies in a dark thick band extending from the 
angles of the mouth around the upper parts of the arms. In fact, 
strange as it may seem, that part of the skin which covers the 
throat and arms and is nearest the mouth is the last part of the 
skin to be shed. A few more vigorous efforts on the part of the 
toad, and the skin slips off the hands, the black bands of skin are 
pulled into the mouth and the process is over. The skin is 
pulled off the arms with little difficulty, because the splitting 
extends from the line across the breast out under the arms to the 
base of the first finger. The skin of the hands is usually turned 
wrong side out in the process. 

Certainly, the easiest way of completing the process seems 
to be to swallow the skin which has gradually been accumulated 
under the tongue. Occasionally the skin is swallowed as it is 
shed, in two long black cords extending down the throat from the 
corners of the mouth so that the skin that covers the feet is already 
in the stomach before the skin of the hands is shed. If the skin 






















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FIG. 44. The right foot of the toad, photographed from 
underneath to show webs and spur. [Enlarged.] 

FIG. 45. In July and August the toad still retains to a 
certain extent his desire to sing. He often sits with his throat 

partially distended. [Michigan.] 

FIG. 46. A portion or a toad's moulted skin, rescued as 
it was being swallowed. The skin of the left half of the back 
and of the left hind leg. Photographed from underneath to 
show the line of splitting along the under side of the leg and 
foot to the horny tip of the longest toe. [Enlarged.] 

The American Toad 

has been accumulated in the mouth, the toad proceeds to swallow 
it with much effort. The eyes above and the throat below are 
compressed convulsively several times, then the cavernous mouth 
is slowly opened and shut, again and again. Finally, the discom- 
fort seems past. The alert look, which tells that the toad is again 
awake to his surroundings with all their possibilities, comes back 
to the bright eyes; the erect position is resumed; the wet skin 
dries; the colour darkens, and our toad is quite himself again. 

The process of moulting may easily be observed in the old 
toads in July and August after they have left the ponds and taken 
up their places in the garden or field. On the whole, this is one of 
the best seasons for getting acquainted with the toad. He is very 
hungry indeed, for in his arduous life at the pond he has fasted to 
some extent. He still retains in a measure his desire to sing. He 
often sits with throat partially distended. (Fig. 45.) Sometimes 
in the early night he sings. 1 His voice is feebler, but not less 
sweet than it was a month or more ago. 

Hold the toad gently in your hand, so that his hind feet are 
without support, and hear him "talk." He is annoyed, and 
demands to be released. His tone is not irritated, however. It 
is, instead, a gentle chirping sound that reminds one of a newly- 
hatched chicken, only that the voice is sweeter. See! the throat 
puffs out and the trilled note is given while the toad is in your very 
hand. He twists his head about and looks at you brightly. He 
pushes with his hands, and wiggles his feet in a helpless fashion. 
All the time he is " talking " the chirping notes coming thick 
and fast, while his throat and sides are vibrating rapidly. Again 
the throat is extended and the musical trill is continued for a 
few seconds, leaving you elated that you have heard, but with a 
sense of loss that the sound is so short-lived. 

The throat-pouch is a single sac with air entering it from the 
mouth through two slits. These slits are on the floor of the mouth, 
at each side of the forward end of the tongue. The air enters the 
mouth through the nostrils; the mouth is kept closed. The toad 
can give voice to its call under water with nostrils and mouth both 
closed. In this case the air passes back and forth from throat-sac 
to lungs over the vocal cords in the throat. When the call is given 

1 1 have heard this feeble note of the toad in August only some half-dozen times. When I first 
heard it (the toads were under observation in " moss gardens " in the house), I accredited it to the 
snowy tree-cricket, whose voice is so familiar a sound during August evenings. 



with great vigour, the air from the side slits in the mouth presses 
on the side walls of the throat-pouch with such force as to make 
the pouch look as if it were made up of two sacs, i. e. the wall at the 
midline is not as forcibly distended as are the side walls. 

If we hold a toad in our hands, we realize certain details of his 
appearance which we should not have noticed if we had looked at 
him at longer range. 

The two oval black nostrils are very conspicuous. Each is 
situated on a line between the inner corner of the eye and the end 
of the muzzle, and is somewhat nearer the former. There may be 
rhythmic movements of the membrane bordering the openings 
which show that air is being taken in. 

The throat also moves rhythmically in and out as if in breath- 
ing, but more rapidly than the nostril membranes. Timing the 
movement of the throat, we find that the pulsations occur at the 
rate of about three per second. 1 The movement is confined to the 
floor of the mouth and throat, and is, in truth, a swallowing act, 
necessary to force the air down into the lungs. The necessity 
arises from the facts that the nasal tubes leading from the external 
nostrils open into the front part of the mouth (see Fig. 279), in- 
stead of far back in the throat, as they do in higher forms, and 
that the toad has no ribs, and so cannot have chest movements to 
suck the air into the lungs. 

The elevated eyes are very brilliant and very beautiful. 2 
The pupil is a black horizontal oval and is surrounded by a broad 
rim (iris) of gold. While we watch, the eyes are shut, both to- 
gether or one at a time. The process seems mainly one of making 
the eye level with the surrounding surface by lowering it into the 

1 The rate varies with temperature and other conditions. It is much slower when the toad is 
sleeping or hibernating. The .throat movements may cease altogether for a minute or more at a 
time. This occurs when the toad is eating or is " playing dead." 

2 The toad's eye is so beautiful that it gave rise in past ages to the fable of the " jewel " of 
the toad's head. This jewel was supposed to be a precious stone found within the toad's head. It 
acted when worn as a talisman protecting the wearer from all sorts of evil. 

Possibly the supposed venomous qualities of the toad gave the toad-stone special value, for the 
old theory that " like cures like" was fully believed, and all sorts of poisonous plants and animals 
were used as charms and talismans. 

The jewel in the toad's head is referred to again and again in literature and history. 

" The fayrer the stone is in the toad's head, the more pestilent the poyson in his bowelles." 

" There may be many that ware these stones in Ringes beeing verily perswaded that they 
keep them from all manner of grypings and pains of the belly." Topsell. 

7 6 

The American Toad 

head (into the roof of the mouth, really 1 ), but there is also a thin 
transparent nictitating membrane that rises, and so helps in the 
process. (See Fig. 274.) 

There are two straight narrow ridges or crests passing back- 
ward between the eyes from above the nostrils to a point behind 
the eyes. Here each crest turns a sharp angle (very nearly a 
right angle) and passes downward back of the eye to a flat, brown 
spot posterior to and somewhat underneath the eye. (Fig. 48.) 
These crests are made by the bones of the crown of the head. 

The flat vertical oval (Colour Plate III) is the external 
evidence of the ear. There is no external ear, and this spot is the 
tympanum or drum of the ear, which is at the surface of the 
body, protected only by the skin which covers it. 

The hand has four fingers. The foot has five toes connected 
by short thick webs. A short black spur (inner sole tubercle), 
which is strong and horny, extends downward from the inner mar- 
gin of the foot just back of the first toe. There is a smaller tuber- 
cle opposite this, on the sole of the foot. (See Fig. 44.) 

The entire dorsal surface is rough with rounded wart-like 
elevations of various sizes. Two very large elongated ones (paro- 
toid glands) are situated just behind the eyes. (See Figs. 47 
and 48.) 

If we examine many toads during the summer, we find that 
the colour is usually dull brown, with or without lighter markings 
forming patches and bands. There is usually a line of lighter 
shade down the middle of the back. Very often the ground colour 
is yellowish brown, perhaps darker at the head. The smaller, 
wart-like elevations may be tipped with red. Those above the 
ear are often of a bright orange hue. Sometimes there are four 
larger elevations, or spots of colour, arranged along each side of 

" Sweet are the uses of adversity, 
Which like the toad, ugly and venomous, 
Wears yet a precious jewel in his head." Shakespeare. 

" The ungainly toad 
That crawls from his secure abode, 
Within the mossy garden wall, 
When evening dews begin to fall. 
Oh, mark the beauty of his eye, 
What wonders in that circle lie! 
So clear, so bright, our fathers said 
' He wears a jewel in his head.' " Shakespeare. 

i See Bullfrog, pp 231,233. 



the white line in the middle of the back. These may be bright 
red-brown conspicuously bordered with black, the black in its turn 
being ringed with yellow, and may thus give the effect of yellow- 
rimmed eyes. The two large swellings (parotoid glands) behind 
the eyes may have the same colour as the background, or they 
may differ, being yellow or red-brown when the toad is dull brown, 
or dull brown when the skin as a whole is yellow or red in tone. 

The female is larger than the male, and is usually lighter and 
more variegated in colour. In both sexes the granular under- 
surface is light, sometimes tinged with yellow, red, or brown, and 
having either few or many dark spots. (See Fig. 62.) The adult 
male has a blackish throat. 

At the close of a hot summer's day we sit on the doorstep of a 
country house, delighting in the coolness and repose, and watching 
the lengthening shadows of grape-trellis, well-curb, and house. A 
fat toad comes out from under the doorstep, where he has been 
quietly sleeping all day; another, clean and bright-eyed, comes 
from under the sidewalk at our feet. They start off with leisurely 
hops toward the garden to search for caterpillars and other deli- 
cious morsels of a toad's menu. We watch their retreating backs 
(Fig. 47) until they disappear among rows of beets and lettuce, 
and we wish them " good hunting." Night after night, summer 
after summer, toads come out in search of food. They become a 
part of the place. They help to make the home and contribute 
their share in its work. 

Toads choose cool, moist places in which to live. They are 
often found in cellars, under porches and sidewalks, and in various 
dark or damp hiding-places. 1 They seek such locations not only 
for the shelter, but also for the moisture. A toad never has the 
pleasure of drinking water in the usual way. All the water that 
he gets is absorbed through his skin. A toad kept in a dry place 
grows thinner and more distressed-looking, and is likely to die 
within a few days; whereas one provided with plenty of moisture 
remains plump and contented as the weeks go by, even when there 
is a scarcity of food. 

It would, however, be a great mistake to think that a toad 
does not take pleasure in drinking. He sprawls out in shallow 
water or on a wet surface and has a contented expression in his 

1 From this fact probably originated the epithet " loathsome," in connection with the toad. 




FIG. 47. We watch their retreating- backs. [Male toad at the left ; female at the right.] 

FIG. 48. The AMERICAN TOAD. Photographed to show the narrow bony crest of the head. 








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The American Toad 

wonderful eyes as he literally " soaks in " the water. In the 
country in midsummer, when pools and springs are dry, toads 
very often travel long distances to spend the night on the wet 
ground about a well of some sort. 1 

In their search for moisture, they sometimes unwittingly 
fall into wells to lead a most sombre existence, feeding upon the 
few low forms of life that live there and upon unfortunates who 
become prisoners in the same way that they themselves did. 
Release may come if the well has a bucket, but more likely their 
fate is a tragic one. Their crushed bodies have been taken from 
pumps into which they have been sucked. They have sometimes 
been found hibernating in old wells, where they must have been for 
ten or fifteen years, judging by the amount of debris under which 
they are buried. 2 

We always have been, and still are, somewhat prejudiced 
against the coldness of the toad. He is less fortunate than we 
are, in being wholly, instead of only partially, dependent on the 
sun for his warmth. On a warm day his temperature may be 
very high and on a cold day he is very cold indeed, 3 so cold that 
he may snuggle deeper into his bed and sleep all day. Our epithet 
" slimy " he does not deserve at all. In fact, he is quite dry 
and comfortable to the touch, at least he is so when we first 
take him up. A moment later if we seized him too quickly 
and vigorously he may be somewhat wet; for among his pro- 
tective habits is the one of pouring out a colourless, odourless fluid 
upon the enemy. But even with this he is quite harmless. 4 

In addition to this fluid, the toad has another, which is slightly 
poisonous, and which is secreted by the skin. This secretion is 
especially abundant in the parotoid glands, the two large swellings 
behind the eyes. When the toad is in very great agony as, for 
example, when he is seized by the teeth of an enemy he pours 
out this fluid in sufficient quantity to cause it to appear in milky 
drops on the gland-like swellings. This fluid has a disagreeable 
effect on the mucous membrane of the mouth, and so protects the 

1 Wild Life near Home, By Dallas Lore Sharp. 

2 J. A. Allen. Amphibia Found in the Vicinity of Springfield, Mass. Proc. Bost. Soc. Nat. 
Hist., XII, 1865. 

3 Cold-blooded vertebrates have a variable temperature, dependent on the temperature of 

* The toad can in no possible way produce warts. 



toad from many enemies. Watch the dog's behaviour towards 
toads that have taken up their residence in the garden or about the 
house. He either gives them a wide berth or simply teases them, 
being careful not to take them into his mouth. A young dog 
may bite a toad, but the experience is likely to prove so disagreeable 
that he does not repeat it. The irritating secretion is not poured 
out at all unless the toad is in severe pain. This fluid can do no 
injury to man, unless it gets into the mouth or eyes. 1 

The toad has been greatly maligned by stories of its poisonous 
effects on man and man's belongings. Instead of bringing ill luck, 
the gentle fellow is one of our great blessings. The toad has come 
to our gardens and to the very doors of our houses because he can 
get an abundance of food there; also, because as one of man's 
domestic animals, he escapes some of his natural enemies. As for 
man, he may well look upon the toad at his door as a good fairy 
somewhat in disguise, we must admit. In fact, we might let the 
toad remain wrapped in the veil of magic that the superstition of 
past ages put upon him, but change the import of the magic to 
good instead of evil. 

That the toad is the gardener's ally has been proved beyond 
a doubt. 2 The economic value of the toad has been recognised in 
this country as well as in others. For many years, gardeners in 
France have been glad to buy toads in order to have them as 

The toad remains quietly sleeping through the greater part of 
the day, thereby keeping himself from being a nuisance and also 
saving himself from the danger of being stepped upon. But at 
sunset, or often earlier than that, he comes out from his bed under 
porch or shrubbery and starts on his regular tour over lawns and 
through gardens. 

The hunt is an exciting one, for the toad eats living, moving 

1 I have seen it naturally exuded but once in the several years of my observation of the 
American toad. This secretion has no power to produce warts. See p. 16. 

2 We are just finding out how many allies man has in his work of tilling the soil. We know 
now that birds of many sorts are of infinite value. Rose-breasted grosbeaks will keep a field cleaned 
of " potato-bugs." Kingbirds eat so many grasshoppers that they save a large share of the hay har- 
vest. Bob-whites and even crows are of great value in destroying cutworms. 

And humbler even than these, the insects cross-pollinate flowers, making possible fruits of all 
kinds and seeds for new crops and new varieties of economic plants. 

The earthworms actually plough the ground, slowly but certainly converting sterile into fertile 
land. Even the bacteria of the soil can be used by man to increase his crops greatly. (" Bacteria 
and the Nitrogen Problem." Geo. T. Moore. Reprint from Yearbook of Department of Agri- 
culture for 1902.) The farmer need not work alone; he has at his command a whole army of helpers. 


The American Toad 

food only. He must " lie low," approach cautiously but rapidly, 
move most alertly at the final moment, and perhaps meet with 
disappointment after all, as the grasshopper takes wing or the 
caterpillar rolls into a motionless ball. Then there is always the 
possibility of a lurking enemy. It may be a snake that lives under 
the wood-pile and is out on his afternoon hunt, or an owl that 
nests in the hollow oak and in the dusk approaches so silently that 
the first intimation of her nearness is the clutch of sharp claws. 
Or a skunk may roll the toad under his paw, preliminary to swal- 
lowing it. 

The chase must always be an 
eager one, because the toad is 
always hungry. His gastronomic 
ability is so great that he must 
have four meals per day, or rather 
his stomach must be filled and 
emptied four times in each twenty-four 
hours. He must therefore hunt and eat 
almost incessantly in order to get as 
much as he needs. 

The tongue of the toad, with which 
he catches his food, is admirably adapted 
to it swork. It has a sticky surface, from 
which escape of the prey is impossible, 
and it is fastened at the front instead 
of at the back. The latter fact makes it 
possible for the toad to throw the tongue 
well out of the mouth. (Fig. 49.) 

The toad eats almost all kinds of 
small living things that are out in the 
late afternoon and at night. He may 
sit for an hour or more on the back step 
and catch the flies and mosquitoes that 
come to the screen-door in their attempt 
to get into the house. He sits with head 
bent forward and eyes looking very 
bright and intelligent. When he sees 
a fly alight within two inches of his 
nose, he makes no perceptible move- 
ment of the head or body. 


Fig. 49. To show the 
movement of the toad's 
tongue in catching an insect. 
The tongue is fastened in 
front instead of at the back 
and can be extended fully 
two inches, in an exceed- 
ingly rapid movement. Its 
surface is sticky. 


The toad eats the black crickets 1 that are 
said to damage the strawberry crop. 

The mouth opens and 
the fly is gone. When the 
fly alights farther away, 
the toad springs forward 
on his strong hind legs, 
then easily slips back into 
a sitting posture again. 
That is all that we can see, 
but again the fly is gone. 

Look once more. 
There are many chances to 
observe, for he is bobbing 
back and forth as fast as possible, and the flies are constantly 
disappearing. The free hind end of the tongue is thrown out 
and pulled back so quickly that we can scarcely see the flash 
of pink. The tongue touches the fly, however, which adheres 
to its sticky surface, and so is carried far into the back of 
the mouth. 

The toad walks over the lawn and catches the crickets, the 
locusts, and the grasshoppers there, not in the least objecting to 
their hard coats, their long spiny legs, and the " molasses " of the 
locusts. (Figs. 50 and 51.) He may swallow even a bee or a wasp 
found on the low clovers or dandelions, and seems to feel much less 
uncomfortable afterward than one might suppose. 

Farther out in the garden, he snaps up the beetles and bugs 
that are running close to the ground or eating the potato, squash 
or cucumber leaves. 

He rejoices as a blundering May beetle noisily sheathes its 
wings near him. (Fig. 53.) Before it has time to begin the task 
of laying its many 
eggs, it furnishes a 
mouthful that makes 
the toad shut his 
eyes hard several 
times to get the big 
thing swallowed. 
For, strange as it 
may seem, the large 
eyes of the toad can 

The wingless grasshopper (Cciitlwphilus) of the 

1 Gryllus abbreviates. 




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FIG. 57. The toad eats the gray slug that leaves a slimy track. The photograph represents the slug and its eggs 

The American Toad 

be pressed down into the mouth as far below its roof as they rise 
above the head, and the movement aids effectually in swallowing. 
If the farmer could see, he would surely smile with satisfaction, 
for this May beetle is the mother of the white grubs that feed on 
roots and underground stems, and so ruin his pasture and spoil his 
potato crop. 

It is not beneath the dignity of the toad to sit and feast on the 
plant-lice that live on the lettuce. He swallows any spiders 
he may catch. He may sit in one place for a long time and eat 
the ants that are about an ant-hill or that gather on a decaying 
apple or pear. He loiters about the roots of the corn and attacks 
the cutworms as they come out from their day hiding-places and 
start to climb to the leaves they devour at night. 

The dusk changes to night, but as long as there is any light, 
the toad can see. His eyes are large and placed on the very top 
of his head. The golden iris contracts more and more, the pupil 
becomes correspondingly larger until the eye seems a great black 
hole in the toad's head. He can see nothing when it is totally 
dark, but there is usually enough light to see moving objects. He 
can see the tent caterpillars (Fig. 56) that have left their silken 
homes on the apple or cherry tree and are hurrying over the ground 
to find sheltered spots in which to build cocoons. He can see the 
caterpillar of the mourning-cloak butterfly (Fig. 55) on a similar 
search, and swallows it, spiny coat and all. He has no difficulty 
in spying out the white-marked tussock caterpillars that are 
changing their feeding-grounds from rose bush to snowball or 
honeysuckle. (Fig. 54.) He does not seem to mind in the least if 
a caterpillar is thickly set with hairs; in fact, small one-year-old 
toads will seize and greedily eat the common hairy caterpillars. 
Click beetles that have been in hiding all day are often captured. 
This would surely rejoice the heart of the farmer, if only he could 
see; for the young of these are the much-fought wireworms J that 
damage the growing vegetables and grains. 

The following statistics are valuable not only in that they 
introduce us to the real worth of the toad, but also because they are 
accurate, being the results of scientific investigation of the matter. 2 

family Elaterids 

2 A. H. Kirkland. "Habits, Food, and Economic Value of the American Toad." Bulletin, 
46, Hatch Experiment Station, Amherst, Mass. 



It is found that 88% of a toad's food consists of insects and 
other small creatures that are considered pests in the garden, 
grain-field, or pasture. It is estimated that in three months a toad 
will eat 9,936 injurious insects, and that of this number 1,988 (16% 
of all its food) are cutworms. Counting the cutworms only, the 
estimated value of a single toad is $19.88 per year, if the injury 
done by a single cutworm be put at the low figure of one cent per 

During the pest of army-worms, one toad examined was found 
to have eaten fifty-five of the caterpillars. During the siege with 
gypsy-moths there were found sixty-five larvae in the stomach of 
one toad. Another toad which was examined was found to have 
eaten thirty-seven full-grown tent caterpillars. The farmer and 
the market gardener, in the light of these statistics, and face to 
face with their almost endless struggles against insect pests, are 
beginning to value toads. They have shown their recognition of 
the value of toads by asking for legislation to protect them, 
similar to that which protects birds. 

The toad does good service, too, in destroying slugs. (Fig. 57.) 
These are the gray slow-moving creatures that leave shining, 
slimy tracks wherever they go. They are seldom seen except on 
dark, rainy days, because, although they are busy all night eating 
the tender leaves of the lettuce and other low-growing plants, 
they are sound asleep under boards and stones when the morning 
light comes. Unless the gardener sees the shining tracks of the 
slugs, he blames the caterpillars and beetles for all the damage 
done to his plants. 

Celia Thaxter, in "Island Garden" tells of her struggles with 
slugs. There were so many that every green leaf that appeared 
was eaten off by them during the night. Some'one suggested that 
the toad was the enemy of the slug, so she sent for toads, as there 
were none on the island. Two boys caught sixty toads and sent 
them to her in a wooden box containing earth, with wire netting 
on top. When the box reached her there were three dry and 
dusty toads sitting on the top of the earth. They were so dusty 
that she showered them with water, but she was not prepared for 
the result. "The dry baked earth heaved tumultuously; up came 
dusky heads and shoulders and bright eyes by the dozen." The 
toads sat there and blinked and " talked " with delight. She 
turned the box on its side and set the whole sixty free in the 


The American Toad 

garden, and as the summer went on they " grew fatter and fatter 
till they were round as apples," and her garden became very 

Toads are especially valuable in greenhouses. In fact, toads 
and frogs, also, if kept in greenhouses, will free the place not only 
from slugs and snails, cutworms and injurious beetles, but also 
from sowbugs, the small crustaceans that eat the roots of all sorts 
of plants. (Fig. 52.) The fact that a toad will eat earthworms 
adds to his value to the keeper of a greenhouse; for although 
worms are of inestimable value in nature, when they are confined 
in a greenhouse, where their work is not needed, they become an 
actual nuisance. 

It is interesting to watch a toad eat a large earthworm or 
rather, try to eat it, for, if the earthworm is an unusually large one, 
success may not follow the toad's most vigorous efforts. He sees 
the moving object, walks toward it cautiously (Figs. 58-60), 
makes a dash, and seizes one end of itliin his mouth. But the 
worm is fully aroused to the situation, and begins vigorous efforts 
to escape. The toad uses his front feet like hands to push the 
worm into his mouth, and if he is quick enough and strong enough 
he may succeed in getting it all in and swallowing it, or at least 
all but the " tail " of it, which remains for some time hanging out of 
one corner of his mouth. But more likely the worm gets out of 
his mouth as fast as he can put it in, because it is slimy and can 
stretch to be very long, and because the toad has no teeth to hold 
it. He is likely to give it up in disgust. If he succeeds in swal- 
lowing it after persistent effort, he is likely to have a disgusted 
look, for he does not like the slime that covers the worm. He will 
sit for a long time opening and shutting his cavernous mouth as 
if he were not feeling comfortable, and nothing can induce him to 
take another worm. 

When the toad catches an earthworm, he takes it head first, 
walking past or around the tail, and making his attack at the for- 
ward-moving end. This is interesting, since the worm has four 
rows of backward-projecting spines along its whole length, so that 
if it were taken tail end first it would be a rather uncomfortable 
object to swallow. A toad can eat a small earthworm almost as 
easily as he can a caterpillar. It is likely that on rainy days toads 
eat many of the worms that come out of the ground to escape 



It is estimated that about one per cent of a toad's entire food 
consists of earthworms. This one per cent, compared with the 
sixteen per cent of cutworms, nine per cent of tent caterpillars, 
and nineteen per cent of weevils and other injurious beetles, gives 
a very convincing ratio as regards the toad's relation to valuable 
workers in nature and to destructive ones. 

In addition to his practical value in the protection of the gar- 
den, the toad is of interest to us from quite another standpoint. 
The beauty of the flower and the song of the bird make a direct 
appeal to us. However, there is a beauty other than that of 
colour, form or sound. There is a deeper beauty that grows out 
of the relation of one thing to another. This beauty makes an 
especial appeal to us when it concerns living forms, involving as 
it does an understanding of the life of a creature in its home and 
in contest with its enemies. This beauty of relation includes not 
only harmony, but the discord that by contrast makes the sur- 
rounding harmony more beautiful. It involves not only that 
which is commonly called beautiful and peaceful, but also the 
fearful and the wonderful, and probably the tragic. It considers 
not only the individual or even the race, but the universe of indi- 
viduals and races in the great balance of life. 

Considered in this light, the toad, in its perfect adaptation to 
the needs of life, becomes one of the most interesting of creatures, 
and the beauty of use behind each element in its appearance and 
its^actions brings a revelation to the thinking mind. 

Its very ugliness becomes attractive when we realise that 
this ugliness has gradually come about through thousands of 
generations of struggle against enemies and adverse conditions; 
that every ancestor not fitted by its every point of structure 
and by every habit of life to escape its foes and to procure food 
in plenty, was weeded out of the ranks by those very foes or 
because of that very lack. And now at last the survivor of the 
long line of life, our common toad, is one of the most protected 
and the best adapted to its needs of all our animals. 

Its dull brown skin, rough with warts of all sizes and shapes, 
is so like the soil of garden or of field (Fig. 61) that an enemy 
passes without suspecting that a toad is near. The toad is the 
more easily passed by because he " lies low," quite motionless 
with chin touching the ground and body flattened as much as 




FIG. 58. The toad walks cautiously toward the worm. 

FIG. 59. The toad walks around the worm until he can taue it head first. 

FIG. 60. He looks very eager as he is about to make the seizure. Eyes shut during swallowing. The end of the worm 
still hanging out ot the toad's mouth. 



FIG. 61. To show the resemblance of the toad's skin to garden earth, both in colour and texture. 

FIG. 62. Structure study of the undersurface of the American Toad. (Providence, R. I.) 

The American Toad 

Among green foliage and in bright light the toad's coat be- 
comes conspicuously spotted and striped, so that he blends per- 
fectly with the details and the alternating light and shadow 
of the grasses and leaves about him. (Colour Plate III, also Fig. 
8 1.) Even his size and shape tend to make him seem to the 
passer-by a mere bit of rough wood or stone or a lump of earth. 

The colour of the toad's skin can change through a long 
range, i.e., from light grey or yellowish to almost black. The 
toad on the sandy road in sunshine is light yellowish with a few 
darker markings. The sleepy toad just out of his burrow is rich 
dark brown, probably without markings of any sort. On a bright 
afternoon the toad in the grass of lawn or meadow becomes light 
or dark brown, but conspicuously striped with cream colour or 
light brown, and perhaps has touches of red. (Colour Plate III.) 

This change to a colour which corresponds with the colour 
of his surroundings (often making the toad as invisible as though 
he carried the magic fern seed in his pocket) may take place 
within a few minutes, but any decided change usually requires 
considerable time. Then, too, all the toads that are subject to 
the same general conditions may not take on the same coloura- 

However, his colour and his power of changing it are not 
the only means by which the toad is adapted to life. By every 
detail of structure from the tongue with its free hinder part 
and muscles of lightning rapidity, and the large elevated eyes 
situated like watch-towers at the highest possible point, to the 
strong back legs adapted for jumping and swimming, the toad 
is fitted to cope with all situations. The power to jump is likely 
to be a great advantage in the world of animals, for such a sud- 
den movement from an unexpected quarter will startle the en- 
emy just enough to allow escape. 

The toad is fitted for his place in life by what he does, as well 
as by what he is. Let an enemy seize him roughly, and he is a 
dead toad. "Playing dead" saves him many a time. He will 
lie on his back with scarcely any perceptible motion for minutes 
at a time. (See Figs. 79 and 80.) Even the breathing movements 
seem to be suspended. Suddenly one leg is thrust out, then 
another, the eyes open wide, and in an instant more, the toad 
has turned over and is ready for new emergencies. Whether this 
habit is a protective instinct, or whether the toad really is insen- 



sible from fright during the time that it " plays dead," the 
resulting protection is the same, for, as a rule, animals that feed 
upon living food associate motion with life so firmly that they 
pay no attention to a motionless creature. 

One of the greatest protections afforded the toad is given 
by his habit of burrowing. Under stone or board or shrubbery, 
he makes his snug house all of soft earth floor, walls and roof. 
His method of making it is very unexpected. Perhaps it would 
not be so if we remembered the appearance of his hind feet. They 
are greatly hardened and thus especially fitted for digging and 
each bears a conspicuous spur. (Fig. 44.) The toad makes his house 
and enters it at the same time a great advantage, it would seem. 
But he must back in, which must have its disadvantages, 
since he cannot be certain until he is thoroughly and snugly in 
that he is going to have a house at all ; he may bump against a 
stone, or take a long tumble into a cellar, or, worse still, into a well. 

Each morning he backs into his old burrow, or perhaps kicks 
into a new one; and rests with his nose and bright eyes at the open 
doorway. If an'enemy comes, he shuts the door in the intruder's 
face by forcibly backing his way farther in until the earth caves 
down over his head. 

This is just what he does when cold autumn days come. And 
here he lies, with his toes drawn under him and his head bent 
downward, all secure in his closely shut house. He sleeps and 
the days grow colder and winter is here. Still he sleeps, with 
his house yet more protected, perhaps, by coverings of leaves and 
snow. The winds blow, but he does not feel them. He is cold; 
we should call him frozen perhaps, he is so stiff and cold. But if 
the heart, the stronghold of his life, is not frozen, he wakes up 
some warm spring day when the ferns are unrolling and the cold is 
gone, and scarcely knows that he has slept more than a day. 

What a change in him! The long sleep, the warm, moist air, 
all the instincts of his being, tend to fill him with physical joy. It 
is such a pleasure to eat; it is so delightful to move; it is such a 
satisfaction to soak in the water of the spring rains. 

He is converted into a social creature and finds himself going 
with many other toads to the pond where he spent his own early 
days. And now at the pond and in the water (Fig. 63) he can con- 
tain himself no longer, but bursts into that spring song, beautiful 
to himself and to his companions. 



















































35 -S 




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The Southern Toad 

We also find the toad's song one of the most beautiful sounds 
in nature. The effect of a " chorus " of toads is most harmonious 
indeed a crooning sound that seems a fit companion for amorous 
spring air, bursting flower buds, and the feeling of new life in our 
own hearts. 


Bufo lentiginosus Shaw 


Colour: Variable, often bright red-brown, with or without 
darker spots, a light vertebral stripe or a broader light band on the 
sides. The male may be nearly black. The young toads (one to 
three years old) may show much bright orange in the colouration. 
(For one phase of colouration, see Colour Plate IV.) 

Measurements: Size of Bufo americanus, i.e. male 2^ to 3 
inches; female much larger. Head relatively long, its length 
contained only 3^ to 4 times in total length. (Fig. 64.) 

Structure: Parotoid glands relatively small and narrow. Crests 
of the head remarkably conspicuous, because of the elevation, 
posteriorly, of the divergent straight crests which lie on top of the 
head between the eyes. These are not only greatly elevated, but 
also are swollen into large knobs at their ends. Meeting each of 
these ridges just in front of the knob and behind the eye is a second 
ridge, which extends at right angles to the first downward to a 
point above the ear. A third ridge on each side passes backward 
from this point to the parotoid gland. (See Figs. 64 to 67, and 
compare with Figs. 48, 70, and 84.) 

Range: The Southern States east of Texas. 

This Southern toad, which is so like the American toad, its 
near relative at the North, is a valuable and interesting ally to 
man. It is very common, and may be seen in large numbers about 
houses and gardens in late afternoon and at dusk. During the 
daytime it hides in burrows of its own making, or in moist places 
under boards and stones. 

It is probably of this toad that the following incident is told. 
The story illustrates the rapidity with which food is seized and 



swallowed, and the small part played in the process by the sense of 
taste. Among its other insect food the Southern toad finds fire- 
flies very palatable. So small boys feed the toad with the burning 
ends of matches, and it is said that only after several have been 
swallowed does the toad find out its mistake and object to the heat. 

The male is very much smaller than the female and is much 
duskier in colouring. The general colour may vary from light 
reddish or greenish brown to black. There is usually a light stripe 
along the middle of the back and a broader one lengthwise along 
each side. The underparts are dirty white. The upper surface 
is warty, but much less strongly so than is the corresponding sur- 
face in the American toad. (Compare Figs. 67 and 48.) The 
parotoid glands are somewhat kidney-shaped and are relatively 
narrow. The eye is unusually large and beautiful, with an elon- 
gated black oval pupil and a golden iris. The ear is large (though 
smaller than the eye) and is vertically oval. 

The foot is smaller and more slender than that of the American 
toad, and the foot tubercles are correspondingly smaller. The 
mouth has a conspicuous indentation in the upper jaw and a hook- 
like extension of the lower jaw to fit into this indentation. 

This toad is one o^the meekest and gentlest looking creatures 
that ever lived a lowly life on]the ground. (Fig. 65.) Although it 
becomes very tame in captivity, so that it will take food from one's 
fingers, or eat sitting in the hand, it still remains very timid, and is 
startled by any rapid or unexpected movement. (Fig. 66.) While 
in captivity, toads of this species ate earthworms and insects of 
various sorts. Among the latter were large polyphemus cater- 
pillars, hairy caterpillars (such as yellow bear and woolly bear), 
various sphinx caterpillars, red-legged locusts, and in fact all 
insects offered, except a large staghorn beetle. This beetle was 
swallowed, but was almost immediately disgorged, and the toad 
showed evident signs of discomfort long after. Bufo lentiginosus, 
like many other toads, shows, when excited, curious, nervous move- 
ments of the toes. These movements are especially conspicuous 
when the toad is watching a moving worm or insect just before 
seizing it. 

After having been kept in a dry place for a few days, this toad 
as well as Bufo I. woodhousei from Arizona, and other toads 
from southern North America displays an interesting relation 
to water and interesting movements in it. When released in 



The upper figure shows one phase of coloration of the Southern 
\BufolentiginosusStew. Female. Mimmsville Gal 

The second figure represents the Rocky Mountain Toad \Bufo 
1. woodhousei Bd. and Gird. Female. Phoenix, Arizona ] 

The remaining two are male and female of Fowler's Toad 
\tiufofowleri Putnam. Providence, R. I.] 

Refer to Index to locate descriptions. 




The Rocky Mountain Toad 

proximity to water, the toad hops eagerly towards it and squats in 
a place where it is shallow. After sitting quietly for a few mo- 
ments, he turns around once or twice, then puts the water up on 
his eyes and the top of his head by means of his hands, using first 
one and then the other. This is not surprising, for we have seen 
the front feet used as hands in a similar movement during moulting 
or eating. However, there follows a most unusual movement, 
showing that the hind legs can be put to uses other than those of 
burrowing and locomotion. The wet feet are lifted one at a time, 
and their under surfaces are rubbed very dexterously over the 
toad's back and sides until all is wet. Finally, the hind legs are 
stretched backward and rubbed together in the water in a fashion 
that reminds us of the similar movement of the hind legs of a fly. 
The throat of the male is black, and expands into a rounded 
resonating sac when the toad gives its call. This call consists of ( 
a single tone, which is vibrated, and which lasts several seconds. 
It is high-pitched and extremely sweet; in fact, it would take 
a practiced ear to distinguish the call from that of the American 


Bufo lentiginosus and Bufo americanus do not show a series 

of intergrading forms in a district intermediate in position to 
their respective southern and northern centres of distribution. 
Instead, they seem to be distinct species occupying the same lo- 
calities where their ranges overlap. 

Bufo lentiginosus woodhousei Girard 


Colour: Usually dingy greyish or yellowish brown, with much 
yellow on the lower sides and on the concealed portion of the 
femur. The toad may be conspicuously spotted with dark 
(Figs. 71 and 73), or unspotted, the rounded warts alone being 
dark-coloured. There is a light vertebral streak. Underparts 
light yellowish, unspotted, except for aggregations of small black 
spots on the breast. (Figs. 69 and 73.) Eye metallic yellow. 
Throat of male ; black. Tips of fingers and toes dark-coloured. 
(For one phase of colouration, see Colour Plate IV.) 

Measurements: Size unusually large, i. e. male 3^ to 4 inches. 


female 4 to 5^ inches. Head short, its length contained in total 
length nearly five times. (Fig. 68.) A toad having a length of head 
seven-eighths inch has a width if inch. The length of the leg 
to the heel equals the length of the body forward to some point 
between the eye and the end of the muzzle. Tibia but little longer 
than femur. (Fig. 70.) 

Structure: Skin rough, with rounded warts. Eyelids warty. 
(Fig. 70.) Parotoids long and oval, not reniform in shape and 
not descending greatly on the shoulders. Ear a distinct vertical 
oval, variable in size from a diameter half that of the eye to one 
which in the case of old specimens almost equals it. The top of 
the head is usually lifted above the neck region behind. (Figs. 73 
and 74.) There are two conspicuous bony ridges parallel be- 
tween the eyes. These may have a groove between them, and 
may have their edges crenated along this groove (Fig. 70), or 
they may be obscured by having the groove quite filled up between 
them. (Figs. 72, 73 and 74.) At right angles behind the eyes these 
ridges meet two other ridges, each of which extends outward 
and downward between the eye and the parotoid to the ear 
on its respective side. Muzzle not projecting greatly beyond 
the lip. Palm with one large tubercle (Fig. 69), and a smaller 
one at the inner base of the first finger. Sole of foot rough, 
with small tubercles. Web of foot relatively short. Inner 
tubercle usually large, with free cutting edge. Outer tubercle 
large, but flat, without cutting edge. (Fig. 71.) 

Range: This is the common toad of the Rocky Mountain 
region. It is reported from Montana, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, 
Nebraska, Kansas, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. 

The Rocky Mountain toad is usually dingy in colour. Just 
after a moult, its colouration becomes brighter and richer in tone, 
with sharp contrast between the spots and the background. It 
has great power of change of colour from light to dark. 

It is related to the American toad (Bufo americanus), and 
still more closely to the Southern toad (Bufo lentiginosus), but 
attains a greater size than either of these. The male of this toad 
is about the size of the female of the American toad. The relative 
length of the head and the shape of the cranial crests will always 




FIG. 68. The ROCKY MOUNTAIN TOAD. (J?w/b /. woodhousei Gird) Phoenix, Arizona. (For coloration see 
Colour Plate IV.) A large rough-skinned toad with an unusually short head. 

FIG. (x).Bufo I. u'oodhousei G\rA. Ft. Worth, Texas. Struc- 
ture study of the under parts (in water). 

FIG. 70. Bitfo I. 'icoodhtnisci Gird. Phurnix, 
Ariz. Structure study of the bony crests of the 
head and of the texture of the skin of the upper 




xl II 




Fowler's Toad 

suffice to distinguish it from Bufo lentiginosus. However, its 
characteristics are so like those of Bufo americanus that in some 
specimens it is almost impossible to make the distinction, and it 
would then seem that Bufo I. woodhousei is Bufo americanus with 
only the variation to be expected from a different geographical 
distribution. The three toads mentioned are alike not only in 
general appearance, but in each case the male has a wrinkled 
black throat, and can extend a rounded vocal throat-pouch. In 
each case, also, the call given is a vibrated note of high pitch and 
sweet quality. These calls are difficult to distinguish one from 
the other, and prove a common ancestor. 

This toad is often confused with Bufo cognatus, which is 
found in many of the same localities. The confusion arises, how- 
ever, on superficial examination only, as the two toads are very 
different indeed. The cranial ridges of Bufo cognatus are not 
parallel, but diverge backward from a prominent bony elevation 
between the nostrils. (See Figs. 70 and 89.) The voices of the two 
are different, and could never be confused after once hearing. 
That of Bufo woodbousei is sweet and musical, while the other 
is emphatically the opposite. The vocal pouch of Bufo wood- 
housei is a rounded sac extending from the margin of the lower 
jaw to the line on the breast somewhat below the arm insertions 
and from one angle of the jaw to the other. That of Bufo cog- 
natus is a bladder sent out from the base of the throat in the 
midline between the arm insertions. (See Fig. 100.) 

There are many minor differences between the two, such as 
the following: The foot of Bufo cognatus is relatively much longer 
than that of Bufo woodbousei (compare Figs. 70 and 91); the 
parotoids of Bufo cognatus extend obliquely down on the 
shoulder, while those of Bufo woodbousei are almost parallel. 
(See Figs. 68 and 91.) 


Bufo fowleri Putnam 


Colour: General colour light or dark grey (or dull brown), which 
may be greenish or yellowish in tone, very rarely reddish. Some- 
times dark or dingy and unspotted; more often spotted and 



striped with dull brown or black. A prominent light vertebral 
streak and spots margined with light. (See Figs. 77, 78, 80, and 
84.) Spots'unusually distinct, and seldom deviating from a typical 
arrangement. This arrangement is as follows: six pairs along the 
vertebral streak first pair, elongated spots placed obliquely on 
the eyelids and top of the head; second pair, rounded and small, 
between the anterior ends of the parotoids; third pair, greatly 
elongated, more or less pear-shaped, situated on the anterior 
part of the back; fourth, fifth, and sixth pairs irregular, the 
last often obscure. There is an irregular band of light colour on 
the side bounded below by dark. Between the anterior part of 
the eye and the jaw there is a dark band, and back of this, ex- 
tending from the eye and lower border of the parotoid, there are 
three or four dark bands, more or less parallel to this one. The 
warts situated on the dark spots are usually lighter or brighter 
than the spots. Iris bright metallic yellow, with tracery of 
black veining. Throat of male black. Throat of female light, 
with perhaps a few spots on the jaw. Underparts light, un- 
spotted. (See Figs. 75 and 79.) There may be much yellow 
reticulated with black on the posterior .lower sides and on the 
anterior and posterior faces of the femur. 

Measurements: Size medium, i.e. male 2^ inches, female 
slightly larger. Head relatively short; length of head contained 
in total length about four times. Legs relatively long, i. e. length 
of leg to heel equals length of body forward to some point anterior 
to the eye in the female and to the muzzle or beyond in the male. 
Tibia longer than femur. 

Structure: Skin everywhere finely warty on the upper parts. 
Groups of somewhat larger warts on the^dark spots of the back. 
(See Fig. 84 and Colour Plate IV.) Underparts granulated. Paro- 
toids long, narrow, parallel ovals. (Fig. 84.) The top of the head 
may be higher than the neck region behind. The two bony crests 
of the top of the head are variable in their characteristics. They 
are usually near each other, considerably elevated, parallel, and 
grown together at their posterior ends. Conspicuous ridges 
behind the eyes meet these parallel ridges at right angles. Ear a 
vertical oval, two-thirds the size of the eye. The muzzle projects 
beyond the upper lip. The nostrils, which open upward, are sit- 
uated half-way between the eye and the jaw on a vertical line with 
the upper lip. Fingers slender, prominent tubercles under 





















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Fowler's Toad 

finger-joints; one large palm tubercle; order of lengths of fingers 
from the shortest to the longest, second, fourth, first, third. 
ToeS slender; web deeply indented; inner sole tubercle well 
developed ; outer sole tubercle small (See Figs. 79 and 82.) 

Range: Danvers, Woods Hole, and Cuttyhunk Island, Massa- 
chusetts. Common throughout Rhode Island. Probably com- 
mon in other parts of Massachusetts, and perhaps in still other 
New England States. 1 Specimens are in the American Museum 
of Natural History, in a collection reoresenting the Batrachia 
of the vicinity of New York City. 

Fowler's toad comes from its hibernation later in the spring 
than the American toad. On warm evenings in late April and 
early May, it is the latter only that we hear at the ponds. In late 
May and in June the toad chorus in Rhode Island consists mainly 
of the voices of Fowler's toad, with only an occasional sweet note 
from the American toad. In July it is rarely that we hear any 
voice but that of the Fowler's toad. 

The call of the Fowler's toad is a metallic droning sound, not 
conspicuously vibrated. The pitch of the call may be as high as that 
of Bujoamericanus, but descends in doleful fashion through several 
intervals before the close. Its carrying power is unusually great. 
The quality is indescribable; on the whole, the call is weird and 
mournful and not especially agreeable to our ears. 

The small black-throated males sit for hours in the shallow 
water of the pond margin or of the marshy edge of some brook, and 
send forth woeful answering calls, inflating their throat-pouches 
enormously at each emission of sound. (Fig. 83.) We can discover 
them by means of these inflated throats if we approach their haunt 
with a lantern or on a moonlight night. The swollen throats look 
like great light-coloured transparent spheres like large white 
bubbles among the dark grass or above the black water. 
That these spheres are transparent, thin-walled, and empty, except 
for air, is interestingly proved by looking at them from the side 
opposite the lantern. 

A few of these toads may be heard calling from park lagoons, 

1 G. M. Allen describes the song of the Fowler's toad heard in New Hampshire, but attrib- 
utes this song to the American toad. "Notes on the Reptiles and Batrachians of Intervale, N. H." 
Proc. Bost. Soc. Nat. Hist., 29: 63-75. 



river margins, and ponds at any time during the late spring and the 
summer months. Occasionally, however, in some shallow country 
pond, there will be, for a few nights, so many hundreds of these 
toads that it would seem that all the Fowler's toads had assembled 
for miles around. The males outnumber the females to an aston- 
ishing extent. Out of eighty toads captured on such an occasion, 
only seven were females. The loud, weird chorus made by such 
an assembly of Fowler's Toads is described as a " terrible squawk- 
ing" by some who have heard it. Others have compared it to 
the persistent whooping of a party of Indians. 

The eggs are laid in long tangled strings, like those of the 
American toad. (See Fig. 76.) The eggs are slightly smaller than 
those of Bufo americanus, and may be arranged in one or in two 
rows in the same laying. The development of this species is rapid. 
Owing to the length of the breeding season, we may find young 
Fowler's toads of many different sizes during the summer and 
autumn. They show the cranial crests and the characteristic 
spots within three or four weeks after the tail is lost. 

The adult Bufo fowleri is delicately moulded and is more 
slender than most North American toads. It is also better de- 
veloped for leaping, the legs being unusually long. (See Fig. 

The habit of the toad is what would be expected from its struc- 
ture it is as agile as a frog, and difficult to catch. After the 
breeding season, the remainder of the summer and the autumn 
are spent in a toad's ordinary haunts. We may see the Fowler's 
spotted back at the sides of country roads, in parks and gardens, 
and in waste fields and pastures, where insects are numerous. 
There is marked uniformity in size and colour among the adult 
toads, much more so than in Bufo americanus. 

Few people, if any, living in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, 
realise that there are two kinds of toads in these states. Bufo 
fowleri differs from Bufo americanus distinctly and fundamentally 
as follows : 

It is always yellowish or greenish grey, never taking on the 
rich yellow, orange, and red browns of the American toad. It is 
uniformly more spotted and striped in colouration. The under- 
parts are never spotted as they are in the other toad. It is usually 
less fat and squat, and is much more agile. The muzzle projects 
farther beyond the jaw. The parotoids are narrower and are 


Fowler's Toad 

never kidney-shaped. The skin is somewhat less rough, and 
never has the large warts so conspicuous in the Bufo americanus. 
The head is less broad, the whole form more delicately moulded. 
The foot is less broad and thick; the toes more slender. The 
voices are wholly different, and could never be confused 
after being heard with even small attention. The time of 
breeding is different, Bufo fowleri not being able to endure as 
low a temperature as does Bufo americanus. Two to four 
weeks after Bufo americanus has appeared in the ponds, and, 
in fact, after the greater number of this species has returned to 
land life, Bufo fowleri comes from hibernation. Moreover, the 
eggs of the latter toad are often arranged in double rows. They 
never are, as far as reported, in the case of Bufo americanus. 
There should be no trouble in distinguishing the two toads. 
The confusion arises in regard to the cranial crests. Those of 
Bufo americanus are usually like the type for that species (see 
Fig. 48), but Bufo fowleri varies most remarkably in this 
structure. The head crests may be parallel or may diverge; 
may lie close together or far apart ; may be considerably elevated 
and sharp-edged, or low rounded ridges; may be on a raised 
occiput or not; and may be fused at their posterior ends, or 
separated by a groove as in Bufo americanus. The great varia- 
tion in the cranial crests of Bufo fowleri, Bufo I. woodhousei, 
Bufo quercicus, and other toads would seem to indicate that this 
structure cannot perhaps be made so fundamental in classifica- 
tion as has been thought. 

Since Bufo fowleri differs fundamentally from Bufo ameri- 
canus, and occupies the same localities, it must be granted full 
specific rank. 1 

a The closer relationship that must have existed between these two toads in previous ages is 
shown in the fact that the tadpoles are almost identical in structure. The mouth of the tadpole of 
B. fowleri is more delicate, the delicacy especially noticeable in the papillae. The tadpoles differ 
in colour. (M. H. Hinckley, "On Some Difference* in the Mouth Structure of Tadpoles." Proc. 
Bost. Soc. Nat. Hist., Vol. XXI, pp. 307-314). 





Colour: Brown, with medium-sized dark spots on each side of a 
light vertebral streak. The tubercles set in the spots are reddish 
in colour. There are brown spots on the upper lip, below the ear 
and between the parotoid gland and shoulder. An irregular 
brown band extends backward along the side. Sides below this 
band reticulated with dark. Legs (even the feet) banded with 
dark. Posterior surface of the femur coarsely reticulated with 
dark. Underparts (except the throat) spotted. 

Measurements: Length 2\ inches. Length of head (to end 
of cranial crests) enters the total length about 4^ times. Length of 
leg to heel equals the length of the body forward to the eye. 

Structure: Skin tubercular; tubercles small but prominent, 
often set in rows on the back and tibia. Smaller granulations of 
the skin conspicuous everywhere, especially on the sides. Paro- 
toid narrow, oval. Head rounded ; muzzle vertical in front ; nostrils 
terminal. Ear a vertical oval, two-thirds the diameter of the eye. 
Cranial crests as follows : Parallel ridges between the eyes, elon- 
gated and united behind in a transverse ridge above the nape. 
These ridges of the top of the head turn outwar,d at their posterior 
ends, as if to form ridges back of the eyes to the ears, but extend 
only a short distance, and end abruptly. Foot webbed exten- 
sively, but webs deeply indented. Inner sole tubercle unusually 
large, outer small: both of these tubercles have free cutting edges. 

Range: "Northern boundary of the United States." Type 
specimens in the National Museum show northeastern Dakota 
(Turtle Mountains) to be the type locality. Specimens are re- 
reported also from Manitoba, Canada. 

Bufo lemioplrys, of which the type specimens - - seven in 
number -- were found in 1874, is to be looked for in Dakota and 
Manitoba/instead of in Montana, as stated by Cope. Owing to the 
misstatement in " Batrachia of North America," diligent search 
was made for this toad in northern Montana throughout the spring 
and summer of 1905 by several collectors, but no specimens came 
to light. 





FIG. 82. Structure study of hand and foot of FOWLER'S TOAD. (In water. Enlarged.) 

FIG. 83. FOWLER S TOAD sits in the grass at the pond margin or in the shallow water and sings. The 
rounded vocal pouch is inflated and acts as a resonator. The mouth is kept closed. 

FIG. 84. Structure study to show the texture of the skin, the parotoids and the cranial crests of FOWLER'S TOAD. 



Bufo Cognatus 

This toad differs from the species of the Pacific Slope (Bufo 
boreas) in the possession of bony ridges on the head, while it is 
like them in skin structure and arrangement of warts. It differs 
from the species of the Rocky Mountains and Western plains (Bujo 
I. woodhousei and Bufo cognatus) in having the underparts conspicu- 
ously spotted and in the arrangement of the cranial crests, but 
agrees in certain features, such as the foot structure. The species 
bears a superficial resemblance to Bujo fowleri. 



Colour: General colour may be brown, of light or dark shade ; 
grey; or green, dull or brighter. There is a light vertebral streak. 
The toad may appear striped or spotted, depending on whether the 
dark spots or the light borders of the spots are more conspicuous 
at the 'time. Specimens from Arizona tend to have the spots 
more emphatic; specimens from Colorado more often appear 
striped. (Compare Figs. 89 and 90, also 91 and 92. For one phase 
of colouration, see Colour Plate V.) 

The arrangement of the spots may be as follows: One ob- 
liquely set above each eye ; one on the back, just within the parotoid 
gland on each side; three oval spots set obliquely and ranging 
along each side of the vertebral streak. Two similar spots back of 
and in line with the parotoid gland, and two or three others on the 
upper sides. Other more obscure spots may be present. Under- 
parts light, unspotted; yellow posteriorly. Much yellow (especi- 
ally in the case of young toads) on palm, sole, and on concealed 
surface of femur. Ends of fingers and toes dark-coloured. 

Measurements: Size large, i.e. length 3 to 4^ inches. Head 
short, wide; small for the size of the toad. The length of the head 
is contained in the total length about five times. A toad 4^ inches 
long has a length of head of inch only. Legs very short, femur 
scarcely visible outside of the skin of the body. (See Figs. 88 and 
89.) Tibia somewhat longer than femur. Foot extends consid- 
erably beyond the knee when the leg is folded. (Fig. 91.) 

Structure: Whole upper surface, including the eyelids, set 
rather closely with warts, some medium-sized and some small. 
Often the larger of these warts are set in wreaths around the inner 



margins of the large spots. (See Fig. 89.) Distinct line of 
slightly larger warts from posterior end of parotoid backward. 
Muzzle very steep, both on the sides and in front. (Fig. 91.) 
There is a hard, bony elevation above the nostrils and between the 
eyes in front. This elevation fills up what in other species of toads 
is a groove between the two lines of the canthus rostralis. (Figs. 
87 and 89.) There are two rounded bony ridges extending 
obliquely backward from this median bony elevation. Back of 
the eyes, these two ridges meet two similar ridges, each of which 
extends between the eye and the parotoid gland outward and 
downward to the ear of its respective side. (See Figs. 86 and 89.) 
The nostrils open upward and are situated just half-way between 
the top of this bony elevation and the jaw below. (Fig. 86.) The 
ear is a conspicuous vertical oval. It varies in size, but is usually 
less than half the diameter of the eye. The parotoid glands are 
short elevated ovals extending obliquely down on the shoulders. 
(Figs. 89 and 91.) 

Hand with one large palm tubercle; the remainder of the 
palm set with crowded small tubercles. (See Fig. 85.) Foot 
thick, with tarsal ridge. Toes slender, fourth toe much longer than 
the others. Web deeply indented. Sole tubercles large, both 
with cutting edge; the inner is at least three times as large as the 
outer. The tubercles under the toe-joints may be double. (Figs. 
85 and 88.) 

Range: Bufo cognatus Say, has been reported from Nebraska, 
Colorado, Kansas, Arkansas, and Arizona. It is probably found 
in other states of the Western plains, as well as in others of the 
Rocky Mountain region. 

Bufo cognatus, common toad of the Western plains, is one of 
our largest North American species. It is a toad very distinctive 
in its characteristics, notwithstanding the fact that in localities 
where it is found with Bufo I. woodhousei, the two toads are usually 
confused. 1 It can always be recognized by the bony elevation in 
front, above the nostrils and between the eyes anteriorly; by the 
large outer sole tubercle with its cutting edge; by the short femur 
and long foot. 

See p. 93. 


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Bufo Cognatus 

Judging from the series of decidedly different sizes of this 
toad found in the spring, at least five years must be required for 
full growth to be attained. 

The female Bufo cognatus seldom makes any sound. When 
taken in the hand, it shakes with wrath, but usually remains silent. 
The male however, "talks" in a voice resembling the squawk of 
a toy doll. This squawk of the Bufo cognatus is much like the 
sound produced by Bufo halophilus of California. The harsh note 
is given over and over again at brief intervals until the cause of 
annoyance is removed. The pitch of the note is low, ranging 
from B to A ' below middle C. In the midst of the harsh low- 
pitched notes, the toad sometimes surprises one by giving a cry 
pitched about two octaves above (usually A ). 

At the base of the throat of the male is a wrinkled black and 
purplish spot, which at first sight, one might judge the result of 
an injury. This is thin skin, lying fold upon fold, and can be 
extended into a vocal bladder of enormous size. (See Fig. 100.) 

Bufo cognatus is not nearly related to the American Toad or to 
Bufo lentiginosus, but is closely connected with Bufo compactilis 
of the Southwest and Bufo quercicus of Georgia and Florida. The 
relationship shows itself not only in various technical details, but 
in visible external features. They each show the reduced femur 
and short leg, the short head and broad depressed body, diverging 
parotoid glands that descend on the shoulders, well-developed 
sole tubercles, deeply indented webs, and a vocal bladder at the 
base of the throat. The cranial ridges mark a point of variance 
among the three. The variation in size also is notable. Bufo 
quercicus is the smallest known toad in the world, measuring only 
an inch and a quarter in length. Bufo compactilis is medium in 
size, and Bufo cognatus is one of the largest toads in North 

Bufo cognatus is peculiarly alert and active. When annoyed, 
it inflates the lungs, thus greatly increasing the size of the body, 
and lowers the head in a defensive attitude. It is incapable, 
however, of any defense beyond this, and stealthily creeps away, 
keeping the flattened body close to the ground. 

A curious incident occurred when Bufo cognatus was being 
kept in captivity for study an incident probably illustrative of 
the way in which stories have arisen regarding toads found in 
stones and buried in impossible places. A large fat specimen of 



Bufo 'cognatus escaped one morning from its moss-garden in a 
building in Rhode Island. That day repairs had been begun on a 
cement floor in the basement of the building. In the afternoon of 
the day, while workmen were continuing to remove the cement 
floor which had been put down seven years before they 
came upon a fat toad just fitting a burrow under the floor. Ex- 
citement followed, with many stories of toads found in similar 
situations where they had been for more than seven years. If 
the toad had not turned out to be the lost Bufo cognatus from 
Colorado, and had been a native of Rhode Island, there would 
have existed no proof that it had not been there seven years 
instead of a few hours. 



Colour: Greenish-grey or brown, generally light in tone. No 
vertebral light streak. Spotted irregularly with dark, or without 
spots. Small warts everywhere may be tipped with red. There 
may be large dark spots on the lower sides and on the legs and 
arms. Hands and feet light-coloured. Large tubercles of the foot 
black. Toes tipped with black. Iris yellowish. Underparts 
light, unspotted. Throat of male dark. (See Figs. 93 to 95.) 

Measurements: Size medium, i. e. length 2^ to 3^ inches. 
Head short. Head anterior to eyes rounded and remarkably 
short. The legs are short, the femur scarcely showing at all out- 
side of the skin of the body. The length of the leg to the heel is 
shorter than that of the body forward to the ear. 

Structure: Body unusually fat and squat. Whole surface 
evenly and closely covered with small rounded warts. These 
closely placed warts are also on the top of the head and on the 
eyelids. (Fig. 95.) Crown of head flat, without bony ridges 
(although there may be slight traces of ridges inside of and behind 
the eyes). Ear a small vertical oval. (Fig. 93.) Parotoid 
glands are short ovals, extending obliquely outward and down- 
ward. (Fig. 95.) Hands and feet small and delicate. One 
extremely large tubercle with cutting edge on the palm. Two 
sole tubercles, each unusually large and each with cutting edge. 
(Fig. 94.) Webs medium in development. 





















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Bufo Compactilis 

Range: Bufo eompactilis is reported from New Mexico, Texas, 
and Kansas. 

Bufo compactilis bears, at first sight, a striking resemblance to 
the burrowing Spadefoot Toads. It is like Scaphiopus bammondii 
and Scaphiopus couchii in fact, in the shape and proportions of 
body and legs, the size and disposition of the warts, and in the 
unusual development of the foot for burrowing. The resemblance 
is only superficial, however, as the horizontal pupil tells us at once. 
Bufo compactilis is a true toad, closely related to Bufo cognatus. 

This toad has strong instincts for hiding and burrowing. 
When kept in captivity in moss-gardens with other toads, it is 
always found under the moss and leaves, while the others may be 
on top. If it does happen to be out in search of food and an 
enemy approaches, it flattens and spreads itself on the ground 
until it looks like a circular pebbly surface elevated an inch or less. 

The young toads, when examined closely, sometimes show a 
beautiful colouration. The soft grey-brown of the background is 
enlivened by the bright red tips of the warts, and enriched by a 
few black spots and many irregularly placed moss-green patches. 

The eye is bright and intelligent looking, and indicates the 
alertness and activity which make this toad no exception in its 

When annoyed, it gives repeatedly a note that has somewhat 
the quality of the quack of a duck. But its musical powers do not 
stop here, as we would know if we examined the throat region. 
There is a wrinkled sac at the middle point of the throat, on a line 
with the angles of the jaws. It consists of fold upon fold of thin 
skin, confined to a spot of not more than one-half inch in diameter. 
These folds are released one after another as the sac is inflated 
until there is produced a large blind tube looking like the bladder 
of a fish. (Figs. 96 to 98.) The toad may sit very erect while singing, 
and the bladder extends forward and upward to a considerable 
distance above the head. The call is very loud and penetrating, 
and is harsh in quality. The calls are repeated continually, about 
one per second, with a short pause between each two. The bladder 
remains inflated during the calling but decreases somewhat in 
size between the notes. The pitch in the specimens observed was 
about two octaves above middle C (D }. Thejiotes were kept 



at this pitch for some minutes, when suddenly there would be a 
distinct drop, followed almost immediately by a sudden rise again 
to the original pitch. 

The life history and habits of Bufo compactilis are not on 

Bufo quercicus Holbrook 


Colour: Rich dark brown or grey -brown, with a distinct white 
or yellow vertebral streak extending forward to the margin of the 
upper jaw. The warts along this light line may be tipped with vivid 
red and orange, as are also those on the posterior part of the eyelid 
and on the sides of the body. Four pairs of black spots 
irregular, elongated, white-edged lie along the vertebral line. 
The first spots are on the top of the head. Underparts grayish 
white, unspotted. Throat of male dusky. Light band from end 
of parotoid gland backward. A broad black band on the side of 
the body is made conspicuous by this white above and the white 
of the underparts. Bright orange on palms of hands and soles of 
feet ; also some orange on under surface of femur. Sole tubercles 
black. Legs irregularly spotted or banded with black. (Fig. 101.) 

Measurements: Size small, i.e. length of adult ij inches. 
Head short, its length contained in total length four times. Legs 
extremely short; length to heel not equalling length of body for- 
ward to the arm insertion. Femur almost concealed in the skin 
of thelbody, tibia not much longer. (Figs. 101 and 106.) 

Structure: Exposed surface everywhere thickly set with warts 
of varying degrees of minuteness. These warts cover the head 
and eyelids, back, sides, legs, and arms. Those on the forearm 
and tarsus are spinous. The palms of the hands and soles of the 
feet are finely tubercular. Underparts everywhere granulated, 
even the throat. (Fig. 106.) The parotoid glands are oval and 
long (three times length of eye), extending down on the sides. 
(Fig. 103.) The bony crests of the head are parallel and widely 
separated. They extend backward close to the inner edges of 
the orbits; their ends bend abruptly inward, a little beyond 
the anterior ends of the parotoid glands. The ridges back of the 




FIG. 101 (i). The OAK TOAD (Bvfo queicicus Holbrook). Ozona, Florida. Nat. size i# in. Photographed (in 
water) to show bony crests of the head, and the arrangement of light and dark colour on the upper parts. 

FIGS. 102 to 104 (2-4). The OAK TOAD is closely covered with small warts which are spinous on legs and arms 
FIG. 105 (5). Rufo que rcicus is a most alert toad. 
FIG. 106 (6). To show structure of the underparts. 



FIGS. 107 to icy. linfo ali'iii ius Clirard. Phoenix, Arizona. Photographed to show skin texture, parotoid glands, 
cranial crests and other identification points. Actual length 5 in. (For coloration see Colour Plate V.) 

The Oak Toad 

eyes and those extending backward to the parotoid glands are 
well marked. (Fig. 101.) The inner sole tubercle is fairly large, 
considering the diminutive size of the foot. The outer tubercle is 
small. The webs are very short. (Fig. 106.) 

Range: Bufo quercicus has been reported from North Car- 
olina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. 1 

This is said to be the smallest known toad. It is a little, 
dusky, hopping creature, which has probably been mistaken many 
times for the young of Bufo lentiginosus, the Southern toad. It 
is so small that we need a lens in order even to make out many of 
the details of its appearance. This is especially true of the crests 
of the head. They are obscure not only because of their small 
size, but'also because of their dusky colour and the warty condition 
of the surrounding surface. 

The eye has a shining golden iris. Its expression indicates 
much alertness. The ear is round and conspicuous, although it is 
much smaller than the eye. 

It is said 2 that this toad may be seen in all kinds of places 
and at all times of day; that it is out during the brighest sun- 
shine as well as at dusk and after rains. It was first found in 
sandy places, where there were low growths of oak hence its 
name, "Oak Toad." 

After heavy rains, Oak Toads resort in large numbers to 
shallow pools. They are difficult to see, but give notice of their 
presence by an ear-splitting chorus of high-pitched sounds. 3 The 
individual call is like that of a young chicken in distress, but con- 
siderably louder. The male alone gives the call, and while pro- 
ducing it seems to have in his mouth a transparent bladder about 
the size of a man's thumb. The fact is that this toad has a large 
vocal bladder that can be extended from the midline of the lower 
throat region. This structure relates it to Bufo compadilis and 
Bufo cognatus of the Southwest. (See Figs. 97 and 100.) 

1 Beaufort and Kinston, N. C.; Charleston, S. C.; Green Cove>prings, Little Sarasota Bay, 
Arlington, Milton, Oakland, Ozona, and Kissimee, Fla. 

2 Loennberg. Notes on Reptiles and Batrachians collected in Florida in 1892 and 1893. 
Proc. U. S. Nat. Museum, vol. XVII, pp. 317, 339. 

3 C. B Lungren, collector. Ozona, Fla. 



When taken in the hand, the Oak Toad gives a rather musical 
chirping sound, like that of a young bird. 



Colour: Greyish or brownish green, of either light or dark 
shade. The sparsely scattered small warts are orange in colour, 
sometimes rimmed with dark. Underparts light. (Fig. no.) 
The throat and breast of the female are mottled with grey. Iris 
light or dark metallic yellow, with a prominent veining of red. 
The iris is dark in front of and behind the oval black pupil. Fin- 
gers and toes tipped with black or red-brown. (For colouration, 
see Colour Plate V.) 

Measurements: Size large, i. e. length 5 inches or more. The 
head is short. Its length is contained 3^ to 4 times in the total 
length. Legs relatively short; the length of the leg to the heel 
is not equal to the length of the body forward to the ear. Femur 
very short. Tibia somewhat longer than femur. Foot very 
little longer than tibia. (Fig. in.) 

Structure: Skin leathery and smooth. Head rounded in 
front. (Fig. 1 08.) The ear is a very distinct vertical oval. The 
bony crests of the head are conspicuous, curved ridges. There is 
one on each side, which follows the upper border of the eye and 
curves outward and downward to the ear. (Fig. 109.) The 
parotoids are long and oval, greatly elevated, and very wide apart 
at their posterior ends. (Fig. 109.) They are separated from the 
eye by the width of the crest only. Small, flat, rounded warts are 
scattered over the whole upper surface. There is a large oval 
wart on the femur and a long one -- or a line of shorter ones 
on the tibia (along the margin that is nearest the femur when the 
leg is folded) . (Fig. 1 09.) These glands are considerably elevated, 
and are very conspicuous. There may be a gland similar to these 
on the forearm. There are one or more round or oval white warts 
behind the angle of the jaw. (Figs. 107 and 108.) The foot is 
thick and has a conspicuous ridge along the inner edge of the 
tarsus. Both inner and outer sole tubercles are present. (Fig. 
in.) The web is short and thick; it extends to the tips of the 
toes, but is deeply indented. There are two very large palm 
tubercles. (Fig. 1 10.) 





























FIG. 112 (Upper Figure). Bufo valliceps. Hitchcock, Texas. This species of toad is alert, but less wild than most 
North American forms. (For one phase of coloration, see colour Plate V.) 

FIG. 113. Photographed (in water) to show outline of jaw, texture of skin of underparts, and structure of hand. 

Bufo Alvarius 

Range: Bufo alvarius is reported from southern California 
(Fort Yuma) and Arizona (Phoenix). 

There would never be any possibility of confusing this toad 
with any other. Its green colouration and its smooth skin identify 
it at once. It is peculiar, also, in attaining a size greater than that 
of any other North American species. In addition to these, the 
toad has the following other distinctive characteristics: the con- 
spicuous glands on the legs, the peculiar white warts at the angle 
of the jaw, the curving crests of the head, and the greatly diverg- 
ing parotoid glands. 

The parotoid glands, beginning immediately back of the eye, 
are so long and descend on the shoulder so much that when they 
are only three-fourths of an inch apart at their anterior ends, they 
may be separated at their posterior ends by a distance more than 
twice as great. The parotoids are about the same width through- 
out their length. The elevated shoulder-blades show plainly on 
the back between them. 

The bony crests of the head are smooth and rounded. 
Although not greatly elevated, they are very conspicuous, because 
of the smoothness and even colour of the surrounding surface. 
The crests extend backward from the nostrils in front, diverge 
and encircle the eyes. There is a crest under each eye in front, 
and another short one passes forward over the ear, on each side. 
The skin between the crests on the top of the head is thin and 
adheres to the bone underneath. 

The ear is unusually conspicuous. It is placed immediately 
back of the eye, under the anterior part of the parotoid gland, and 
is surrounded by a prominent ridge. The eye is large and gentle 
in its expression. The iris is peculiar in having its metallic yellow 
thickly set with a tracery of bright red veins. There are two 
curious elevations in the gold of the iris; they are situated in the 
midline of the eye at the margin of the iris, immediately above and 
immediately below the pupil. The eyelid is smooth, but is thick- 
ened, and presents a prominent angle at each extremity. 

The upper jaw projects beyond the lower so that the nostrils 
are set anterior to the vertical line of the mouth-opening. The 
oval nostrils are large; they open upwards and backwards. The 
inner finger of the male is thickened at the base, and the brown 



inner and upper surfaces of the first and second fingers are hard 
and horny. 

When it is held in the hand, this toad jerks spasmodically, 
and vibrates the whole body, as if about to explode with wrath. 
The only sound, however, produced in protest is a gentle 
chirping note, less loud and emphatic than that of the American 

Most curious are these large, uncouth creatures, with their 
great strength of body, their protective rhinoceros-like skins, and 
their greatly contrasting meek appearance and gentle voice and 
manner. The question of their survival in contest with other 
races is a very interesting one. 

Bufo alvarius is said to have habits similar to those of our 
most common toads. 



Colour: Variable; often rich brown, with three broad bands 
of cream colour or yellowish grey extending from the head to the 
posterior end of the body. The central band is straight; the 
others are curved, extending from the eyes backward over the 
parotoids, then downward on the sides, following the lateral out- 
lines of the body. (Figs. 1 12 and 1 14.) The eye varies between 
gold and bright coppery red. Light colour along the jaw and 
over the shoulder. (Fig. 112.) There may be a few irregularly 
placed black or bright orange spots on the back. Usually, a long 
and narrow, yellow-bordered spot transversely placed back of the 
eyes between the bony ridges. Legs and arms may be banded or 
spotted. Underparts^light or dark, unspotted. (Fig. 113.) (For 
possible colouration, see Colour Plate V.) 

Measurements: Size large i. e. length 3^ to 5 inches. Head 
relatively long; a toad 3^ inches long has a length of head of ij 
inches. Legs short; the length of the leg to the heel scarcely 
equalling the length of the body forward to the eye. Tibia only 
slightly longer than the femur. (Fig. 1 14.) Foot short. 

Structure: Skin set closely above and below with small tuber- 
cles. (Figs. 113 and 114.) The arms and legs are conspicuously 
tubercular. Even the palms and soles are set close with tubercles. 

1 08 


To show coloration of four toads of Southwestern North 

(1) Bufo punctatus Bd. and Gird. Tucson, Ariz. 

(2) Bufo cognatus Say. Phoenix, Ariz. 

(3) Bufo valliceps Wiegm. Brownsville, Texas. 

(4) Bufo alvarius Girard. Phoenix, Ariz. 

Refer to Inde.\~ to locate descriptions. 




Bufo Valliceps 

(Figs. 1 13 and 115.) No large warts. The light-coloured tuber- 
cles behind the angle of the jaw and in a row along the lower 
margin of the light lateral band are somewhat longer than the 
others. (Fig. 114.) Head rounded, acute in front. (Fig. 113.) 
Jaws hard and bony. Upper jaw deeply indented in midline. 
An elevated bony ridge usually parallel to the upper jaw extends 
from in front of the eye to the angle of the jaw. Ear conspicuous 
because of its smoothness; half to two-thirds size of eye. (Fig. 
112.) The many bony ridges of the head are much elevated, 
thin, and sharp-edged, except the short one extending over the 
ear backward to the parotoid. The head ridges are as follows: 
A short median one from jaw to nostrils; two starting at the 
upper end of this diverge backward to a point just behind the 
eyes, there converging slightly to points just within the anterior 
ends of the prominences made by the scapulars; one each side 
connecting at obtuse angles with the long ridges of the top of 
the head and lying close behind the eye; a shorter, thicker ridge 
between this ridge and the parotoid of each side. There are also 
short ridges in front of the eye and between the eye and the ear. 
(See Fig. 1 14.) The parotoids are short, and may be oval or 
triangular in shape. The nostrils open upward, are close 
together and are placed nearer to the jaw than to the eye. The 
shoulder-blades are two curved prominences between the paro- 
toids. (Fig. 114.) Hand small; one large and one small palm 
tubercle. (Fig. 113.) Foot small ; inner and outer tubercles bo-th 
present, but insignificant; webs short. (Fig. 115.) 

Range: Bufo valliceps Wiegm is a Mexican toad found com- 
monly in Texas. It is reported also from Louisiana. 

Bufo valliceps is unusual among North American batrachia 
in the appearance of its head. The head is broad and shallow, 
and except for the bright eyes, seems wholly made up of high bony 
crests separating variously shaped bony concavities. 

This toad is variable in colour and has much power to change 
colour. It may be black with touches of rich orange and yellow- 
brown, so that it looks like a piece of burned wood. With such 
colouring, the underparts may be as dark as the upper surface. 
Such colouration may change within half an hour to delicate fawn- 
colour or dove-grey, with the light bands and spots cream white. 



At such a time the underparts are white also. Among the me- 
dium shades, changes take place rapidly between greys, warm 
browns, and olive-greens. In each case the light colour of the 
lengthwise bands harmonizes with the background, so that a pleas- 
ing colour effect is produced. Young specimens may have the 
throat bright yellow. 

The crests of the head are usually black, even when the head 
itself is light, but they also may become light in colour on a long 
enough exposure to sunshine. 

Bujo valliceps is alert and active, but is less wild than most 
North American species. It is evidently less used to burrowing 
as we should judge from its foot structure and so does not 
become alarmed when finding itself in a place where there is 
nothing under which to hide. When annoyed, it gives high- 
pitched, bird-like notes. There is no appearance of a vocal pouch. 



Colour: Greyish or reddish brown. Warts tipped with red, 
and sometimes encircled by black at their bases. Underparts 
light. Throat of male dusky. Much orange on under surfaces 
of hands and feet. (For possible colouration, see Colour Plate V.) 

Measurements: Size medium, i.e. length 2 to 3 inches. 
Length of head enters total length three and a third to three 
and a half times. Legs short, heels widely separated behind, 
when toad is in sitting position. Femur largely buried in the 
skin of the body. Length of leg to heel equals length of body 
forward to ear or sometimes to eye. 

Structure: Upper parts (head, eyelids, back, and legs) closely 
set with small tubercles. Head broad, flat, not thick through. 
Very flat between the eyes, and sharply angled along the canthus 
rostralis. No bony ridges on top of head (or slight traces of any). 
A short bony ridge between ear and eye. Nostrils terminal. 
Eyes set wide apart; eyelids broad, i.e. eye strictly vertical in 
position. Parotoid gland considerably elevated, but very short 
(not much longer than eye), rounded or somewhat triangular. 
Ear distinct, round, half the diameter of the eye. The head is 
rough, with small granulations. These granulations are promi- 




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FIGS. 116 to 120. Btifo punctatus Bd. and Gird. Dallas, Texas. Length 2 l / z in. (For coloration see Colour Plate VI. 

Bufo Punctatus 

nent on the end of the muzzle, margin of the upper jaw, 
canthus rostralis, eyelid, parotoid gland, and bony ridge be- 
tween the eye and ear. Sole tubercles both present and both 
small. Tubercles under the joints of the toes scarcely dis- 
cernible. Tarsus and foot covered with spine-like tubercles. 
Webs short, but toes narrowly margined beyond. Tarsal fold 
broad and rounded. (For structure, see Figs. 1 16 to 120.) 

Range: Bufo punctatus is reported from Texas, Arizona, and 
Lower California. It is found in Texas from as far north as Fort 
Concho and as far south as San Antonio. Its range extends 
along the boundary line between the United States and Mexico to 
the Pacific Ocean and up the Colorado River to the Grand 
Canon and beyond. In Lower California it has been reported 
from the extremity of the peninsula. 

Bufo punctatus is one of our most easily distinguished toads. 
It has not the usual fat squat form of the toads, but is more slender, 
and is rather delicately moulded, in fact. The hands and feet are 
peculiarly small and delicate. The shape of the head and its 
granular roughness are very distinctive features. Adult speci- 
mens may be so small that they do not exceed Hyla versicolor in 
size, or Hyla arenicolor, their companion in the ponds in May. 
On the other hand, specimens from Lower California may be 
large (3 inches) and may differ not only in size, but also in show- 
ing a pattern of spots and stripes. The species is apparently 
closely related to Bttfo debilis and Bufo valliceps. 

Dr. Stejneger gives the following colour description of speci- 
mens collected in 1889 at the bottom of the Grand Canon. 1 
"Above 'malachite-green/ densely speckled with small dots of 
bright vermilion; limbs paler, dotted with vermilion and also 
with minute black specks, which likewise occur on the flanks; 
region surrounding nostrils black; upper lip and whole under sur- 
face bluish white, irregularly speckled with black; posterior part 
of belly and underside of thighs dark brownish flesh-colour; soles 
dull orange." 

In captivity these toads make small burrows in moss or soft 

i These specimens are similar to those collected in the region of the Little Colorado River 
by Mollhausen. 



earth, and sit patiently hour after hour with just the bright eyes 
showing at the doors of their burrows. When taken in the hand, 
the male gives a faint bird-like note. Its dusky throat can extend 
into a large rounded vocal pouch. The habits and life history of 
Bufo punctatus are not recorded. 



Colour: Ashy brown, with small black tubercles. Eyelids 
and parotoids may be crossed by black lines. Legs may be 
broadly banded with black; these bands may have their outlines 
strongest, so as to give the appearance of narrow black cross-lines. 
Underparts and concealed surfaces light, unspotted. 

Measurements: Size small, i.e. length ij to 2 inches. Head 
short, its length contained in total length of head and body four 
times or more. Leg short; its total length just equals the total 
length of head and body. 

Structure: Skin rough, with small warts and granulations. 
Underparts finely granular. Head wide and flat; space between 
the eyes greater than width of eyelid. Parotoids divergent and 
very large, each extending backward to a point beyond the shoul- 
der; their upper margins are nearly straight, their lower obtusely 
angled. The foot has webs of medium size; the sole tubercles 
are insignificant. 

Range: Bufo delilis is reported from the following places in 
Texas: Upper Wichita River, Nueces River, Lower Rio Grande, 
and the Brazos (Waco). 

Bufo debilis is a small burrowing toad with an appearance 
and range remarkably like those of Bufo punctatus. It can always 
be distinguished from the latter, however, by its smaller size, its 
shorter legs, and its unusually large parotoid glands. 




FIG. I2i. The CALIFORNIA TOAD (Sufo halophiha Baird. Female. Carmel, Cal.) In bright light the California 
Toad becomes clay colour or light olive with a pronounced spotting of black. The large warts set in the spots have brownish 
red centres. 

FIG. 122. The CALIFORNIA TOAD just from its burrow, or on a dark day, is dusky with spots on the lower sides 
and under-surface only. Photographed to show structural characteristics of head. 




FIG. 123 ( i ).Bufo haloplnlits Baird. Carmel, Cal. Male ( in aquarium of water) showing light, spotted underparts. 

Fu,. 124 (2). Male. To show web of foot, and sole tubercles. 

FIG. 125 (3). Female. To show vertebral streak, rounded warts, extremely short legs and glandular elevations of the 

Fu.. i-'o (4). Male. The arm is long and muscular. The leg is relatively longer than that of ihe female. 

The California Toad 


Bufo Imloplnlus Baird 


Colour: Dusky and unspotted above, or light and conspicu- 
ously spotted (even on hands and feet). (Figs. 121 and 122.) 
When light, the colour may be yellow, grey or green, in tone. Eye 
bright metallic yellow. There is a vertebral streak. (Fig. 125.) 
The larger warts are coloured like the background, have red-brown 
centres, and are set in the black spots. Legs spotted or barred. 
Toes tipped with brown. Underparts dingy white, spotted with 
black. (Fig. 123.) Male may be nearly black on the underparts. 

Measurements: Size large, i.e. length 4 to 5 inches; female 
larger than male. Head relatively short, about quarter the total 
length. Legs short, those of the female shorter relatively than 
those of the male. The femur scarcely shows outside the skin of 
the body. Length of leg to heel equals length of body forward 
to the ear. Fingers do not vary greatly in length. Fifth toe 
slightly shorter than third. 

Structure: Skin with scattered low rounded warts of medium 
or large size, skin smooth and shining between the warts. Warts 
distributed everywhere, on legs and feet, on head and eyelids. 
Large glandular elevations on the tibia. (Fig. 125.) Outline of 
jaw rounded. (Fig. 123.) Length of head in front of eye not 
greater than the long diameter of the eye. Descent of muzzle 
steep in front and under eye. Upper jaw indented in the midline. 
Muzzle projects slightly beyond the jaw. Nostrils on a vertical 
line with the jaw. No bony crests on the head. Space between 
the eyes greater than the width of the eyelid. Eye large. Ear 
round, small (one-third to one-half diameter of eye.) Arms of 
male very muscular. Palm with one large and one smaller tubercle; 
also closely set with many small tubercles. The tubercles under 
some of the finger-joints are prominent, i. e., first and second fin- 
gers have one each, third and fourth, two each. First, second 
and third fingers of male black and horny on their inner margins. 
Foot thick and broad; tarsal fold from heel to base of inner toe. 
Toes broadly webbed, webs variable in their amount of indenta- 
tion. Both outer and inner sole tubercles large. 

Range; Type locality, Benicia, California. Reported from San 


Francisco, southern California, and Lower California. It has 
been found east of the Sierras also. 

Bufo halophilus is a very large, tame-looking toad. On 
dark, cool days, it is so dark a dull grey or olive that the spots 
are wholly obliterated only the low rounded warts show. The 
colour below becomes dark to correspond with that above. The 
parotoids and the glands on the tibia are more distinct in this dark 
phase of colouration than in the light. On bright warm days the 
toad is a very different-looking creature. It is clay-colour or 
light yellowish green, with a pronounced spotting of black or dark 
brown, and the warts are brownish-red centred. 

When hunting its insect food, this toad often walks instead of 
hopping. We should expect this habit, because of the unwieldy 
size of the body and the shortness of the legs. When frightened 
and trying to escape an enemy, it flattens its body and creeps 
along stealthily and alertly. In fact, of all the strong, alert 
toads of North America, this is perhaps the strongest and most 
alert. Nothing seems to exhaust or cool its ardour, not even 
physical injury, if it once becomes alarmed and tries to escape. 
When this toad is active and excited, its skin constantly sends 
out a secretion, so that it looks and feels slimy. This secretion 
has a peculiar oily odour, not especially disagreeable. 

It is much dependent on being under the protection of some 
cover, even in high temperatures. It makes a shallow burrow for 
the day and a deeper one for the winter months. 

After having been deprived of water for some time, this toad 
shows interesting movements, aimed at getting all parts of the 
absorbing skin wet. He squats in shallow water, flattening the 
body as much as possible. He moves about slowly, keeping the 
body depressed, then puts the water on the top of his head by 
means of his hands, and wets his back with his feet. These 
movements are always unexpected and interesting. 

The female is apparently voiceless; the male gives rapidly 
a series of high-pitched notes, like the harsh sounds produced by 
a squawking toy doll. 

Bufo halophilus has a subspecies representing it at the north; 
namely, Bufo halophilus columbiensis (Bufo microscaphus Cope) 
with the Columbia River the type locality. 





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U O 

Bufo Boreas 

Much study needs to be done on the California toads. One 
of the puzzling points concerning Bufo balophilus is the marked 
difference between living specimens from southern California 
(San Diego) and those from the type locality (near San Francisco). 
The same discrepancy is observable in the specimens of the 
National Museum. The Southern toads have a rougher skin, a 
more extended muzzle, a smaller ear as well as parotoid, a larger 
and more extended inner sole tubercle, and a proportion of head 
and body one to four and a half instead of one to four. A study 
of the life history and habits of this Southern toad would settle 
at once the question of its relation to the Northern Bufo halo- 
plilus. (See Figs. 127 to 130 and compare with Figs. 121 to 126.) 



Colour: Variable; dull or warm browns, greys or greens. 
There is a wide vertebral streak, also a conspicuous patch of light 
colour under the eye, passing obliquely to the jaw. (Fig. 133.) 
Touches of light or bright colour may be found in the following 
places: on the parotoids and warts, on the sides of the toad, at 
the angles of the jaw, and on the forearm and tibia. This light 
colour varies with the background; it may be orange (or reddish), 
greenish, white, or yellow. Eye bright orange-yellow. There 
may be a light band from parotoid backward. Underparts 
closely spotted, with black everywhere, even on throat and under- 
surfaces of arms and legs. (Fig. 131.) Tubercles of feet black. 
Fingers and toes tipped with black or red-brown. 

Measurements: Size large, i. e. length 2\ to 5 inches. Head 
short, its length contained about four times in the total length. 
Space between the eyes greater than width of eyelid. Head rela- 
tively long in front of eyes. Arms long; forearm conspicuously 
longer than the hand. (Fig. 132.) Length of leg to heel equals 
length of body forward to parotoid or eye. Tibia not greatly 
longer than femur. 

Structure: Skin very warty, and tubercular between the warts. 
Warts relatively large, round, often set in short rows running 
lengthwise along the back. (Fig. 133.) Large, light-coloured 
warts at the angle of the jaw. No head crests. (Fig. 132.) Top 


of head flat, warty; eyelids warty. Tibia with one or more larger 
warts or glandular elevations resembling the parotoids. Even 
the buttocks and posterior surfaces of the femurs are covered 
with large tubercles. Head rounded in front. Muzzle not pro- 
jecting beyond jaw, but sloping gradually downward, both in front 
and under the eyes. (Fig. 133.) Upper jaw indented in the 
midline. Eyes set wide apart. Ear round, one-half to two-thirds 
the diameter of the eye: set under anterior end of parotoid and 
separated from the eye by a narrow bony crest. Parotoid a short 
oval, with a narrow neck leading to the eye. (Fig. 133.) Hand 
with one large and one small palm tubercle. (Fig. 131.) Each finger 
may have the joint nearest the palm marked with a conspicuous 
double tubercle. Foot thick, with a strong tarsal ridge, and with 
two prominent sole tubercles. Sole very thickly covered with 
depressed warts. Toes webbed to their tips, but webs deeply 

Range: Type locality Columbia River and Puget Sound. 
Reported from Portland, Oregon, and Friday Harbor, Washington. 

This toad, the common toad of Oregon and Washington, has 
a representative in the southern part of the Pacific Slope, Bufo 
boreas nelsoni Stejneger. The type specimen was found in 1891 
at Oasis Valley, Nevada. It is similar to Bufo boreas, except that 
the skin is smoother between the warts, the toad has a longer, 
more pointed muzzle, and the longer legs have a less-indented 
web and a smoother sole. Bufo b. nelsoni is found east of the 
Sierras, in the high altitudes of southeastern California and west- 
ern Nevada. 



THE COMMON TREE FROG, \ffyla versicolor LeConte.] 
Any individual of this species passes through the color changes 
indicated. The change from unspotted dark (not shown on plate) 
to plain white or green is always through an intermediate spotted 
phase. The frog of the upper three figures is from Staten Island, 
N. Y.; the plain green one below from White Bear Lake, Minn.; 
the other figures represent a frog from Providence, R. I. 





Hyla versicolor Le Conte 


Colour: Varying through many shades of green, brown, or 
grey. An oblique dark band on the top of the head, above each 
eye; a large dusky patch on the upper back, often star-shaped. 
The arms and legs are transversely barred. All of the dark 
markings may be indistinct or lacking. (See Plate XX, also 
Frontispiece.) A light spot below the posterior half of eye. 
Underparts light, bright orange-yellow posteriorly. Concealed 
leg surfaces vermiculated with brown. 

Measurements: Length 2 inches. Head short and broad; 
body stout. Ear two-thirds size of eye. The leg to the heel 
measures the length of the body forward to the eye. 

Structure: Skin covered with relatively coarse tubercles. 
Undersurfaces granulated, less conspicuously on the throat. 
Prominent fold of skin across breast. The disks on fingers and 
toes are large. Web of hind foot well-developed. Fingers 
slightly webbed. (See Figs. 134 to 142.) 

Range: Throughout eastern North America west to Kansas, 
northward into Canada, and southward into Texas. 

Probably more familiar than any other member of the batra- 
chian group, if we except the common toad, is this entertaining 
little acrobat of the frog world. (Figs. 134 to 137.) Some June 
morning when we are admiring the blue flowers of the clematis 
that climbs the porch, we see what looks like a yellowish white 
oval of putty plastered against the white pillar shaded by the vine. 
It is our Common Tree Frog (or Tree Toad, as it is called) sound 

Late some July afternoon we sit reading by the porch window. 
Something seems to fly from the vines to the window. With 

1 Refer to pp. 7, 9 and 46. 



sprawling legs, our tree frog climbs the smooth glass, to snuggle 
in the corner of a window-pane, his toes tucked well under him 
and pressed closely against the glass. The moist under surface 
of his body seems also to do its share of the work of holding him 
securely in this upright position. Now he awakes and wildly 
dashes'for a fly, but'only' bangs his nose, because the fly is on the 
other side of the glass. If we catch the fly and carry it out to him, 
he takes it from our fingers into his cavernous pink mouth. 

InAugust, we look for ripening grapes on the vine that covers 
the low stone smoke-house. On the mossy ledge of the roof, in the 
shade of a leaf, is a clump of grey lichen that comes to life when 
touched. Again it is our tree frog. He takes a flying leap, 
catches a slender stem by one sticky front foot and hangs swing- 
ing in air with outstretched legs. We are certain he will fall. 
Instead, he deliberately draws himself up to the swaying sup- 
port and from it makes a second spring to a place of concealment. 

We stand at the old-fashioned gate, and on the top of one of 
the white-painted posts there is something that looks like a 
flattened mass of smooth green wax. Even on looking closely, it 
is hard to distinguish the folds of the legs, so successfully are the 
adjoining skin surfaces blended. It is our sleepy tree frog, who 
may be slow to awake until we take him into our hands. Even 
then he clings confidingly to our finger, perfectly willing to remain 
on so comfortable a perch. In fact, it is not easy to get. .rid of 
his cool sticky toes. If we reverse the position of our finger so 
that his head is down, he turns clumsily until his head is upper- 
most again. His bright eyes, his confiding way, all his diminutive 
self, make a genuine appeal to our liking. 

In September, when we climb the apple tree to get more per- 
fect apples than those which have fallen to the ground, we put our 
hand on a lichen-covered branch only to find it soft and alive 
under our touch. We go hazel-nutting along the country road, 
and the first cluster of nuts that we pull from under its umbrella 
of leaves has a green tree frog on it. 

And so we know this tree frog well. We learn to expect him 
in the orchard and about the house in early summer and to miss 
him again early in September, when he disappears for his long 
winter's sleep in some cozy hollow among tree roots or in a tree 

We know his voice also, though perhaps we have never actu- 




The COMMON TREE FROG (ffv/a versicofont-) makes his home in the trees along forest paths as well as in those 
about the house and in the orchard. 



FIGS. 13410 137. The COMMON TRF.E FROG (Hyla versicolotir Le Conic). Rhode Island. The conspicuous mark- 
ings are the two bars on each leg and the irregular star on the upoer part of the back. This Hyla is well concealed when 
resting on the gray birch or on a lichen-covered tree or stone. 

The Common Tree Frog 

ally watched him sing. At dusk or on rainy days a loud resonant 
trill comes from the trees and vines. The sound has the charm of 
contentment in it; in fact it is much like the purring of a cat, only 
louder. At a distance it sounds something like the bleating of a 
lamb. The pitch is /uniform, but may vary with the individual, 
from G above middle C to E above. It continues for two or three 
seconds at a time, then ends abruptly. It may be given several 
times in rather close succession. If we see the tree frog trilling, 
we are surprised that the whole body is so greatly agitated and 
that the throat extends into so large a sac. The size of the sac 
decreases between each two trills and at the end collapses, leaving 
a very wrinkled throat. 

The fact that the tree frog calls during damp weather, and 
therefore often before storms, has made him accepted as a weather 
prophet; however, he can scarcely be called a reliable one. 

The Common Tree Frog measures about two inches in length. 
The head is broad and blunt, the body is fat and squat. The skin 
is granular and has the appearance of being much too large for 
the frog. The tree frog is like the frogs in having teeth on the 
upper jaw. The eye is large; the ear is inconspicuous. The 
fingers and toes have their ends extended into broad disks that 
secrete a sticky substance on their lower surfaces. The toes are 
webbed as far as the disks; the fingers are webbed nearly one- 
third of their length. The male and female are more nearly alike 
than is usual among tree frogs. They may not differ in size or 
color, except that the throat of the male is dark. They can be 
distinguished from one another by the ears, which are always 
smaller in the female than in the male. 

The colour varies greatly at different times and in different con- 
ditions. (See Colour Plate VI) In bright light and high temper- 
ature it may be yellowish white with no markings. In a dark, 
moist or cool place, it may be a deep stone-grey or brown. Most 
often, perhaps, it is bright grey with dark markings. The most 
conspicuous of the markings are the two bands on each leg and 
each arm, and the irregular star on the upper part of the back. 
There is usually a conspicuous lighter spot just below the 
posterior half of the eye. This tree frog can always be distingu- 
ished from tree frogs resembling it by the vermiculations of brown 
and yellow on the concealed leg surfaces. (See Colour Plate VI.) 

However, we have not exhausted this tree frog's possible 



change of dress when we have considered all gradations between 
white and stone-grey or brown. There is almost as wide a range 
between white and green. When the background of colour is 
green, his characteristic markings may or may not appear. Also, 
there may be various combinations of the green and the grey. 
One of the most attractive of his suits is bright grey, with dark 
grey markings broadly bordered with bright green. 

The underparts are light. There is much orange-yellow on 
the body and legs where they fold against one another. This 
colour is very conspicuous when the tree frog leaps. 

The changes in colour are not rapid, an hour at least seeming 
necessary to create any radical difference. But it is usually true 
that the given dress --whatever it may be -- harmonizes so 
perfectly with the surroundings whatever they may be 
that the tree frog is as invisible as though he were Perseus in his 
charmed helmet. Whether his resting-place be a green leaf or a 
plant stem, the bark of a grey birch or a lichen-covered oak, (Figs. 
134 to 137), his dress and his ability to keep perfectly still for 
hours at a time form an excellent protection. Chance may bring 
him to our hands many times in a summer, but he is very difficult 
to find if we make definite search. 

In the different parts of its range, thisHyla shows considerable 
variation. The variation displays itself mainly in the changed 

shapes of the dark markings of head and back 
and in the varying amount of dark mottling on 
the undersides of the legs. Cope describes 
a brown spotted form from Mount Carmel, 
Illinois, giving it the rank of a variety (Hyla 
versicolor pbczocrypta Cope). 

In May, when apple trees are loaded 
with flowers and give out their delicate frag- 
rance, and the low hum of honey-bees, we 
may know that our tree frogs have put aside 
their sleepy tendencies for the time and are 
joyously paddling about in the water of some 
pond. The painted-cup and golden ragwort are 
giving colour to the marsh nearby. Probably 
the jack-in-the-pulpit means only convenient 
shade and a comfortable seat to the frogs. 
(Frontispiece.) Very likely they do not even 

In May when ap- 
ple trees are in 
bloom the Common 
Tree Frog is at the 


The Common Tree Frog 

notice at dusk the near voices 
of the redwings or the more 
remote one of the wood-thrush. 
However this may be, it is certain 
that they do hear the voices of 
their companion tree frogs, and 
that they feel the warmth of the 
spring air and of the shallow 
sun-warmed water. 

The eggs are attached in 
small groups, and also singly, 
to grasses or plant stems at the 
surface of the water. They are 
not easily found unless the grasses 
are separated and examined 
minutely. The eggs are very 
light in colour, grey above, white 
below. They hatch on the sec- 
ond or third day, at a very early 
stage in the development. The 
tadpoles are then about one- 
fourth inch long and of a light yellow colour. After the hatching, 
the development proceeds very rapidly, so that in three weeks 
from the date of egg-laying, the tadpoles 1 not only are fully formed, 
but have the hind legs budded. They have much gold-colour in 
the skin, and the widely separated eyes are flame-colour. The 
whole surface of the tadpole shows a brilliant metallic sheen, and 
sometimes the tail is almost red in colour. The brightly coloured 
creatures are very timid indeed, and move with the rapidity of 
young fishes. This rapid movement saves them many a time 
from the clutches of a great diving-beetle or some other enemy. 
In early July, near the end of the seventh week after the eggs are 
laid, the tadpoles complete the metamorphosis and leave the 
water. It seems that the green dress is the one in which the 
young frogs begin their life on land, but they may very soon change 
to grey or some combination of the two colours. When they are 
green in colour, they can be recognized by the white spot under the 

When Jack-in-t he-pulpit appears 
we may expect to hear the trilling of 
Hyla versicolour from pond and 
river margins. 

1 The mouth structure of the tadpole olHyla versicolor 13 as follows: The upper lip bears one 
row of teeth, the lower has three. The upper lip curves downward at each side of the beak. The 
border of the lower lip is not doubled in at the comers of the mouth. 



eye. The yellow colouring of the body and legs does not appear 
until after they have left the water. 1 The young frogs are over 
one-half inch long when they leave the water, and by October 
are one inch in length. They are known to feed upon spiders, 
flies, and plant-lice. 

Hyla versicolor has a relatively keen sense of locality, some- 
times remaining in one place for weeks or more at a time. It is 
said that these tree frogs may stay in one tree for weeks and 
months. In such a situation they would certainly find themselves 
surrounded by supplies for their every demand food, shelter, and 
moisture. A tree frog is so small that a tree with its many 
branches and leaves is like a palace for him. There are sunny 
rooms which flies and beetles visit. There are darker ones where 
ants and plant-lice, beetles and tree crickets are to be found. 
There are rooms on the north side of the tree, where the large 
branches join the trunk. These are cool and moist on the hottest 
summer day. 

The Common Tree Frog is most active at dusk and in the night. 
It is then that he wanders over his great palace. His bright eyes 
see every moving caterpillar and beetle, and his sticky tongue 
snaps them up greedily. He sees moving objects at two or more 
feet distance, and makes aerial leaps to get them. He is almost 
sure to catch the insect, and what becomes of himself does not 
trouble him, since he is certain to touch some leaf or twig with 
at least one of his four sets of sticky toes. A bit of frantic acrobat- 
work'does the rest, and places him securely on some perch where 
he can enjoy his meal at leisure. 



Colour: Sand-colour, light or dark grey, or olive. Three or four 
irregular rows of rounded dark spots on the back, or fewer large 
blotches. For colouration, see Colour Plate X. A curved band of 
dark colour between the eyes; this band may be broken in the mid- 
line, as it is in Hyla versicolor. Two or three bands of dark colour 
on the leg. (Fig. 144.) Eyes metallic yellow, or grey. Ear 

1 The most of the facts regarding the development are from M. H. Hinckley's account. Proc. 
Bos. Soc. Nat. Hist., XXI, 1883, p. 104. 




FIGS. 73810 142. Studies of the COMMON TREE FROG (Hyla versicoloiu Le Conte). Male. Staten Island, N. Y. 




FIG. 143 (i).-ffyla ait-iiiculor Cope. Tucson, Arizona. Length i l / 2 to 2 in. (For coloration see colour Plate X.) A 
rjentle tree frog of slow tendencies. Photographed to show outline of head, size of ear, and texture of skin. 

FIG. 144 (2). The dark colour may be in large blotches on the back (compare with Colour Plate X). 

FIG. 145 (3). Enlarged to show rough character of skin of the underparts (even the throat) and of the undersurfaccs 
of hands and feet. 

FIG. 146 (4). To show web and sole tubercles. 

Hyla Arenicolor 

bronze. Many minute yellow spots on and between the large dark 
spots. (Fig. 144.) A white spot under the eye. Orange-yellow 
at the arm insertion, and on those parts of the femur and tibia 
that fold against each other. This orange is not spotted or 
marbled with dark. Underparts light. (Fig. 145.) 

Measurements: Length ij inches to 2 inches. Head short. 
Leg to heel measure as long as that of the body forward to the 
anterior border of the eye. Tibia longer than femur. 

Structure: Skin rough, with small tubercles. (Fig. 143.) 
Head broad, flat, rounded in front. (Fig. 144.) Throat and 
underparts granular. (Fig. 145.) Nostrils terminal. Eyes small. 
Ear two-thirds the diameter of the eye. (Fig. 143.) A fold 
across the breast and another at the base of the throat. Disk 
on fingers and toes well developed. No webs between fingers. 
Web of foot medium in size; two joints of fourth toe free. Inner 
and outer tubercles present, small (Fig. 146): a prominent tarsal 

Range: Hyla arenicolor is a Mexican form, found also across 
the border in the United States. It is reported from southern 
California, New Mexico, Utah, and Arizona/ 

Hyla arenicolor resembles the Common Tree Frog (Hyla 
versicolor} in general appearance and colouring, but is less attrac- 
tive. The frog is more clumsy, the outlines less delicate, the eyes 
are smaller, and the colouring is duller. It is somewhat more 
active than Hyla versicolor and leaps greater distances, as we 
should expect from the greater length of its legs. 

Its call consists of a series of short notes resembling the 
bleating of a goat. The throat-sac of the male, inflated during 
the calling, is dark coloured and large. The throat of the female 
is white, with spots of dark. Both male and female give a sharp 
high-pitched cry when taken in the hand. 

The colour is rapidly changeable from grey or brown so dark 
that it is nearly black, through distinctly spotted phases, to a 
pinkish or greyish unspotted white. 

iTucson, White River Canon, Arizona; Santa Fe", Fort Wingate, New Mexico; Upper 
Colorado River. 




Hyla gratiosa Le Conte 


Colour: Green or brown of various shades, usually with all 
upper surfaces distinctly spotted. Sometimes unspotted bright 
yellow-green. Spots many, more or less rounded, either large or 
small. Spots may be brown or green of even shade, or light green 
or brown encircled with darker colour. Legs and arms irregularly 
banded with dark. Pin spots of bright yellow irregularly 
placed on the larger spots or between them. Ear 'brown. Eye 
bright reddish bronze. Jaw dark, bordered above by white or 
yellow. (Fig. 147.) This light colour may be continued to the 
shoulder and sometimes beyond. White or yellow bordered by 
purplish brown on posterior margin of arm and hand and along 
posterior edge of foot. Sides may be reticulated with bright 
yellow. Throat may be purplish brown (female) or bright yellow 
or green (male). Underparts light, yellowish. (Fig. 147.) For 
colouration, see Colour Plate X. 

Measurements: Large for a tree frog, i. e. Length 2 to 2^ 
inches. Head short; f inch in a frog 2j inches long. Width 
between eyes greater than width of eyelid. Ear one-half to two- 
thirds the diameter of the eye. (Fig. 1 50.) Legs relatively short ; 
leg to heel equals length of body forward to eye. Tibia shorter 
than femur. (Fig. 149.) 

Structure: Skin thick and leathery, granulated over the whole 
upper surface as well as on the lower. (Figs. 148 and 149.) Head 
unusually thick through (Fig. 1 53), very short and obtuse anterior 
to the eyes. A fold of skin over the ear from eye to shoulder (Fig. 
1 50) ; another fold across the breast and one at the base of the 
throat. (Fig. 147.) Ear round. Hand large; disks on fingers 
unusually large. Outer fingers slightly webbed. Foot webbed 
half length of fourth toe. Inner sole tubercle prominent. (Fig. 
147.) There is a tarsal fold. 

Range: Reported from Georgia, Florida, and Mississippi only. 1 

Unfortunately, this tree frog has an unusually limited range. 

1 Riceborough, Ga.; Bay St. Louis, Miss.; Green Cove Springs, Tarpon Springs, Micanopy , 
St. Augustine, Orlando, and Georgiana, Fla. 




FIG. 147 ( i). The FLORIDA TREE FROG (Hyla gratiosa Le Conte). Orlando, Florida. Length 2*{ in. Structure 
study of underparts. (In water.) 

FIG. 148, 149 and 150 (2, 3 and 4). Structure studies of the upper surface. The upper parts are granulated, as are the 
underparts. (For coloration see colour Plate X.) 

THK FRO<~, r.< M IK 



Fn;s. 151 to 153. The FLORIDA TREE FROG (Hyla, gratiosa). With throat pouch partially extended (Orlando, 
Florida), and sound asleep (Green Cove Springs, Florida). 

The Florida Tree Frog 

It has very rarely been found outside of Florida. It is the largest 
tree frog of North America, and probably very valuable in the 
work of destroying noxious insects. 

Hyla gratiosa presents a peculiar appearance because of the 
even granulation of the upper parts. In this characteristic of 
the skin it differs from all other North American Hylas. All 
others present a surface either smooth and fine in texture, as in the 
case of the Green Tree Frog (Hyla cinerea, Figs. 1 54 to 160), or one 
rough with fine warts, as in the Common Tree Frog (Hyla versi- 
color, Figs. 134 to 137). 

The Florida Tree Frog has colour changes as marvellous as 
those possessed by most of the Hylas. It may be plain bright 
green and remain so for months, in fact, one in this phase of col- 
ouration was kept for over two years and during this time there 
was no tendency to become spotted or to turn brown. Also, the 
brown-spotted phase may likewise endure for months without 
change. On the other hand, the changes may be very rapid 
indeed. The tendency for rapid colour change, here as elsewhere 
among the Hylidae, seems to be at its height when the animals 
are well-fed, and in the season of greatest activity, that is, in the 
spring and summer months. At this time the greatest variation 
in colour may be seen in an individual during the twenty-four hours. 
It may be bright green with vivid spots, dark at their edges and 
light in their centres. Gradually (within the space of ten minutes) 
the spots become more and more obscure until the frog is plain 
green, very light in tone. Again, within the half-hour the spots 
reappear, become more distinct, dai'cening in their centres. The 
ground colour becomes ashy in the middle of the back; this colour 
darkens into a mulberry, which colour spreads, obscuring the 
green. Meanwhile the spots continue to darken until the whole 
frog is rich brown prominently marked with darker brown spots. 

The throat-pouch of the male is very large and is bright yellow 
or vivid green in colour. When the tree frog is taken suddenly 
into the hand, this sac is likely to be inflated and the frog gives a 
harsh-sounding squawk. The voice is unusually harsh and low- 

This Hyla is a curiously artificial-looking frog. If it did not 
move, we might well think some one's fancy had moulded it out 
of wax. When it is angry or startled, it fills the lungs, expanding 
the body until it is nearly as broad as long. It has the slow ten- 



dencies of some of the other large tree frogs. It shows a marked 
desire to cling to one's finger and will not leave, even when the 
finger is constantly turned so that the tree frog is head down. It 
will each time clumsily turn around to bring its head uppermost, 
tuck its toes well under, and settle for a period of contentment 
and rest. 


Hyla cinerea Daudin 


Colour: Dark brownish green, bright pea-green, or light green- 
ish yellow. A band -of white or metallic yellow extends from 
the most anterior point of the jaw, widens backward along the 
jaw, continues under the ear and along the sides, sometimes to 
the thigh, sometimes only half the length of the body. A dark 
band from the posterior border of the eye and through the ear 
extends as a border above this light band of the sides. Jaw dark 
below the light band. A similar light-coloured metallic band 
extends along the posterior margin of the tibia and is bordered 
by dusky colour below. Narrower light bands also on anterior 
margin of tibia, and on posterior margin of tarsus and of the arm. 
Ear bronze. Eye golden or bronze. Underparts light, un- 
spotted. Green on sides of throat. Throat pale yellow. (See 
Colour Plate X, also Figs. 154 to 160.) 

Measurements: One of our largest tree frogs, i.e. length if 
to 2| inches. Head inch'long in specimen of if inches length. 
Legs very long; length of leg to heel equals length of body forward 
to the end of the muzzle. Tibia much longer than femur. The 
whole leg is one and a half times length of head and body. 

Structure: Skin of upper parts fine and smooth in texture. 
Underparts granulated. Head very pointed; flat and broad 
between the eyes. Eyes large; not greatly elevated, but extend- 
ing far at right and left; pupil elongated. Ear situated half its 
diameter from the eye, round, small (about half the diameter of 
the eye). A fold of skin over the ear to the shoulder. Legs ex- 
tremely slender. Webs very short. Disks on fingers and toes 
well developed. Inner sole tubercle small. 

Range: Hyla cinerea is found in the southern United States 




FIGS. 15410 160. The GREEN TREE FROG (Hyla cinerea Daudin). From Ft. Myers, Florida, except the lower 
right hand frog, which is from Hitchcock, Texas. (For coloration see Colour Plate X.) This tree frog is alternately dignified 
and ludicrous in appearance. It is green, with bands of white or gold. There may be a few orange spots on the back. 



FIGS. 161 to 164. Hyla evitatta Miller. Washington, D. C. Length \% in. A smooth-skinned, plain green tree frog 
closely related \oH\lticinci-ca. (Compare with Figures 15410 160) to see difference in color pattern and outline of head.) 
Photographs made from two Hylas that had been in captivity more than a year. (Courtesy of Dr. Paul Bartsch, Smith, 
sonian Institute.) 

The Green Tree Frog 

both east and west of the Mississippi. It is reported from North 
Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, 
Missouri, and Texas. It is also found in southern Illinois. 

The Green Tree Frog is perhaps the most beautiful tree frog 
of North America. Its slender form and smooth fine coat of 
green and gold certainly give it an air of distinction. It is more 
slender than any other North American tree frog. The slender- 
ness is accentuated also by the lengthwise stripes of metallic white 
or yellow. 

As to colouration, this tree frog has great ability to change 
from light to dark. The colour may be| nearly black, or it may be 
so light a greenish yellow that the stripes can scarcely be dis- 
tinguished. There is some variation in colour pattern; that is, 
the light bands on the legs may be narrowed or obsolete, the light 
band of the side may extend no farther than half-way instead of 
quite to the posterior end of the body, and the dark bands border- 
ing the light ones may be distinct or wholly lacking. One tree 
frog 1 found at Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, wholly lacked the stripes 
of the sides. This Hyla sometimes has a few small orange, black- 
rimmed spots on the back. 

The legs are so long that, except when it is leaping or resting, 
the frog seems very awkward. In fact, it very often loses its dig- 
nified air and becomes extremely ludicrous in appearance. It is 
gentle and not easily frightened. In this it is like Hyla versicolor 
and Hyla gratiosa and radically different from some of the smaller 
North American Hylas, such as squirella, pickeringii, and regilla. 
When aroused, however, it becomes as active as any tree frog. 

The Green Tree Frog is most interesting when kept in cap- 
tivity. It lives high among the ferns and vines of its moss-garden, 
and is especially fond of flies. It will see a fly at a distance of 
three or four feet, and will catch it, making but one leap over the 
intervening distance. It is said that this tree frog can leap a 
distance of eight to ten feet. When the call is given, the throat- 
pouch is inflated and the body over the lungs swells and relaxes 

These tree frogs live at the margins of bodies of water, on the 

l ln possession of G. S. Miller, U. S. Nat. Museum. 



broad-leaved aquatic plants. They are abundant in southern 
gardens also. 1 They are commonly seen resting on wellhouse or 
fence, or on the leaves of the okra or other plants of the garden. 
In southern Illinois, Hyla cinerea is said to be found likewise 
on lily-pads and other aquatic vegetation at the edges of lakes, as 
well as in gardens and corn-fields. 2 The chorus as heard in Illinois 
is described as follows: "Its note resembles the tone of a cow-bell 
heard at a distance. Where abundant about water, the frogs are 
very noisy just before dusk, the chorus being broken, however, 
by longer or shorter intervals of silence. A single note is first 
heard, and, as if that were a signal, it is taken up and repeated 
by a dozen noisy throats till the air is resonant with sound. After 
a time it ceases as suddenly as it began, to be again resumed after 
a period of quiet." 



Colour: Olive-brown, or green of yellow or blue tone. There 
is no conspicuous pattern of stripes or spots; there may be few 
or many inconspicuous, orange-yellow flecks of colour on the back. 
The vivid colour of the back extends on the sides of the throat 
under the jaw. The dark colour of the upper parts meets the 
white of the underparts abruptly instead of blending into it. 
Ear may be brown, with green centre. The large eyes show 
golden or bronze reticulations. The nostrils, which are not 
pigmented, appear red. Underparts white, sometimes yellowish 
on breast, throat, and sides. 

Measurements: Length i^ to 2 inches. Head inch (in frog 
if inches) long. Length of leg to heel equals or exceeds length 
of frog forward to the eye. Tibia but slightly longer than femur. 

Structure: Skin unusually smooth. Underparts granulated, 
except throat region. Outline of head rounded, less pointed than 
in Hyla cinerea Daudin. Muzzle projecting slightly beyond 
jaw. Head relatively thick through, compared with Hyla cinerea. 
Distance between the eyes greater than width of eyelid. Nostrils 
nearer to the end of the muzzle than to the eyes; they are farther 
from each other and somewhat nearer the eyes than in Hyla 

1 Bay St. Louis, Miss. C. S. Brimley. 
2 H. Carman Bulletin Illinois State Lab. Nat. Hist., 1892. 


Hyla evittata 

cinerea. Ear medium in size, a distinct fold of skin over it from 
eye to shoulder. A fold across the breast. Proportions and 
characteristics of extremities like those of Hyla cinerea. (See 
Figs. 15410 1 60, and p. 126. Compare Figs. 161 to 164 with Figs. 
154 to 1 60.) 

Range: Hyla evittata has been reported only from the region 
about Washington, D. C, but is likely to be found also from Long 
Island Sound to Chesapeake Bay in regions near the coast. 

The type specimens of Hyla evittata Miller were found in 1898 
at Four Mile Run, Virginia. Before that date, the species, when 
found, had been supposed identical with the well-known Hyla 
cinerea. The resemblance of the two tree frogs is remarkable. 
The distinction can always be made without difficulty, however, 
since Hyla evittata lacks the outlining bands of white and has a 
thicker and less'pointed head. Moreover, the skin of Hyla evittata 
is smoother than that of Hyla cinerea and has the appearance 
of being even smoother than it is, because this tree frog always has 
a shining, wet-looking surface. This characteristic of the skin 
makes the frog look as though it were moulded from smooth 
green wax. Again Hyla evittata has a marked tendency to display 
blue -green shades in its dress, while Hyla cinerea tends decidedly 
toward the yellow-greens. 

It is unusual to see any creature displaying everywhere so 
even. a colour. The colour may be a little deeper or a little more 
blue along the middle of the back, on the head, and on the tibia, 
but otherwise there is likely to be no variation. The flecks of 
orange set in the vivid green make a brilliant display under a lens, 
but they are too small to make any impression on the naked eve. 
There are no colour lines for the canthus rostralis, none for the 
line of the jaw or for the fold over the ear; in fact, every feature 
so familiar in the colour patterns of other frogs is lacking here. 
No other tree frog in North America shows so conspicuously the 
dividing line between the vividly coloured parts exposed to light 
and the white or colourless parts concealed in resting position. 
There are not only the abrupt dividing lines on the sides and along 
the margins of each joint of arms and legs, but on the throat and 
hands and feet, also, the lines are conspicuous. The white extends 



V-shaped in the midline of the throat to the chin; it is against 
this white that the hands are snugly folded. The inner margin 
of the tarsus and the inner toes, the inner finger and a part of 
the second are white; even the webs that fold between the toes 
lack the green. It is interesting to watch Hyla evittata take the 
resting position, hugging the arms and legs close to the sides, 
tucking the hands and feet well under, and resting the head on 
the hands until no trace of light colour is visible. 

This tree frog is an alert and active one. It shows an inter- 
esting protective instinct, reminding one of the meadow grass- 
hopper (Orchelimum). When it is on a branch, if an enemy 
approaches, it swings round to the back of the branch. Here it 
will continue for some time to remain invisible by moving around 
the limb, to the right when the enemy moves to the left, to the 
left when the movement of the enemy is to the right, and so on. 
When it is finally grasped, it may open the mouth and give a 
high-pitched cry. 

The power for colour change is pronounced, as it is in all 
members of the Hylidae. In bright light, as when hunting for 
insects among the pond-lilies and pickerel-weed of its haunt, it 
is brilliant yellow-green. On darker days and in captivity it tends 
to a dress of myrtle-green. It is like Hyla cinerea, in that in 
hibernation it may take on its lightest shades. 

"Very little is known about the habits of Hyla evittata. In 
June and July the animals are to be found in the rank vegetation 
of the tide marshes. Here they remain quiet during the day, 
but as evening approaches they become active and noisy. Their 
food at the time consists chiefly of a small beetle that is found on 
the leaves of the pond-lilies. The note is like that of Hyla pick- 
eringii in form, but in quality it is comparatively harsh and 
reedy, with a suggestion of distant guinea-fowl chatter, and 
scarcely a trace of the peculiar freshness so characteristic of the 
song of the smaller species. The song period continues through 
June and July. Later in the season the frogs leave the low 
marsh vegetation. As they are then perfectly silent, they are 
difficult to find, though occasionally one may be seen in a bush 
or small tree, but never far from water. 

It is thought that the eggs are laid during June and July. 
They are small, loose masses, attached to the stems of pond-lily 



Hyla Andersonii Baird. Female. Lakehurst, N. J. Photo- 
graphed to show exact coloration. 

Fig. i. Ready to leap. Photographed to show underparts. 
Fig. 2. In water. Photographed to show spots concealed 

under arm and leg ; also foot structure. 
Fig. 3. Side view on pine cone. 
Fig. 4. To show body proportions ; also coloring of hand and 





Anderson's Hyla 

Hyla andersonii Baird 


Colour: Unspotted pea-green over all upper parts, except 
hands and feet. The green is edged with white everywhere, 
except on the posterior and anterior borders of the femur and 
on the anterior margin of the tibia. The edge of white is 
everywhere set off by a line of black below it. A purplish brown 
band extends from the nostril, through the eye, to the shoulder, 
including the ear. Iris dark or bright bronze. The lower sides 
are violet -grey, spotted posteriorly with yellow or orange. The 
exposed surfaces (when the frog is in sitting position) of hands 
and feet are purplish grey; the concealed parts of these and of the 
legs are yellow spotted with orange; i. e. the yellow is found on 
the first finger and along the inner side of the arm, under the arm 
at its attachment, on the inner two toes and the inner half of 
the tarsus, and on parts of the body, femur, and tibia, where 
they touch one another when the leg is folded. The green of the 
upper arm extends in a scallop on the breast. The green of the 
face extends across the jaw to form a broad scallop on the side 
of the throat. (For colouration, see Colour Plate VII.) 

Measurements: Size small, i.e. ij inches or under. Head 
broad, obtuse in front. Length of head enters total length three 
and a quarter times. Femur and tibia equal in length, and to- 
gether slightly shorter than length of head and body. 

Structure: Skin smooth. A fold across breast. Eye large. 
Ear about one -third size of eye. Inner sole tubercle distinct; 
outer tubercle not present. The disks on fingers and toes are me- 
dium in size. The webs of the toes are short. 

Range: As far as discovered, only from Lakehurst, New 
Jersey, south to Anderson, South Carolina. 

Only six times has this very distinctive Hyla come under 
observation. The first specimen is the type specimen found at 
Anderson, South Carolina, by Baird in 1854, and named and de- 
scribed by him. The second specimen was found in 1863 by Dr. 


Leidy at Jackson, New Jersey. The third was found hy Dr. J. A. 
Peters at May's Landing, New Jersey, in 1888. In 1889, Dr. J. 
Percy Moore captured two specimens, both males, at Pleasant 
Mills, New Jersey. In 1901 a specimen was found at Clementon, 
New Jersey, and was presented to the Philadelphia Academy of 
Science by Witmer Stone. Finally, in September, 1904, for the 
sixth time, Hyla andersomi came to light. It was found by 
Mr. William T. Davis at Lakehurst, New Jersey. It was shaken 
from a low oak tree during a hunt for insects. 

The photographs of the colour plate are from the last- 
named specimen, which was kindly loaned for the purpose by Mr. 

In appearance this tree frog is one of the most interesting 
representatives of its kind. It is nearly as large as the common 
tree frog, Hyla versicolor, and has a most unusual pattern of dress. 
The vivid green, with its bounding lines of white and black, gives 
the appearance of a tailor-made coat from which hands and feet 
protrude. A somewhat harlequin effect is produced by the 
lengthwise colour division of the hand and foot. This tree frog 
looks rather bizarre in side view because of the prominent scallops 
of colour extending to the throat and breast. Although in its 
green and white lines it bears a superficial resemblance to Hyla 
cinerea (see Figs. 154 to 160), on close inspection there is no 
possibility of confusing it with any other North American tree 
frog. It resembles somewhat the common tree frog of Europe. 
(Hyla arborea.) 

The creature has a very gentle and alert expression. It is, in 
fact, one of the most alert and timid of our tree frogs. In captivity 
it is seldom content until it finds some moist hiding-place in moss 
and ferns or under wet decaying pieces of wood. When such a 
place is found, the Hyla backs into it with the burrowing move- 
ments common among the Salientia. Here, with flattened body 
and closed eyes, it remains sleeping away the days and nights. 
The sleeping position is interesting, in that the long delicately- 
coloured toes are lifted to the green of the sides, and rest jpressed 
close to the body, just above the shoulder. 

This Hyla is relatively hardy. The tree frog found June i, 
1888, was still alive arid well in January, 1889. How much longer 
it lived is not recorded. The specimen caught in September, 
1904, is in plump condition now in June, 1905. 



REGION \_Hyla regilla Bd. and Gird. Males with the exception 
of the two in the centre]. Chosen from five dozen collected at 
Seattle, Wash., and photographed to show variation in color and 
color pattern. 



Anderson's Hyla 

The specimen photographed moulted the skin February loth. 
For several hours before the moult the skin was very dry and 
lustreless, and the frog kept rubbing one hand and then the other 
over the head and eyes, as if in discomfort. The skin was thin 
and white. It was shed in one piece and swallowed as it was shed, 
in just the manner described for the similar process in the toad 
and frog. 

This Hyla differs conspicuously from Hyla versicolor and 
Hyla regilla, in fact from most of its nearest relatives in North 
America, by the fact that it has apparently but a limited power 
to change colour. The green may pale or deepen, it may even 
take on a tinge of brown; the lavender tints of hand and foot 
may be extremely light, or so dark that they become a deep pur- 
plish brown. But when we compare this with the radical and 
rapid changes in Hyla regilla and others, the limitation is very 
evident. As far as observed, the pattern of dress is never obscured. 

Hyla andersonii is an agile climber, but ascends largely by 
clasping the hands and feet around the support. The adhesive 
power of the disks is relatively not great, and the under-surface of 
the body does not seem to aid them as much in climbing as it 
does many tree frogs. On a relatively smooth vertical surface up 
which Hyla cinera, versicolor, pickeringii, regilla, and many others 
will climb rapidly and with confidence, Anderson's Hyla holds 
itself with great difficulty, even for the space of a few seconds. 

The call of the specimen that was found June, 1888, is 
described as made up of a shrill note repeated three of four times 
in succession. Those discovered in June, 1889, were found during 
and preceding a thunder storm, clinging to the under sides of pine 
twigs in a swampy thicket. Their throats were swollen in the 
manner characteristic of the Hylas, and before the disturbance 
came, their voices made part of a chorus that emanated from all 
parts of the swamp. The single note was compared to that of a 
guinea-fowl, or of the rail. 

Hyla andersonii is certainly rare, and, as far as discovered, 
has an unusually limited distribution. However, it is probable 
that the apparent limit of range, and the seeming scarcity within 
this range, are due, in part at least, to the retiring habits of the 
tree frog, and in part to the inaccessible character of its chosen 


Hyla regilla Baird and Girard 


Colour: Extremely variable. Any shade of grey, brown, or 
green; occasionally distinctly red. A narrow black or dark 
brown band extends from the nostril (or from the muzzle) to the 
eye, and, widening behind the eye, continues through the ear to the 
shoulder. This dark band is bordered below by a band of light 
colour. The immediate line of the jaw is dark. (Fig. 166.) The 
dark band which passes through the ear may be continued along 
the sides of the frog in a series of black spots. There may or may 
not be a V-shaped mark between the eyes, extending well up on 
the eyelids, and elongated dark spots placed lengthwise along the 
back and upper sides. Underparts dark or light. Throat of 
male always darker than remainder of underparts. (Fig. 169.) 
The undersurface has much orange colour posteriorly. (See 
Colour Plates VIII and IX.) 

Measurements: Size small, i.e. length ij to if inches. Leg 
long; length of tibia equal to length of femur, and equal to half 
total length of frog. 

Structure: Skin finely tubercular above, granulated below, 
except for the throat region. (Fig. 169.) Canthus rostralis very 
distinct. (Fig. 165.) Ear distinct, less than half the diameter 
of the eye. Head obtuse in front. Disks on fingers and toes 
relatively small. Fingers long, not webbed. Toes webbed half 
their lengths. (Figs. 169.) 

Range: Hyla regilla has been reported from Washington, 
Oregon, California, Nevada, Lower California, and from Cerros 
and Santa Cruz islands, which are twenty miles from the Cali- 
fornian mainland. This makes its range cover an area from 
Vancouver Island on the north to Cape St. Lucas at the south, 
and from the islands of the coast to the eastern base of the Cas- 
cades and Sierra Nevada. In the region of Washington and 
Oregon, its range extends well into the desert part of the Great 
Basin, following the streams of the country. In Death Valley it 
is found at isolated springs and wells, more than half-way across 
the Great Basin. There is no authentic report of its occurring in 
Texas. " Moreover, it may be noticed that in altitude Hyla 


Hyla Regilla Bd. and Gird. Carmel, Cal. 

Figs, i, 3 and 5 are photographs of the same male frog (all 

three photographs taken within ten minutes). Figs. 2, 4 

and 6 are a similar series of a female. 
Hyla regilla may change rapidly from a dark unspotted to a 

light unspotted condition, or the reverse order, through a 

vividly spotted phase of coloration. 


The Pacific Tree Frog 

regilla ranges from sea-level to 10,000 feet in the vicinity of Mount 
Whitney. Thus it occurs from the Lower Sonoran well up into 
the Boreal Zone, equal to the difference in latitude between Florida 
and Labrador, and the extension of its range is thus second to that 
of no other Hyla in North America." 1 

If we capture several specimens of Hyla regilla, we are almost 
immediately impressed by three facts: first, their great alertness 
and activity; second, their great variation in colour and colour 
pattern; and third, their rapid and marked colour changes. 

They are not quite as active and impossible to manage as 
Hyla squirella of the Southern States; they compare more favour- 
ably in activity with Hyla pickeringii of eastern North America. 
These frogs are small, with bodies relatively slender and legs 
unusually long, so we are not surprised at the number of the leaps 
made and the distance covered with each movement. They 
show little tendency to climb, and will remain at the bottom of an 
uncovered moss-garden for days at a time without any attempt at 

Their variation in colour is great. They may be any shade 
of grey, green, or brown, and sometimes are more or less vividly 
marked with red. It is not to be wondered at that one not famil- 
iar with the fact that colour is seldom a specific characteristic 
should think that the lot contained several kinds of frogs. Most 
of the frogs present only one colour or shade, but there are likely 
to be several in a given lot that will combine two shades or two 
colours. The back may be brown while the sides are green, the 
head and shoulders may be red while the body posteriorly is 
green, and so on. (See Colour Plate VIII.) 

Not only does the background of colour vary thus greatly, but 
the colour pattern is so variable that at first sight it may be difficult 
to see what are the elements of the common pattern. This com- 
mon pattern consists of a triangular patch between the eyes and 
lengthwise bands on the back. There may be small spots placed 
irregularly between the bands, and on the sides of the frog below 
the bands. But there is what seems to be nearly every pos- 
sible disguise of the pattern. The triangle between the eyes 

1 F. C. Test. " A Contribution to the Knowledge of the Variations of the Tree^Frog Hyla Re- 
gilla." Proc. U. S. Nat. Museum, vol. XXI, pp. 477-492. 



may oe very large, extending well up on the eyelids, and sending 
a point far back on the neck, or it may be decidedly small. It 
may be of solid colour, or only in outline. It may be separate 
or connected with the band in the midline of the back, or it may 
be broken into two or occasionally three spots. The longitudinal 
bands of the back may be distinct broad bands, two, three, or 
occasionally five in number, or they may be broken into spots 
rounded or elongated, regular or irregular in shape. The bands 
may have parallel sides, or may be fantastic in shape. They may 
be broad and conspicuous, and if there are spots instead of bands, 
these may be many and crowded, or bands and spots may be so 
reduced that they are scarcely noticeable. 

Judging from the one hundred fifty specimens examined 
from regions about San Diego and San Francisco, California, and 
Seattle, Washington, those from the south are more likely to have 
the dark colour in lines or bands with few spots between and on the 
sides, and those from the north to have broken bands and crowded 
spots showing much more dark colour. The specimens from the 
north, besides having more dark colour, measure considerably 
larger than those at the south. 

Hyla regilla has the power to change colour rapidly. ", Let us 
isolate two and observe them. They have been in wet moss in a 
dark place, and are nearly black in colour. When looked at more 
closely, one is seen to be a very dark green, and the other a rich 
dark brown. There is no trace of spots; only the light band 
above the jaw shows. On exposure to bright light, the colour 
immediately lightens; one becomes decidedly green, the other 
decidedly brown. Soon a pattern of spots and bands shows 
obscurely on their backs. This pattern becomes more and more 
distinct as the background grows lighter. When the medium 
shade of green or brown is at its brightest, the pattern shows 
most vividly. However, if they still continue to remain in bright 
light, we could scarcely find time to draw the pattern while it is 
vivid, for as the background continues to grow light, the spots 
begin to be dulled. They become less and less distinct, the back- 
ground becomes still more light in tone, and the pattern wholly 
fades, and leaves one frog metallic fawn colour with golden reflec- 
tions, and the other yellowish green of a very light tone. This 
change from a colour so dark that there are no spots to a light 
unspotted colouration may take place within eight or ten minutes. 


The Pacific Tree Frog 

(See Colour Plate IX.) Putting the frogs into a dark situation 
again, they reverse the change, become vividly spotted, and finally 
dark and unspotted. 

Any given collection of these tree frogs taken from the pond 
will contain spotted specimens, unspotted dark and unspotted 
light ones, and many in which the pattern shows obscurely. But 
all will develop the typical pattern vividly if they are put under 
the right conditions. Of the one hundred fifty specimens exam- 
ined, no frog was found in which the pattern was wholly lacking, 
though three out of the number had the pattern so reduced that 
it consisted of a very small triangular patch between the eyes and 
mere dashes of colour on the back. (See frogs in lower right- 
hand corner of Colour Plate VIII.) 

The dark band through the ear and its continuation in dark 
spots on the sides are constant factors in the colouration. The 
only time that they are not visible is when the background is as 
dark as the markings. 

Hyla regilla lives low, hopping about on the ground among 
the blackberry vines and other vegetation, as does Hyla pick- 
eringii of eastern North America. It is found especially about 
springs, ponds, and moist places of all sorts. It calls from some 
place of concealment in these situations on dark or rainy days and 
at dusk. 1 1 may be heard occasionally throughout the winter, even. 
In spring, it is to be found in great numbers in shallow pools. The 
frogs then sing in chorus (especially at night), and a small number 
of them can produce a noise so great that it sounds as though 
made by thousands. 

The eggs are laid in February 1 and later. They are small 
(i mm. diameter) and are in clusters of from twenty to fifty. The 
clusters are attached to grasses and leaves in the shallow water. 
(Fig. 167.) The tree frogs themselves may be found either in 
the water or under stones and leaves nearby, depending on the 
temperature of the day. 

Hyla regilla breeds in shallow ponds at Seattle, Washington, 
in late February, at the same time that Rana pretiosa is laying its 
eggs. The breeding-time begins earlier in southern California; 
the metamorphosis may be completed in April. The young tree 
frogs are small (J inch long), but show the typical pattern on the 

1 Feb. i2th, Carmel, Cal. L. S. Slevin, collector. 



head and back as well as the dark and light parallel bands on the 
sides of the head. 

This tree frog is hardy. In captivity it hides during the 
greater part of the time, under moss or leaves. It eats small 
earthworms and beetle larvae from acorns and chestnuts, with the 
usual eagerness displayed by members of the group. 

It frequently sings in captivity, usually from under cover of 
moss or ferns. The call reminds one of that of Hyla pickeringii, 
in that it consists of a series of short untrilled notes. It differs in 
pitch and quality from that of Pickering's frog. The pitch is 
relatively low, about G of the second line; the quality is harsh, 
often grating. The throat-pouch is yellowish brown when dis- 
tended; it is much broader than deep, and when fully inflated is 
at least three times as large as the frog's head. This Hyla very 
often sits with the vocal pouch partially distended, the small bag 
palpitating with the breathing movements. Sometimes, when 
taken in the hand, the frog will swell the throat and give the call 
which sounds like the harsh sound made by various mechanical 
toys. When greatly annoyed or when injured, this tree frog, 
like Hyla versicolor, gives out a milky secretion from the skin of 
the upper surface of the body. 

Hyla regilla is. an attractive little frog. It is delicately 
formed and beautifully coloured. Besides the colouring already 
described, it shows much iridescence. Various parts shine with 
gold and bronze; the iridescence is marked in the region below 
the eye and on the shoulder and upper arm. 


Hyla pickeringii Holbrook 


Colour: Varies from light fawn colour to dark brown, and 
may be yellow, red, or ashy in tone. There is a V-shaped dark 
mark between the eyes, an oblique cross on the back, and bars on 
the legs. (Figs. 170 to 172.) The underparts are light in colour, 
yellowish posteriorly. The throat of the male is brown. (For 
colouration, see Colour PlateX.) 

Measurements: This is the smallest representative of the genus 
Hyla in North America. Male, to i inch; female, i to i \ inches. 





FIGS. 16510 169 (1-5). Hyla regil/a Bel. and Gird., and its eggs. All of the frogs represented are males, (i), (4) and 
(5) are from Carmel, Cal., (2) is from Seattle, Washington. (For coloration see Colour Plates VIII and IX. 1 

FIGS. 165 and 166 (1-2). Very alert. Hyla regilla may appear spotted or unspotted, light or dark, smooth or rough. 
FIG. 167 (3). The eggs are laid in clusters attached to grasses. 

FIG. 168 (4). The vocal pouch is broader than deep. It is yellowish-brown in colour. It may be inflated to a size 
three times that 01 the head. 

FIG. 169 (5). The throat of the male .s black and wrinkled. There is a fold of skin across the breast. 



Most of the SPRING PEEPERS live on the ground in the woods throughout the year except for a few weeks in early 
spring, when they are to be found in the ponds and the marshes adjacent. 

The Spring Peeper 

Structure: Head pointed, sharply angled along the lines 
from nostrils to eyes. The muzzle extends beyond the upper lip. 
The ear is visible, but is smaller than the eye. The disks on fingers 
and toes are prominent. The feet are only moderately webbed. 

Range: Eastern North America. It has been reported from 
the following states: Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massa- 
chusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania, 
Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Ohio, Illinois, and 
Michigan. It is reported also from Canada (New Brunswick to 

There are few people in the eastern United States who do not 
know the voices of the Spring Peepers, although they may only 
guess who these singers may be. If they recognize the singers as 
frogs, they are likely to judge from the size of the voices that the 
frogs are large, and sometimes they are loath to accept the state- 
ment that Peeping Frogs are tiny things an inch or less long. 
(Fig. 171). 

We expect pussy-willows to usher in the spring. We listen 
for the kong-quer-ree of the red-winged blackbird. We do not 
have to look or listen to know that the Peepers have spring in 
their hearts. The chorus of voices greets us when we leave our 
suburban car. We drive from one suburb to another and scarcely 
leave one singing company behind us before the voices of a second 
greet us in front. We go by rail from city to city, and from the 
marshy regions along the track their voices sound above the roar 
and rattle of the train. 

The call comes from low marshy ground in the open, or from 
pools and marshy land in the woods; from water wholly exposed 
to the sun's rays, or from the depths of dark forest swamps. It 
can be heard with distinctness at least a quarter of a mile away. 
As we approach, it sometimes reminds us of a loud jangle of musi- 
cal sleigh-bells. It is somewhat difficult to isolate a single voice 
from the chorus. If we do so, we find that it is high pitched, loud, 
penetrating, and usually not trilled. Occasionally an especially 
enthusiastic call is strongly trilled. It is not exactly a whistle, 
nor is it flute-like; but it is more like the thin, sweet sound from a 
pipe. Each prolonged call seems to be made up of two tones, 
the first lower and sliding into the second. The first is pitched 

r 39 



E y 

' < 

March first. Spring 
Peepers begin calling 
when the pussy wil- 
lows are gray. 

somewhere between B and E, two octaves 
above C, and the second is not more than 
an interval above. As we listen longer to 
the chorus, we perceive that the pitch varies 
greatly with the individual, and that the 
different tones are not always in harmony. 
Occasionally there is a distinct rhythm in 
the chorus, the calls are given together, and 
the pauses occur together. More often, 
however, the calls alternate irregularly. 

After we have heard the chorus every 
spring for years, the Peeper is still merely 
a voice to us. Let us solve the mystery. It 
is a morning in the first week of March, with 
the temperature at 58 F. We are tempted 
to a country walk. Here is a wooded strip 
of land between a marsh black with alders 
and an open pond. The Peepers should be 
here. The redwings are making a great 
noise in the alders. A few sprays of pussy- 
willow gleam silver against the background 
of the alders. On the other side, the pond is 
still largely covered with ice. But the woods 
between are very beautiful, and full of life 
and the promise of life. The dark trunks and 
branches of oak and pine are relieved here and 
there by clusters of slender grey birches. 
Low stumps and hillocks are covered with 
moss spots of vivid green in sharp con- 
trast to the surrounding brown. Two par- 
tridges fly up from the path ahead with a 
startling whirr of wings. We hear in the 
distance what must be the low croaking of 
a green frog, but, on following the sound, 
find it is made by a downy woodpecker 
drumming on a resonant sycamore. 

There is a Peeper! The thin, sweet 
" Pe-ep , pe-ep, pe-ep, pe-ep, " sounding- 
much like a bird's call-note, comes from 
the moss and leaves at the water's edge. 


To show possible coloration of some N. A. Hylas. In all cases 
not only is there great power of change, but any pattern of spots 
or bands on the top of the head and on the back is evanescent 
in character. 

Fig. i. THE SPRING PEEPER \Hyla pickeringii Storer. 
Providence, R. I.] Varies through many shades of ashy or 
yellow brown. 

Figs. 2 and 3. THE GREEN TREE FROG \Hylacinerea 
Daudin. Ft. Myers, Florida]. May be green or brown, 
but is always known by the light bands. 

Fig. 4. THE SOUTHERN TREE FROG \Hyla squirella 
Bosc. Hitchcock, Texas]. 

Figs. 5 and 6 THE SOUTHERN TREE FROG. Havelock, 
N. C. These tree frogs vary through all shades of green, 
gray and brown, and may be spotted or not. 

Fig. 7. THE FLORIDA TREE FROG \Hyla gratiosa 
LeConte. Orlando, Fla.]. May be green or brown, spotted 
or not. It is often found with the change from green to 
brown in process, in which case the frog is green conspicu- 
ously spotted, but with brown gradually replacing the green 
on the back. 

Fig. 8. THE ARIZONA TREE FROG \Hyla arenicolor 
Cope. Tucson, Arizona]. Can change from flesh color 
through many shades of gray and brown, and may be 
spotted or not. 

Refer to Index to locate descriptions. 




The Spring Peeper 

After the four calls, there is silence. Then 
the call comes again, and is repeated sev- 
eral times before the pause. 

We search among the leaves and moss. 
No amount of looking reveals the shelter of 
this atom of a frog so eager for spring. 
The Peeper is still but a voice. 

In two weeks we go again. It is after- 
noon, and the temperature is at 65 F. The 
pussy-willows are no longer grey; they 
have developed into spikes of golden or 
green flowers, and are surrounded by early 
bees and flies. The sound of a chorus of 
frogs reaches us before we leave the car, 
although the marsh is more than a quarter 
of a mile distant. As we approach, and the 
individual voices become distinct, we are 
astonished that they are so loud and 
penetrating compared with the isolated calls 
we heard in early March. The combination 
of sounds is almost ear-splitting. The 
largest company seems to be in the con- 
nected pools about the roots of a tangle 
of grey birches and swamp-maples. It is 
easy to penetrate here. We step from tree 
root to tree root or from log to log over 
shallow pools of black water filled with 
brown leaves, grasses, and sticks. A slow 
painted-turtle walks through the shallow 
water, now in the shadow a black movement 
only, now showing distinctly as it comes 
into a spot of sunlight. But where are the 
frogs? The voices are all about us. There 
is one particularly loud one at our very feet. 
We look; we scrutinize every leaf and stick 
and bit of grass. It is maddening that we 
cannot see the singer. With our slightest 

movement the sound ceases. And so again Peepers are 

Late March. Spring 

and again. We finally retreat, with the da y and M1 right when the 

, ... . J pussy-willows are in bios- 

Peeper still a mysterious piping voice. 




The middle of April. 
When pussy willow seed pods 
are ripening, Spring Peepers 
are calling only during the 
late afternoon and night. 

Once more we try. It is the mid- 
dle of April. The yellow flowers of the 
pussy-willows have disappeared. The 
green ones have developed into cater- 
pillar-like clusters of green seed-pods. 
The Peepers are still singing in the 
marshes, but only during the late after- 
noon and at night. Let us try an open 
marsh where there will be light enough 
for the search. Here is a boggy piece 
of land that must be pasture in mid- 
summer. It stretches into meadow on 
all sides. There is no difficulty in getting 
to the very centre of it by stepping from 
one grass hillock to another. We heard 
the chorus at a distance of many blocks, 
and it has continued as we approached; 
but as we step onto our first hillock it 
becomes quiet all about us; the quiet 
spreads, and now the whole bog is silent. 
We penetrate a little farther and then 
stand still. After what seems a long 
time, one Peeper calls far to the right. 
The call is taken up by frogs nearer and 
nearer, until we are surrounded by sound. 
This time our search is rewarded. We 
see one frog. He is so small, that, in- 
stead of its seeming strange that we had 
not found them before, we think it a 
miracle that we have discovered one 
now. He swims vigorously from a clump 
of grass to a floating twig, which to him 
is a log, climbs upon it, and is in full view 
for a moment; then plunges into the 
water again, and swims to another clump 
of grass and leaves almost at our feet. 
Instantly he begins singing, and although 
he is partially concealed by a projecting 
leaf, we can see his swollen throat gleam 
like a great white bubble under the level 

The Spring Peeper 

rays of the late afternoon sun. The transparent inflated throat is 
one-half as large as the frog's head and body together. It does 
not greatly change size between the calls, but collapses at the end. 
The frog's mouth is kept closed during the calling. 

For some time we watch him as he sings. We try to cap- 
ture him, and get only a handful of mud for our pains. Silence 
begins again, and spreads rapidly, till not one frog is peeping. We 
suddenly feel the dreariness of the place, the wind blows cold 
and it is getting dark. We retreat with the congratulatory 
remark, " At any rate, we have seen a Peeper!" 

After we have seen one Pickering's Hyla at the marsh, it is 
not difficult to see others, especially if we take active measures 
and push apart the floating leaves and sticks of the shallow water. 
More than one tiny yellow or brown frog will swim out from 
among the leaves. Most of them will be males, since they far 
outnumber the females. 

One of the best times to capture Pickering's tree frogs is at 
night. During the day time they usually call from the cover of 
moss and leaves. If we go to the marsh at night, they do not 
seem to see or hear us, and it is not as difficult as might be sup- 
posed to locate them by means of their inflated white throats. 
If we do capture them, and keep them under glass for a few 
days or weeks, we shall find them very interesting. They are 
small, measuring one inch or less. They are very slender and 
delicate, and unusually alert looking. The rhythmic throat move- 
ment is rapid, more rapid than that of even the land Wood Frog. 
The elevated eyes have the usual golden rim, whose iridescent 
color may be so deep as to seem almost orange in tone. The 
body is flexible; there seems to be much more movement in the 
neck region than is usual among the frogs. The skin is soft and 
moist and closely granular underneath. The disks on the fingers 
and toes are distinct, but not conspicuously large as in the Com- 
mon Tree Frog. The webs of the hind feet extend less than half 
the length of the toes. 

The colour is usually light yellowish brown, but there is a 
great range for variation, and the changes are relatively rapid. 
Within an hour, frogs that were pale greyish yellow may become 
dark wood-brown. Sometimes the brown is reddish or salmon 
in tone. There are definite markings, which can be distinguished 
unless the background is extremely dark. These are, first and 




Early May. The chorus 
of Spring Peepers closes as 
the pussy-willow is scat- 
tering feathery seeds. 

foremost, an oblique cross on the back, 
and transverse bars on the hind legs. 
There is also a V-shaped mark between 
the eyes, a similar mark, reversed, on the 
back posterior to the cross, and a short 
line extending lengthwise at each side of 
the cross. The underparts are yellowish 
white, more or less mottled with brown. 
The undersurfaces of the legs may be yel- 
low. The male is likely to be considerably 
smaller than the female, and is usually 
darker in colour. 

Pickering's Tree Frogs thrive well in 
a small moss-garden. They may be kept 
successfully, even all winter. They rest 
or sleep much of the day under the moss, 
or, perhaps, exposed on some plant. 
(Fig. 171.) They sing often, especially in 
the late afternoons and on rainy days, 
but usually from under cover of moss 
and leaves. (Fig. 172.) They eat small 
worms and flies greedily. They climb 
up the glass sides of their houses, alternat- 
ing several rapid steps with relatively 
long pauses. They never seem to climb 
downward; jumping is easier. They never 
attempt to escape; their small garden 
with food and companions is a whole 
world to them. 

The time of the chorus of Spring 
Peepers extends from early March until 
May, and often until the second or third 
week of May. It may have brief inter- 
ruptions, due to snow and severe cold, 
although Pickering's Hyla often sings 
when the temperature is below 50 F. 
The chorus begins when the pussy- 
willows are grey and the blue violets of 
the marsh are just opening. It ends when 
the pussy-willows are scattering feathery 

The Spring Peeper 

seeds and the violets have long- 
stemmed leaves and flowers strug- 
ling for light through surrounding 
rank growths of fern, hellebore, 
and skunk-cabbage. 

The season of their chorus 
closes at about the time that the 
Common Tree Frog chorus begins. 
Sometimes for two weeks or more 
we may hear their voices together 
from the same or adjacent 

The season of the chorus be- 
gins in February or March; not 
many of the eggs are laid i until 
April. The eggs are generally 
fastened singly to plants in the 
water, although they sometimes 
lie free at the bottom, and are 
sometimes in small masses (4 to 
10). They may be laid singly or 
in small groups by frogs in cap- 
tivity. They are exceedingly small 
(1-12 inch in diameter), so small 
that they look like tiny plant seeds. 
Each is surrounded by a viscid 
substance and a distinct outer 
membrane. The egg is deep brown 
above and cream-white below 
when first laid, but becomes light 
grey in the early stages of de- 

1 May 15, 1892. Hyla pickeringii. O. P. 
Hay, Irvington, Ind. 

April 6, April 17. Hyla pickeringii. F. W. 
Putnam, Cambridge, Mass. 

The chorus of Spring Peepers begins 
when the blue violets of the marsh are 
first opening, and closes when these 
March 9, 10, 13, and April 5, 1890. Hyla violets are struggling for light among 

April 25, 1904. Hyla pickeringii. M. C. 
Dickerson, Providence, R. I. 

pickeringii. T. H. Morgan, Baltimore, Md. 

rank growths of fern and hellebore. 


The tadpoles hatch in from six to twelve days, depending on 
the temperature. In less than a week after hatching, the gills are 
covered and the usual "pollywog" form is assumed. In seven 
or eight weeks from the time that the eggs are laid, the tadpoles l 
are full-grown. They are small and delicate. Each measures 
one inch long, including the tail, which is twice the length of head 
and body together. The undersurface of the body is reddish 
bronze, shining with metallic lustre. The characteristics of the 
head of the adult frog can be seen in the tadpole even before the 
front legs appear; that is, the eyes are set extremely wide apart, 
the lines between the eyes and the nostrils are sharply angled, and 
the upper jaw projects beyond the lower. The toes of the back legs 
are provided with distinct pads before the front legs appear. The 
cross on the back often shows before the tail begins to be absorbed. 

As soon as the front legs break through their coverings, the 
creatures are eager to leave the water. They may be found some 
distance from the water while the tail is still long. They are cer- 
tain to climb the grasess and sedges and to sit on floating leaves 
and twigs before the metamorphosis is completed. 

In June they may be found in hundreds among the brown 
leaves and green moss of the bank. They are little, dark-coloured, 
leaping objects, which from their small size we might mistake for 
young toads, if we did not examine them closely. They have not 
yet gone very far from their pond or marsh, but their diligent 
search for gnats, mosquitoes, and ants has already begun. 

When we stand on the sphagnum border of the marsh and 
look into the water, we see so many enemies of these tadpoles, 
that the wisdom of their early escape to land life appeals to us. 
There are water-beetles and bugs, leeches, diving-spiders, and the 
larvse of dragon-flies and caddis-flies. There are always newts 
to devour them. There are Leopard frogs perhaps, and certainly 
Green frogs, that eat the adult Pickerings as well as the tadpoles. 

Very often the marsh or pool dries up before the development 
is completed. The water recedes, to leave a small pool measured 
only in feet, and perhaps only in inches, where enemies and tad- 
poles are crowded together/ If the evaporation proceeds too 

The mouth structure of the tadpole of the Pickering's Hylo. is like that of the tadpoles oiffyla 
versicolor (see footnote, p. 121), except that the lower lip has only two rows of teeth, instead of three. 

a It is said by M. H. Hinckley that birds, such as the crow, the heron, and the woodcock, take 
advantage of such conditions, and make feeding-places of these reduced pools, as is proved by the 
tracks and borings in the mud adjacent. 


The Spring Peeper 

rapidly, all the tadpoles may perish 
and leave only blackened stains on 
the mud to show where they have 
been ; but if it is more slow, or comes 
but a short time previous to their 
final . change, this change may be 
hastened by the conditions and the 
young Pickerings will leave the 
water earlier and smaller than 
is their wont. 1 

Pickering's Tree Frogs are likely 
to be silent and in hiding during 
July, but from the close of July until 
December they may be found not 
only in the woods, but in all sorts 
of unexpected places. Their main 
interest in life lies in hunting small 
insects. The chase may take them 
to the trees of the orchard, to the 
low growths of the vegetable garden, 
or to the shrubs and vines of the 
flower-garden. They have been 
found even in green-houses, appar- 
ently attracted there by the moisture 
and food supply. 

We may find "them on tree 
trunks, in the tops of alder and 
huckleberry, or Jon tall ferns. But 
the greater number of them remain 
on the ground, in the woods or about 
the marsh. Like the young Wood 
Frogs, ,they hide and leap and hunt 
among the trailing dewberry, the 
wintergreen, and the partridge-berry. 

We may hear them and find 
them in November even, when 
the sun shines down between the 
bare trees to the yellow and red 

Pickering's H yla is still calling 
in the woods, when the witch- 
hazel's yellow flowers appear. 

1 This characteristic of adaptability, possessed by all of the Bactrachia, is more pronounced among 
the Salamanders where the larval stage may be greatly shortened, or prolonged for months or years. 


leaves,the patches of russet fern, and the clusters of jack-in-the- 
pulpit's red berries on the ground. All remind us of the approach 
of winter. We know that to-morrow, if not to-day, the cold wind 
will blow and the snow will fall. But to-day the sun is bright on 
the witch-hazel's yellow flowers, and there is good courage in the 
shrill piping voice of this little Hyla. 

Pickering's Hyla sleeps during December and January, 
nestled under moss and leaves, but wakes in icy February to 
herald the spring with the same shrill piping voice of good cheer 
that we heard in the November woods. 

Hyla squirella Bosc 


Colour: Green or brown ; bright or dull, of light or dark shade. 
There is a dark patch from the eye to the shoulder, including the 
ear; a dark line from the nostril to the eye; a light line along the 
jaw from under the eye to the shoulder. This light line may be 
continued along the sides half-way or all of the way to the posterior 
part of the body, and may be margined below by dusky colour. 
There may be a V-shaped dark mark between the eyes and round 
or elongated spots on the back. There may be much orange- 
yellow on the throat, under the arm at the place of its insertion, on 
the two inner fingers, and posteriorly on the concealed parts of the 
body, femur, tibia, and tarsus (parts concealed when frog is in 
resting position). Eye bright orange-yellow or bronze. Ear 
brown, metallic. Legs irregularly barred or not. The concealed 
leg surfaces are not spotted nor vermiculated. (Distinctions from 
Hyla femoralis and Hyla versicolor.} (See Colour Plate X.) 

Measurements: Size small, i. e. length i inch to i inches. 
Length of head contained three and a half times in total length. 
Length of leg to heel equals length of frog forward to end of muz- 
zle. Tibia and femur of equal lengths. The knee touches the 
elbow when the arm and leg are pressed against the body. 

Structure: Skin smooth and fine in texture. Head somewhat 
acute, rounded in front. Canthus rostralis prominent. Nostril 
nearer to end of muzzle than to the eye. Ear two-thirds size of 
eye. Eyes widely separated. A fold of skin across breast, 




FIGS. 170 to 172 (i to 3). HylapickeringnSioiex. Providence, R. I. Length i in. (For coloration see colour Plate X.) 
FIG. 170 (i). The tiny atoms of tree frogs leave the water before their tails are absorbed. 
FIG. 171 (2). Asleep on pitcher plant leaf. 

FIG. 172 (3). In captivity ffyla pickeringii becomes very tame. It swells its throat and sings on all occasions one of 
these occasions being when touched by some companion tree frog (ffyla regilla) wandering through the moss of the 




FIGS. 173 to 177. The SOUTHERN TREE FROG (Hyla squirdla Bosc). This is a delicate, smooth-skinned little 
tree frog, one of the most active in North America. (Enlarged.) Nat. size i'A in. Havelock, N. C. (For coloration 
see Colour Plate X.) 

The Southern Tree Frog 

Disks on fingers and toes well developed. Inner sole tubercle 
small; no outer sole tubercle. Tubercles under joints of toes 
somewhat prominent. Webs short. (See Figs. 173 to 177.) 

Range'. Hyla squirella Bosc is found in the southern part of 
North America, its range extending well up the Mississippi. It is 
reported from North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, 
Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas, and southern Indiana. 

Hyla squirella is a delicate, smooth-skinned, little tree frog, 
and is one of the most active in North America. It is a most 
difficult frog to catch, giving leap after leap in rapid succession and 
in changing directions. If we do succeed in catching a half a dozen 
and carry them home in a pail or box, there are few chances but 
that we shall lose most of them the moment they are uncovered. 
They do not wait to be lifted out; they do not climb onto one's 
finger and cling confidingly; they jump simultaneously with the 
opening of the box, all in different directions. 

Of all the tree frogs of North America, this one has perhaps 
the greatest power for rapid colour change, and during these 
changes presents the greatest variety of colours and shades of 
colour. At any given moment Hyla squirella may wear any one 
of the following costumes : unspotted dark chocolate brown or dark 
brownish olive; light purplish brown with dark brown spots; 
light yellowish or greyish brown without spots; any medium 
shade of brown with green spots; olive green unspotted; light 
yellow green spotted with brown; unspotted light pea-green; 
light greenish gray ; light fawn colour, or still lighter shades rang- 
ing down to flesh colour. 

Most curious is the fact that although these changes take 
place under the influence of various stimuli, such as light, moisture, 
and heat, they may go on without these stimuli. Frogs shut in 
a dark pail with no change of conditions will not appear twice 
alike when the pail is opened at intervals during the space of sev- 
eral hours. Some may be green and others brown; some spotted, 
others not; some ight while others are dark. And at any given 
time of observation those that were dull and spotted before may 
be bright unspotted green, the ones that were light may be dark, 
and so on. The light line along the jaw undergoes great changes 



also. This tree frog furnishes a most interesting case for the 
study of metachrosis. 

Hyla squirdla lives on either low or tall vegetation. It may 
be found on the vines and shrubs of the garden or the river and 
lake margins, or it may climb into the trees of similar localities. 
It conceals itself under the decaying bark of trees or under dead 
logs. It is said to hibernate in old logs. 

Hyla femoralis Latreille 


Colour: Brown or grey above, dull white underneath. A 
triangular dark spot between the eyes. A large blotch on the 
anterior back, sending two short branches forward (which may 
unite with the spot between the eyes) and two larger ones out- 
wards and backwards. There may be several spots irregular in 
shape and position on the posterior back. A dark line extends 
from the end of the muzzle along the canthus rostralis through 
eye and ear, continuing along the sides of the frog to the thighs 
The immediate margin of the jaw is usually dark, perhaps relieved 
by a lighter colour above (never a distinct line or band). Arms 
and legs may have dark cross-bars. The posterior surface of the 
femur is brown, spotted with white or yellow. Posterior lines 
of tibia and tarsus margined with dark, which is in turn edged 
with light above. 

Measurements: Size small, i. e. length i \ to if inches. Head 
short, much broader than long. Body short and broad. Leg 
short; length to heel equals length of body forward to ear or eye. 

Structure: Skin nearly smooth above. Underparts granular, 
even in the throat-region. Muzzle rounded, slightly projecting 
beyond jaw. Nostrils terminal. Canthus rostralis angular. Ear 
small. A fold of skin across the breast. Fingers long. Disks on 
fingers and toes well developed. Foot provided with a tarsal 
ridge, small inner sole tubercle, and web of medium size. The 
fingers show slight webs. 

Range: Hyla femoralis is reported from Florida (Arlington, 
Micanopy, Green Cove Springs), Georgia (Allapaha, Riceborough, 

Smilisca Baudinii 

Nashville), South Carolina (Goose Creek), North Carolina (Wil- 
mington), and Texas (Dallas). 

Hyla femoralis is a tree frog that, as far as known, lives high 
in the pine trees of the Southern States. It is not as large as the 
Common Tree Frog (Hyla versicolor), but bears a somewhat close 
resemblance to it in body proportions, in colour, and in markings. 
It can always be known by certain definite points, as follows: It 
is distinguished from Hyla versicolor by the dark line through 
the ear and by the lack of a white spot under the eye. Also, the 
posterior surface of the femur is brown, spotted with light colour, 
not reticulated as in Hyla versicolor. This spotting on the pos- 
terior femur will always distinguish it also from Hyla squirella, the 
common tree frog at the South. 

Nothing is on record regarding its life history or habits. 



Colour: Changeable from a colour so dark that it is nearly 
black, to delicate shades of green, grey, or fawn colour. When the 
medium shades are most intense, there is a pronounced colour 
pattern, which is obscure or lacking when the shade is light or 
dark. (Figs. 1 78 to 1 80.) This pattern consists of a band between 
the eyes, connected with a cross-shaped mark on the back, various 
irregular spots placed laterally and posteriorly to the cross, trans- 
verse bars on the arms and hands, and three of -four transverse 
bars on the legs. In addition, there is a permanent colour pattern 
as follows: a light spot under the gold or bronze eye; a light line 
along the jaw, extending back to the shoulder (the immediate edge 
of the jaw is dark); a dark line from the eye backward to the 
shoulder, terminating in a prominent black patch of colour over 
the arm insertion; and a distinct white spot above and encircling 
arm insertion. (Fig. 182.) The belly is light, unspotted. 
Breast and throat (female) obscurely or distinctly spotted with 
dark. (Fig. 183.) Posterior surface of thigh somewhat spotted, 
not reticulated. Sides light, spotted with dark (perhaps reticu- 
lated); yellowish posteriorly. 


Measurements: Size large for a tree frog, i. e. length 2| inches 
or more. Head short compared with total length (f inches in 
frog of 2% inches.) Leg measurement to heel equals length of 
body forward to the eye (female). 

Structure: Skin of upper parts relatively smooth, set every- 
where with very fine tubercles. Underparts granulated, even on 
throat. (Fig. 183.) Eyes widely separated. Canthus rostralis 
unusually prominent, nostrils near their terminal point. Ear 
round, nearly as large as the eye. (Fig. 182.) Distinct fold of 
skin over the ear from eye to shoulder. A prominent fold across 
the breast. Disks of fingers and toes large. Webs of toes me- 
dium in size. Fingers slightly webbed. (Fig. 181.) Inner sole 
tubercle small; outer lacking. Tubercles under joints of fingers 
and toes fairly prominent. (Fig. 183.) A conspicuous tarsal 

Range: Smilisca baudinii is typical of Mexico and Central 
America. In Texas, it has been reported from Brownsville and 

This tree frog is one of the largest found in North America. 
It bears a superficial resemblance to Hyla versicolor, the Common 
Tree Frog, (see Figs. 134 to 142), but can always be recognized by 
definite characteristics, as follows: The head is more deeply angled 
along the line of the canthus rostralis. The body is relatively 
longer, the head narrower; the skin is less tubercular. The ear 
is much larger. The black patch on the shoulder and the white 
one encircling the arm at its insertion are peculiar to this species, 
while, on the other hand, this frog lacks the reticulations on the 
posterior surface of the femur characteristic of Hyla versicolor. 

Smilisca baudinii is like Hyla versicolor, also, in its sluggish 
tendencies. When it is aroused, it is a powerful leaper. 

Its colour changes are no less remarkable than is usual among 
the members of the Hylidae. It may change rapidly from a dark 
unspotted condition to a light unspotted condition, through me- 
dium shades displaying a conspicuous colour pattern. (Figs. 178 
to 1 80.) For instance, we remove it from its hiding-place under 
moss and leaves, and find it nearly black. Put it in bright light 
and watch. Slowly the colour becomes less dusky and the pattern 
begins to appear. It is most conspicuous in its outlines, which 




FIGS. 178 to 180 (1-3). Smi/isca baudinh (D and B). Brownsville, Texas. Length 2' a in. This tree fiog change 
from nearly black (i) to delicate light green or fawn colour (3) through phases of coloration in which the colour pattern 
is conspicuous (2). 

FIG. 181 (4). Very alert. Body flexible. Fingers with slight webs. 

FIG. 182 (5). Smilisca baudinii can be distinguished by the black spot on the shoulder and the white spot at the base 
of the arm. 

FIG. 183 (6). Structure study of underparts. (Enlarged) 


FIG. 184. Studies of the CRICKET FROG (Acris gryllus Le Conte) . Two frogs at the left natural size. The uppeR 
surfaces (frogs from Raleigh, N. C.) are tubercular and may be green or brown. The undersurfaces (frog from Hitchcock, 
Texas) are relatively smooth. When frightened this frog " plays dead " in water floating about (in the position indicated) 
like a stick or leaf. 


FIG. 185. Studies of the SWAMP TREE FROG (Chorofrhihis n. frnanim laird.) Raleigh, N. C. Color gray or 
brown with or without longitudinal stripes or series of spots. The SWAMP TREE FROG does little climbing because of 
the small size of the disks on fingers and toes ; also it is a poor swimmer because of the lack of larg-e webs. 

The Cricket Frog 

gradually become bright green lines. As the brown of the back- 
ground lightens, it seems to get an admixture of green not seen 
unless the frog is looked at closely. The green becomes more 
prominent, seeming to spread outward from the vivid green of 
the lines bounding the pattern of spots and bars, until the whole 
upper surface of the frog is green. The dark colour pattern be- 
comes lighter and lighter, the green continues to lighten until the 
frog is most beautiful in a dress of light yellow green with spots 
of gold or fawn colour. Within a few minutes more, the spots 
have wholly disappeared leaving the frog plain green. 

At other times the change from dark to light shows no green 
colour, but warm tones of brown instead. In this case the frog 
becomes a delicate unspotted fawn colour as the last stage in the 
series. Or the change may be effected displaying only soft shades 
of grey. In all dresses, the frog is an unusually attractive one in 
its colouration. In the change from dark to light, or the reverse, 
the ear and eye respond also to the given stimuli. The spot under 
the eye shows a considerable range of colouring; it may be white, 
or some shade of yellow or green. When light-coloured, the frog 
displays metallic reflections, especially on the forearms and tibiae. 
In this light dress, all spots and marks are obliterated, except the 
heavy black blotch over the arm, the white spots under the eye 
and around the base of the arm, and a few black spots or specks 
on the sides. These seem to be permanent parts of the colour 

Acris gryllus Le Conte. 1 


Colour: Variable and changeable. Usually some shade of 
brown, with a triangular dark mark between the eyes, a lighter 
band of colour in the midline of the back, and three obliquely- 

1 Cope says that there are two subspecies: A . g. gryllus, found from North Carolina to Florida, 
and A. g. crepitans, found north of this as far as New York. The two subspecies differ but slightly 
and the division is of doubtful validity. 

" Hinder foot less tarsus less than half the length of the head and body; dermal tubercles larger; 
posterior femoral stripes less distinct." (.4. g. crepitans.) 

" Hinder foot less tarsus longer than half head and body; dermal tubercles smaller; femoral 
stripes very distinct." (A. g. gryllus.) 



placed elongated spots on each side of the body. The spots and 
dorsal band may be green or red-brown, and are often outlined 
with light. There is a light line from the eye to the arm. Eye 
bright orange. Throat of male, in spring, yellow. Legs with three 
transverse bands, or irregularly spotted. Posterior face of femur 
conspicuously striped lengthwise. Underparts light-coloured. 
(See Fig. 184.) 

Measurements: Size extremely small, i. e. length f inch to 
i \ inches. Legs long; the length of the leg to the heel is greater 
than the length of head and body together. The tibia is longer 
than the femur. Foot scarcely longer than tibia. (See Fig. 184.) 

Structure; Skin rough and warty. Head pointed, long from 
eyes to end of muzzle. The ear is indistinct; one-third the 
diameter of the eye. There is a fold across the breast and a cur- 
ving fold over the ear from eye to shoulder. The foot is fully 
webbed. The inner and outer sole tubercles are both present, 
though small. The tubercles under the joints of the toes are 
fairly prominent. The disks on fingers and toes are so small 
that they are scarcely noticeable. Underparts granulated poste- 
riorly only. (See Fig. 184.) 

Range: The Cricket Frog is found in Eastern North America 
and through an extent of country including Florida, Texas, Kan- 
sas, and the Northwest. On the Atlantic coast it has not been 
reported north of southern New York and Connecticut. 

The most conspicuously active of our small tree frogs is the 
Cricket Frog, a tree frog with wholly terrestrial habits. When it 
is frightened, it jumps high and far, repeating these leaps in 
remarkably rapid succession. It catches its insect food 1 by 
giving these prodigious leaps, after the moving insect has been 
sighted at a distance. This power of activity, combined with its 
small size and protective colouration, allows it to withstand its 
enemies, the small snakes and lizards of the ground. The 
Cricket Frog stands in special need of protection. Unlike 
the greater number of tree frogs, it cannot climb shrubs and trees 
to get out of danger, because the disks of the fingers and toes are 

1 " Among other insects, Chlorops, crane-flies, Thyreocoris, Calocoris rapidus, numerous pupse 
and wingless Aphidida; and Orthoptera, have been determined from the contents of their stomachs." 
Bull. 111. State Lab. Nat. Hist. H. Carman. 


The Cricket Frog 

too minute. (Fig. 184.) The Cricket Frog remains on the ground 
throughout the year, preferably along the muddy margins of 
pools and rivers. It is diurnal in habit. If it is disturbed when 
near the water, it gives one or more of its remarkable leaps, swims 
vigorously a few strokes, using to good purpose the large webs 
between its toes, and is immediately buried at the bottom of 
the pond. Very soon, however, it is in activity again, leaping 
from one water-lily pad to another in search of insects. 

Cricket Frogs may attain a size of an inch or more, but most 
of those we see are very small three-fourths of an inch long, or 
even less. Specimens from Texas are usually considerably larger 
than specimens from Florida and the Eastern States. The small 
size and active habits of these frogs would seem to be the reasons 
why they have been named the Cricket Frog. However, the name 
is said not to refer to these characteristics, but to their song 
which bears a strong resemblance to the chirping of a black cricket. 
These tiny frogs sing in chorus in spring, and the isolated call may 
be heard during the summer. The sound resembles the rattling 
call of the Swamp Tree Frog but the notes are more rapidly given 
and are sharper in quality. The sound can be imitated by striking 
together two pebbles or two marbles, beginning slowly and con- 
tinuing more rapidly for thirty or forty strokes. The series of 
notes is sometimes broken into groups of three notes each. The 
imitation may be so good that the frogs will answer as will the 
Pickering's Hyla when its call is whistled. The Cricket Frogs 
sing constantly in captivity; they become especially enthusiastic 
when they are sprinkled with water. The call has not great 
carrying power, either when given alone or when given in chorus. 

The male Cricket Frog does the singing. The yellow throat 
is inflated enormously. Cricket Frogs are easily discovered 
while they are singing, because they do not, like], Pickering's Hyla 
hide under moss and grasses, but swell their throats while they are 
in full view on some water-plant or floating twig. 

This minute frog offers a marked difference from the ordinary 
frog form, in that the part of the head anterior to the eyes is 
unusually prolonged. Outside of this, the most striking peculiarity 
of the frog is its rough skin. The back usually has elongated 
wart-like elevations, which are large, relative to the small size of 
the frog. 

The range of variation in colour is great, and the changes are 


made rapidly. These frogs may have a colouring that is green, 
light red-brown, clay colour, or a brown so dark as to look black 
in general effect. The dark shades are taken on when the frogs aie 
in dark situations, and especially when the darkness is combined 
with a low temperature and moisture; the lighter colouration is 
assumed under the influences of bright light, high temperature, 
and dryness. 

The colour pattern of the Cricket Frog is a very definite one, 
but at any given time it may be present in whole or in part, or 
may not show at all. The pattern is made up of a triangular dark 
patch between the eyes (the point of the triangle directed back- 
ward), and three obliquely-placed oval patches of colour, one just 
back of the eye and the other two on the sides of the body. The 
triangle between the eyes may be outlined with light colour, either 
green, reddish, or yellowish, and this light colour is continued in a 
band from the backward-projecting point of the triangle along the 
line of the back, to the posterior end of the body. This band of 
colour is likely to be broad at its anterior and posterior ends and 
narrow at the middle of the back, in the region just between the 
two posterior oval colour patches of the sides. These patches of 
colour on the sides are also usually bordered with light. 

The Cricket Frogs breed late, although they are more or less 
active all winter. Their chorus is loudest in late April and early 
May, and it is then that the eggs are laid, attached to grass blades 
or leaves in the water. At this time the Swamp Tree Frog chorus 
has disbanded and the Pickering's Hyla is singing only at night. 

The development of this frog is less rapid than that of the 
Common Tree Frog, the Eastern Wood Frog, or the American 
Toad. The tadpoles 1 may be found in the water as late as August. 
The final transformation takes place in September. The young 
tree frogs as well as the older ones seek shelter from the 
cold under stones and leaves at the margins of their brook or 
marsh. However, they have no long-continued hibernation, but 
renew their activity whenever the sun is warm or the south winds 

1 The tadpoles of Acris may be identified, on close scrutiny, by the following characeristics: The 
upper lip bears two rows of horny teeth; the lower lip has the same number. The teeth are not notched 
at their tips. The border of the lower lip is not doubled in at the angles of the mouth. 

I 5 6 

The Swamp Tree Frog 

Cborophilus nigritus Le Conte. 


Colour; Changeable from a colour so dark that it is nearly 
black, to flesh colour. When light, the colouration may be bluish 
or ash grey, fawn colour, or even salmon or red in tone. Iris 
golden or copper-coloured. There is a dark stripe, which begins 
at the muzzle and extends through the eye and ear, and less 1 con- 
spicuously to the middle of the side of the body or beyond. This 
dark colour is bordered below by a light band which extends 
to a point back of the arm. The immediate edge of the jaw is 
dark. There may be a pattern of dark lines or spots on the back, 
head, and legs. This pattern consists typically of the following: 
i. Three longitudinal stripes (or series of spots). The middle 
one of the three occupies the midline of the back and may fork 
posteriorly. The two others extend backward parallel to this, 
from the posterior angles of the eyes. 2. A transverse band 
between the eyes .connected with the median stripe. 3. Cross- 
bands, or more or! less irregular lines of spots, on the hind legs. 
The underparts are yellowish white. The throat of the male is 
greenish yellow. (See Studies of Chorophilus, Fig. 185.) 

Measurements: Size small, i.e. length I inch, slightly more 
or less. Body relatively long and slender. Length of head 
variable. The greatest length is presented by the Western and 

1 Chorophilus nigritus Le Conte, Chorophilus Jeriarum Baird, Chorophilus triseriattts Wied, 
Cope, Batrachia of North America. 

The Chorophilus material is confusing, and insufficient to settle any problems. Chorophilus 
nigritus, jeriarum, and Iriseriatus were described originally as distinct species. O. P. Hay, in 1892, 
called all three one species, making the latter two subspecies of the nigritus form (see quotation fol- 
lowing). Dr. Stejneger of the National Museum has identified a subspecies seplentrionalis well repre- 
sented by forms from the extreme North. I have allowed jeriarum, triseriatus, and septcntrionalis 
to stand as subspecies of nigritus. However, the whole subject is in need of investigation and is open 
to revision. 

" Snout acuminate, width of head in length of head and body 2.8 to 3 times; heel reaching 
in front of orbit; size larger; colour leaden to fawn, with three rows of dark spots above, these some- 
times united in continuous bands. South Carolina to Mississippi." (Nigritus.) 

" Snout shorter; width of head in length 3-3.25 times; heel reaching to front of orbit; length 
of body in total length of hind leg from 1.4 to 1.7; colour ash or brownish, eyelids involved in median 
stripe, three parallel stripes above seldom interrupted. Eastern United States to Illinois. (Fcriarum.) 

" Snout drawn out; width of head in length 3.5 to 3.6 times; heel reaching only to tympanic 
disk; length of body in total length of hind leg 1.24 to 1.5 times; colour ash to brown, with three par- 
allel dark stripes, median often forked behind, spot on each eyelid. New Jersey to New Mexico and 
Idaho." (Triseriatus) O. P. Hay. 1892. 


Northern forms (triseriatus and septentrionalis), frogs from the 
South (nigritus) have a muzzle considerably drawn out, and those 
from the East (feriarum) are distinguished by relative shortness 
of the muzzle. Length of legs variable. In the southern and 
eastern forms (nigritus and feriarum Baird) the length of the leg 
to the heel equals or slightly exceeds the total length of head and 
body. In forms at the extreme North (septentrionalis), the legs 
are unusually short, the length to the heel not equalling the length 
of body forward to the ear. Those forms intermediate in distri- 
bution (triseriatus) have a leg measurement between these two. 

Structure: Skin of upper parts finely tubercular; underparts 
granular. The head is narrow and pointed. Nostrils much 
nearer to the tip of the muzzle than to the eye. Muzzle extends 
beyond the line of the jaw. Ear small, only one-fourth to one-half 
the diameter of the eye. Eyes widely separated. Long slender 
toes scarcely webbed. Disks on fingers and toes very small. Inner 
and outer sole tubercles small; subarticular tubercles present. 

Range: This member of the Hylidae has the widest distribu- 
tion of any member of its group in North America. It has been 
reported from every state, with the exception of those of northern 
New England, and Arizona, northern New York, Michigan, Cali- 
fornia, Oregon, and Washington. In Canada it extends quite to 
the Hudson Bay region. 

Pickering's Hyla is not the only tree frog that sings in ringing 
choruses in early spring. In the Southern States the Swamp Tree 
Frog (Fig. 185) is heard singing in late January and early February, 
usually before Pickering's Hyla has begun peeping. The chorus 
of the Swamp Tree Frog proceeds from ditches, marshes, and pools, 
especially in low lands. These tree frogs are partial to temporary 
pools which are wholly shut in from approach by tangled growths 
of shrubs and woody vines. From such sheltered, sunny places 
they sing throughout many of the days, and of course during the 
night, until late April, when the breeding season is over. 

The chorus is not so penetrating as that of the Pickering's 
Hyla, nor has it the ringing sleigh-bell character of the latter. It 
is soft, relatively low-pitched, and is said to have a soothing 
sound that .swells and recedes " like the waves of the seashore." 


The Swamp Tree Frog 

However, the chorus is loud enough, so that it is usually attributed 
to some large frog (Rana.} The single call is a somewhat musical 
rattle that lacks great carrying power. It is not shrill. (The 
pitch varies with the individual between E above middle C and C 
above.) There is a slight rise in pitch, an increase in emphasis, 
and the crepitations are not especially rapid. 1 The call conveys 
to the mind something of the idea of gentleness and comfort so 
distinctly given by the trill of the Common Tree Frog. The call 
is given by the male only; the inflated throat-pouch is large. 

The Swamp Tree Frog stays about the marshes throughout 
the summer and fall. We may sometimes hear the isolated call 
from marshy land during the hottest part of the summer, but on 
the whole, the species is rather silent except during the breeding 
season. These frogs seek refuge in the water when they are dis- 
turbed, but are very poor swimmers, and soon come back to the 
shore or crawl out on some miniature log. They are seldom seen 
after the spring months, owing to their minute size, their protec- 
tive colouration, and their silence. They feed upon flies, beetles, 
and various insects that frequent marshy places. 

The Swamp Tree Frog is slender and delicate in appearance. 
It has great power to change its colour between light and dark 
shades. It has a colour pattern that not only is variable but has 
the evanescent character common among the Hylidae. That is, 
each tree frog has its own distinctive pattern of dress we can 
scarcely find two alike among several dozens caught in the same 
locality and in addition to this great variation, the given pat- 
terns may be wholly absent at one time, faintly outlined at 
another and prominently marked a third, all within the space of 
an hour. 

The eggs are laid in shallow water in March or April. 2 They 
are in small bunches of from five to twenty eggs, and are attached 
to twigs and grasses in the water. Eggs laid March 22d hatched 
April 5th. The tadpoles, both at their time of hatching and later, 
are nearly black in colour. They can be distinguished from those 
of the Leopard Frog, which hatch at about the same time, by 

1 The call is not so loud nor so sharp in quality as that of the Cricket Frog (Acris); the crepi- 
tations are not so rapid. 

2 March 22, 1888, Chorophilus Iriseriattts . March 20, 1892, Chorophilus jeriarum. Irvington, 
Ind. O.P.Hay. 

March 13 and 24, 1890; February. 23, i8pr. Chorophilus triseriatus, Baltimore, Md. 




their more slender shape and by the more lateral position of the 
eyes. By April 2oth the legs are budded. The tadpoles are now 
one-half inch long, are black in colour, finely dotted with gold, and 
with the underparts very brilliantly copper-tinted. 1 ' 

The final transformations take place from May 26th to June 
1 2th, when the tadpole is slightly over an inch long.* The front 
legs appear, the toes furnished with their small disks. The stripes 
on the back do not appear until the creatures are actually on the 
point of leaving the water. Since the feet are so slightly webbed, 
the young frogs are very poor swimmers and are drowned unless 
they have opportunity to leave the water. 

The young frogs are extremely delicate and timid. They 
look like the full-grown tree frogs, except that they are only one- 
half inch in length. They hide at once under convenient leaves, 
sticks, and stones about their marsh. 

The genus ChoropMus is not found outside of the American 
region. It represents a tree frog that has suffered much retro- 
gression in the structures for arboreal and aquatic life. The 
adhesive disks are ineffective because of their small size, and the 
toes are scarcely webbed. The species nigritus presents great 
variation in the different parts of the country. So great is the 
variation that four forms are easily distinguished, namely: 
nigritus Le Conte of the Southeast, feriarum Baird of the 
East, triseriatus Wied of the West and Southwest, and septen- 
trionalis Stejneger, found at the extreme North, in the middle part 
of the continent (Manitoba and the Hudson Bay region). Nigri- 
tus and feriarum differ mainly in the relative lengths of the head. 
The great difference between these two forms and the other two 
(namely, triseriatus and septentrionalis) lies in the measurement 
of the hind legs; those at the South and East have legs that meas- 
ure the longest, those at the North show an unusually short leg 
measurement, and triseriatus is intermediate in this characteristic. 

1 These tadpoles may be identified by a careful examination of the mouth; the upper lip has 
two rows of teeth, the lower has three. The teeth are notched at their tips. The border of the lower 
lip is not doubled in at the angles of the mouth. 

* The main facts of the development are from the account by O. P. Hay (Amer. Nat., vol. 23). 


Chorophilus Ornatus 



Colour : Upper parts olive, or dove-gray, or reddish brown. 
A black band extends from the end of the muzzle on each side 
through the eye and the ear, backward to the shoulder, and con- 
tinues (more or less broken into spots) to the thigh. A light 
blotch on the side of the head above the dark margin of the jaw. 
There may or may not be elongated spots of dark brown on the 
back, a triangular spot between the eyes and smaller spots on sides 
and posterior back. These dark spots, when present, may or may 
not be margined with light. Undersurfaces light, unspotted, ex- 
cept for a few flecks of dark on the throat. Small yellow spots 
on the posterior sides, concealed by the thighs. Posterior femur 
spotted with yellow. 

Measurements: Size small, i. e. length if inches. Head 
medium in length; its measurements contained slightly more than 
three times in total measurement. Leg short; leg measurement to 
heel equals length of body forward to ear. Tibia not longer than 

Structure: Skin smooth above, granulated below, less on 
throat region. Muzzle rounded, extending slightly beyond the 
line of the jaw. Canthus rostralis rounded. Ear smaller than 
eye (half diameter). Arms short and stout. Fingers short, dilata- 
tions minute. Foot with short web and a small inner sole tubercle. 

Range: Reported from Texas (Helotes and Dallas) and 
Florida (Green Cove Springs) 

This frog is said to live on land, in relatively dry places, such 
as corn-fields. That it shuns bodies of water except during the 
breeding season might be judged from the smallness of the webs 
on its feet. 


The description given for Cboropbilus ornatus Holbrook ap- 
plies almost equally here, judging from the type specimens in the 

1 See Chorofhihis occ'dtntalis., p. 161. 



National Museum. Cope, in " Batrachia of North America," 
says, " From the Chorophilus ornatus the Chorophilus occidentalis 
differs in colour entirely (it is described as chestnut instead of 
grey); the head is more acute and the cleft of the mouth deeper; 
the legs are longer and the granulation finer." 1 

Chorophilus occidentalis is reported from Georgia (Rice- 
borough, Liberty County, Allapaha), Florida (Jacksonville), 
Mississippi (Bay St. Louis), and Texas (Dallas). 



Colour: Chestnut-brown, with an obscure dorsal stripe of 
darker colour. This stripe extends from the end of the muzzle 
to the posterior back, forking posteriorly. There is a stripe on 
each side of this, and a more pronounced one below along the 
side of the head, through the eyes and ears and along the sides. 
Upper jaw edged with white; the white line extends backward 
to a point beyond the shoulder. Outer edge of tibia occupied 
by a light line set off by darker colour above. Below, yellowish, 
with obscure spots on breast and throat. 

Measurements: Size small, i.e. length i inch or less. Legs 
long, length to heel equalling or exceeding the total length of 
the frog. Tibia longer than femur. 

Structure: Skin smooth. Head pointed; eyes large; ear 
small, less than half diameter of eye. 

Range: Specimens are from Charleston, South Carolina. 

This species is said to be the smallest among North American 
Hylas. Its unusual characteristics seem to be the pointed jaw, 
the long legs, and the light line along the outer edgejDf the tibia. 
The colour pattern evidently agrees with that of Chorophilus 

These tree frogs are reported to frequent damp places, such 
as the vicinity of stagnant pools. They are very active, cover- 
ing two feet or more at a single leap. The rich brown of the upper 
surfaces has great metallic lustre. 

1 Although these differences are not marked in the^type specimens in their present condition, 
they will have to be relied upon until further investigation is made upon fresh material. 




Colour : Brownish olive or grey, with closely set dark brown 
spots. Spots rounded, those on the head and anterior and middle 
back may be elongated transversely. Colour surrounding the 
elongated spots of the top of the head bright salmon-pink. The 
bright colour of the middle back extends at right and left on the 
sides, and is conspicuous also on the elbows, so that there is pro- 
duced the effect of a pink band across the middle of the back. 
Many small irregular dark spots on the front and sides of the 
head; rounded dark spots on the posterior back. One especially 
conspicuous dark spot under the eye widens downward to the line 
of the jaw. Arms and legs irregularly barred and spotted with 
dark. Iris bronze. Underparts greyish white, somewhat spotted 
along the jaw and on the breast. (See Colour Plate 1 1.) 

Measurements: Size relatively large, i. e. length may reach 
3^ inches. Head relatively long, its length contained in total 
length two and a half times. Head wider than long. Leg not 
long; its length to the heel equals the length of the body forward 
to the ear or the eye. (Fig. 188.) Tibia as long as femur. 
Forearm unusually long. (Fig. 187.) Length of fingers in order 
from the shortest, 2-1-4-3. Length of toes from the shortest, 

Structure: Smooth everywhere; skin of extremely fine tex- 
ture. Jaw acuminate rounded ; head broad, with large eyes widely 
separated. (Fig. 188.) Truncate muzzle extends somewhat be- 
yond the line of the jaw. Canthus rostralis prominent; long 
converging lines extend forward to the end of the muzzle. (Fig. 
1 86.) Nostrils terminal or nearly so. Vomerine teeth oblique, 
between the large internal nostrils. Pupil horizontal. Ear 
distinct; vertically oval; large (its horizontal diameter slightly 
more than half the diameter of the eye) ; and very near the line 
of the jaw. Slight fold of skin from eye over ear to shoulder. 

1 Refer to pp. 7. 9 and 45. 



Legs and arms slender. Fingers and toes long and slender. Two 
sole tubercles, the outer nearly as large as the inner. Conspic- 
uous smaller tubercles on sole and under joints. Ends of fingers 
and toes blunt, with T-shaped disks. (See Fig. 186 to 188.) 
Range: Found at Helotes, Texas (near San Antonio). 

This smooth frog-like batrachian attains a surprisingly large 
size for one so delicately built. The arms and legs are peculiarly 
slender, and look out of proportion when seen on a frog three and 
a half inches long. 

In fact, Litbodytes latrans is a very curious-looking creature. 
It rests on hands and feet only, the tarsus and other parts of the 
legs as well as the body being kept elevated some distance above 
the ground. If its tracks could be seen, they would show im- 
pressions of the soles and long toes, of the palms and long fingers 
only. It moves about slowly and seriously in this stilted fashion, 
a grotesque little creature indeed. Its grotesqueness is enhanced 
by the transversely elongated spots of the back, set in their light 
pink back- ground like two staring eyes. 

This species lives in fissures of the limestone cliffs along 
the borders of the first plateau region of Texas. The method 
of proceeding with body elevated, instead of dragged on the 
ground, is perhaps correlated with its habit of living among the 
limestone rocks. 

It is said to be very noisy after rains. The cry reminds one 
of a dog's bark, and when several are calling, the noise produced 
is loud enough to make the rocks resound. 



Colour: " Reddish brown. The loreal region, a band between 
the eyes, one above the tympanum, and some dorsal spots, darker. 
Beneath, light brownish." 

Measurements: Size small, i. e. length little over one inch. 
Head longer than broad. Leg measurement to heel equals body 
measurement forward to the eye. 

Structure: Skin smooth above and below. Sides roughened. 




















^^^^^^^^^w -l^^ 













FIGS. 189 to 192 (i to 4) The NARROW-MOUTHED TOAD, (riigystoma carolhiense Holbrook.) Raleigh, N. C. 
Length i'j in. The head is small and pointed. There is a fold of skin across the head back of the eyes. The feet 
are ii'it \vrliK-d. I For coloration see Colour Plate II.) 

FIG. 193 (5). A'cTJ'""'" /(.iv'-v C.iiard. Brownsville, Texas. Length i in. I See pajje 168.) 

Syrrophus Marnockii 

Lateral outlines of head curved. Muzzle truncate at end. There 
is a throat vocal pouch. Ear one-half the diameter of the eye. 
Sole and palm tubercles, two in number in each case. T-shaped 
disks at ends of fingers and toes small. 

Range: Key West, Florida. A wanderer from Cuba. 



Colour: "Light purplish-brown, spotted with rather small, 
closely placed, and broadly defined dark spots. Spots less dis- 
tinct on the head." Legs light, cross-banded with dark. Pos- 
terior femur brown, with a few light spots. Underparts light, 

Measurements: Size small, i. e. length i inches. Head long. 
Legs unusually short, length to heel scarcely equalling length of 
body forward to ear. 

Structure: Skin smooth. Head acuminate rounded. Muzzle 
flat, long in front of the eyes, and projecting slightly beyond the 
line of the jaw. Space between eyes much greater than width 
of eyelid. Ear round, about half the diameter of the eye. Arms 
and legs slender. Fingers and toes blunt at the ends, with mod- 
erate sized T-shaped disks. Tubercles under the joints large. 

Range: The only specimens known are from Helotes, Texas. 




Engystoma carolinense Holbrook 


Colour; General colour may be black, brown, or grey. Usu- 
ally the head and two oblique bands extending from the eyes 
to the posterior part of the body are bright brown (red or orange 
in tone). These brown bands are bordered with black above. 
The space on the back between these bands (narrow in front, 
broad posteriorly) is grey or dull brown, speckled with black. 
Sides of head, neck and body grey, finely spotted with black. 
Arms and legs bright brown. Leg crossed by two closely- 
placed narrow black bands, or spotted irregularly with black. 
Underparts lighter than sides, although completely sprinkled with 
small black spots. Throat of male black. (For colouration, see 
Colour Plate II and Figs. 189 to 192.) 

Measurements: Very small, i. e. length of male i to \\ inches; 
female somewhat larger. Legs short, tibia slightly longer than 
femur. (Fig. 190.) Length of leg to heel not exceeding length 
of body forward to arm insertion. 

Structure: Body broad, head pointed, obtuse at the end 
of the muzzle and extremely small. The upper jaw projects 
over the lower. The angles of the jaw are under the posterior 
part of the eye. Skin relatively smooth, or with minute tuber- 
cles distributed evenly over head, back, and legs. (Fig. 192.) 
A fold of skin extends across the head back of the eyes. 
(Fig. 192.) Eyes small and bead-like. Ear not visible. Arms 
slender; legs stout. Toes slender, not webbed. Fourth toe con- 
spicuously longer than the others. Inner sole tubercle small; 
outer lacking. (Fig. 189.) Tubercles under toe and finger-joints 
relatively conspicuous. 

Range: South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida westward to 
western Texas, northward into Missouri and southern Illinois. 2 

1 Refer to pp. 8, 10 and 48. 

a Micanopy, Clarcona, Lake Jessup, Little Sarasota Bay, Fla.; Charleston, S. C.; Raleigh, 
N. C.; Columbus and Riceborough, Ga.; New Madrid, Mo.; Dallas, San Antonio, Houston, Helotes, 
Fort Concho, and Hitchcock, Tex 


The Narrow-Mouthed Toad 

Members of the Salientia, popularly called frogs and toads, 
look remarkably alike; so much alike, that it requires fine dis- 
crimination to distinguish them one from another. Engystoma 
carolinense looks very different from the typical frog or toad. Its 
tiny head with dark bead-like eyes seems wholly out of proportion 
to its relatively large, squat body. (Figs. 18910 192.) At first 
sight the creature is grotesque. It seems especially so when we 
take it up in our hands and find that the loose skin of the shoulders 
and body back of the head-fold pushes forward far over the head, 
making the creature resemble a turtle for the moment. 

Engystoma is very alert and active, and although its legs are 
short, it is very difficult to catch. It proceeds by short jumps, 
given in surprisingly rapid succession. 

It has been heard in September calling from ditches border- 
ing the streets of Houston and San Antonio, Texas. 1 It has been 
found under old logs and under leaves in moist places in Florida. 2 
At Raleigh, North Carolina, it begins the breeding season in May 
and continues it until August. 3 During this time it is found in 
pools of stagnant water, temporary or otherwise. It floats at the 
surface, with only the tip of its pointed head out of the water, so 
that on the approach of danger it can disappear beneath without 
leaving a ripple on the surface. 

Engystoma is wholly nocturnal in habit. The Engystoma 
chorus is loudest at the time when the choruses of the American 
Toad and Spring Peeper (Pickering's Hyld) are diminishing some- 
what in intensity when these latter are singing at night only, 
instead of both day and night. Outside of the breeding season, 
Engystoma is seldom found, although one is occasionally discovered 
by chance under a dead log or a stone. 

The isolated call sounds remarkably like the sound made by 
an electric buzzer. It is "short, unmusical, and is vibrated very 
rapidly. It has been compared to the song of the American Toad, 
but when heard near at hand, seems as different as possible. In- 
stead of being a sweet, tremulous note, it is a decided buzz, harsh 
and metallic in quality. Engystoma carolinense, when kept in 

1 Bulletin 20, U. S. Nat. Museum. " On the Zoological Position of Texas." E. D. Cope, 1880. 

2 Notes on [Reptiles and Batrachians Collected in Florida in 1893 and 1893. E. Loennberg. 
Proc. Nat. Museum, Vol. XVII. 

Also N. A. Herpetology, Holbrook. 

3 C. S. Brimley, Raleigh, N. C., 1905. 

I6 7 


captivity, sings almost continually. A throat-pouch which 
extends backward to a line between the points of the arm inser- 
tionsis inflated during the call. The chorus in full swing is 
said to be much louder than that of the Cricket Frog (Acris 
gryllus) or of the Swamp Tree Frog (Choropbilus n. feriarum). 
That this batrachian is found in southern Illinois is an inter- 
esting fact, as it marks Illinois as part of a southern zoological 
region, very different from other places of the same latitude. 


Engystoma texense Girard 

Colour: Grey, greenish or brownish, speckled and spotted 
irregularly with black. Spots show a tendency to arrangement 
in lines running lengthwise of the back. Tibia crossed by two 
narrow black bands placed close together. (See Fig. 193.) Un- 
derparts covered with light-coloured transparent skin, which 
shows the dark organs through. Throat and breast obscurely 
spotted with brown. 

Measurements: Size small, i. e. length I inch or slightly over. 
Distance from tip of muzzle to shoulder one-third total length, and 
greater than corresponding measurement in Engystoma car- 
olinense. Legs relatively short. Tibia longer than femur. 

Structure: Skin smooth. Fold of skin back of eyes relatively 
inconspicuous. Canthus rostralis prominent. Three carpal tu- 
bercles. Inner sole tubercle small; outer lacking. 

Range: Rio Seco, Texas, is the type locality. Also reported 
from San Diego and Brownsville, Texas. 

This active little batrachian was found in 1859.* It was 
described by Girard and given the specific name texense. Later 
it was grouped with Engystoma carolinense by Cope/ It differs 
from the Carolina Engystoma in many respects. It is smooth- 
skinned, instead of tubercular. It has a narrower and more 
pointed head, a more slender body, and shorter legs. (See Fig. 

1 Capt. John Pope. 

* Probably owing to the poor condition of the type specimen in the National Museum. 

1 68 

Hypopachus Cuneus 

193.) The distance from the tip of the muzzle to the shoulder is 
proportionately greater than in Engysloma carolinense. The 
canthus rostralis is more prominent. The colouration is dull 
greenish or gray, instead of warm shades of brown. 

Engystoma texense was found during late June, 1905, in rela- 
tively large numbers at Brownsville, Texas. It was breeding 
in the same pools with Scapbiopus coucbii and Hypopachus 



Colour: Brown, of greenish, yellowish, or greyish tone. There 
may be a broad band of brighter brown extending from the eye 
backward. This oblique band is bordered above and below by 
wavy lines of black. There is a black line below the angle of the 
canthus rostrajis. A white band bordered with black passes 
obliquely downward from under the eye to a point in front of and 
below the arm insertion. There is much bright dark red on the 
femur, and some touches of it on the tibia, and on the body where 
it lies against the femur. Many black spots at the posterior end 
of the body and along the concealed part of the femur. Legs 
banded with black. (There are usually two bands placed close 
together.) An orange-yellow or white thread line along the 
middle of the back from the muzzle to the posterior end of the 
body. The lower sides are grey. The underparts are light, ob- 
scurely mottled with dark. Throat closely speckled with black. 
(For colouration, see Colour Plate II and Figs. 194 to 196.) 

Measurements: Size small, i. e. length of female i^ inches, 
male smaller. Head small and short, its length (to fold) contained 
about eight times in total length. Legs short; length to heel 
equals length of body forward to the shoulder. 

Structure: Body large and squat. Fold across head behind 
the eyes conspicuous, as is also the one from the eye to the 
shoulder. There is a fold across the breast from arm to arm. Ear 
not visible. Skin smooth, loose, and leathery on the back. The 
toes and fingers are slender. Feet with very short webs. (Fig. 
195.) Tubercles under joints of toes prominent. Inner and outer 
sole tubercles large, each with a cutting edge. 



Range: As far as known, reported only from San Diego and 
Brownsville, Texas. Abundant where found. 

Hypopaclus cuneus is a bright-coloured, alert little batrachian 
that must be much more widely distributed than is known at 
present. At Brownsville, it has been found in shallow water in 
late June after heavy rains, at the same time that Scapbiopus 
couchii came from its underground burrow to deposit its eggs. 
Whenever this batrachian has been found, it has beenin abund- 
ance, so that there was no difficulty in catching dozens of the 
diminutive creatures. 

The skin of the back is loose and leathery, so that it can be 
thrust in a fold far forward, making the head look like a turtle's 
pointed head protruding from its shell. This frog shows a pattern 
of yellowish or whitish thread lines, corresponding exactly to the 
lines along which the skin naturally splits during the moulting. 
Not only is there the line along the middle of the head and back 
but there is a similar one along the midline of the ventral surface 
from the lower jaw to a point of meeting posteriorly with the line 
of the back. Branches from this main line extend along the 
middle of the posterior face of the femur to the tibia, along 
the back edge of the tibia to the heel, over this and out on 
the foot to a point just above the sole tubercles, where it is lost 
to the naked eye. There are also two branches opposite each 
other on the breast; they extend outward and forward to the 
humerus, thence out along the humerus and lower arm on to 
the hand. These lines may be obscure or very conspicuous. 
(Fig. 196.) 

The habits and life history of Hypopaclus cuneus are not on 


















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The LEOPARD FROG lives in meadows and fields adjacent to brooks and marshes 


Rana pipiens Shreber 3 

Colour: Green, grey or brown, with somewhat rapid change 
from one colour to the other. Two irregular rows of rounded dark 
spots between the yellowish or bronze lateral folds. Two still 
more irregular rows of spots below the lateral folds on each side. 
Spots usually bordered conspicuously with lighter colour. Brown 
bands or disconnected spots on the legs. The underparts are 
white, possibly yellowish. (See Colour Plates XI and XII.) 

Measurements: Size medium to large, i. e. male 3^ inches; 
female larger. Body relatively slender. Head more or less 
pointed, its length contained in whole length of frog from three 
to three and a half times. Legs long, length to heel equal to 
length of head and body. Ear round, about two-thirds as large 
as eye. 

Structure: Skin relatively smooth or somewhat tubercular. 
Line from nostril to eye prominent. Broad, flattened lateral 
folds are conspicuous. Two (or four) more or less broken folds of 
skin extend lengthwise along the back between the lateral folds. 
(Fig. 217.) Webs deeply indented. Tubercles under joints of 
toes rather prominent. Inner sole tubercle small ; no outer tuber- 
cle. (Fig. 198.) 

1 Refer to pp. 8, n and 48. 

a The Leopard Frog is called "Spring Frog" in Florida and "Grass Frog" in New York. 

8 Rana pipiens Shreber is Rana virescens Kalm (Cope) and Rana virescens brachycephala 
Cope ("Batrachia of North America "). It has not been possible, in living material obtained from 
New England, New York, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Colorado, Texas, and Arizona, to make 
a distinction into these subspecies. The variation of the frogs is remarkable, but no fundamental 
characteristic (such as proportionate length of head and body, leg measurement, etc.) remains stable 
when a large series of frogs from adjoining districts are examined. Eastern specimens are likely to be 
green or brown, Southern and Western specimens are more often grey. Eastern frogs, especially 
those that frequent the salt marshes of the coast, are more smooth-skinned and slender, and on the 
whole, more delicately moulded, while Southern and Western specimens are much more robust in 
build, have a rougher skin, and attain a larger size. The material is very confusing. With a smaller 
series, the subspecies might have been granted. With a still more complete series, it is possible that 
two or three intergrading varieties of the species Pipiens could be recognized. Much systematic 
study of such a series of frogs, combined with knowledge of their habits and life histories, could 
alone produce any definite conclusion in the matter. 



Range: The Leopard Frog is the most common frog in 
North America, east of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. It is well- 
known in Florida; it is the edible frog in Texas; it is the only 
frog found between the eastern part of the Great Plains and the 
Sierra Nevada Mountains. 

The Leopard Frog is one of the most beautiful in colouring of 
all our common frogs. It is better known than others, not only 
because of its wider distribution and greater numbers, but because 
it has the habit of going considerable distances from its pond, or 
marsh. It is the frog met with when we walk across country, 
through fields and orchards. As we wander slowly through the 
meadow these frogs leap out from underfoot. They make long, 
low leaps, seldom appearing above the clovers and grasses. They 
are not satisfied with one jump for safety, but give three or four in 
succession, each probably in a somewhat different direction. 

If we walk still more slowly and watch very carefully, we are 
likely to catch a glimpse of a spotted back and of squirted water 
as an especially large one makes a flying leap. If we try to catch 
a large one and meet with any success, we discover that this habit 
of squirting water as though into the face of an enemy may 
sometimes result in protection to the frog, since the water is dis- 
agreeable in odour. 

Our greatest effort, however, comes in keeping a Leopard 
Frog, after the chase is over and when we have him in our very 
grasp. The slippery skin, the slender body, and strong hind legs 
serve him in just such emergencies. He gives most unexpected 
and vigorous jerks of the body to free himself. However, if he 
finds his efforts unavailing, and feels a firm hand about the pos- 
terior part of his body and the strong thighs, he stops struggling and 
begins to expostulate in a very decided but musical voice. We 
watch and listen in astonishment and admiration. Who knew 
that a frog could talk in so charming a fashion? Indeed, the 
sound is so musical, that we might almost say he sings. The vocal 
pouches swell into rounded projections behind and under the ears; 
they distend and collapse alternately as the musical notes are 

The vocal pouches are elongated in shape, extending obliquely 



THE LEOPARD FROG [Rana pipiens Shreber]. Male 
(left) and female (right). Ithaca, N. Y. The Leopard Frog may be 
green or brown. It has rounded dark spots outlined with light. 




The Common Leopard Frog 

above the arm. They start from a point somewhat below the jaw 
in front, and extend upward on the sides of the frog, nearly or 
quite to the lateral fold. (See Fig. 9, p. 20). When the pouch 
collapses, the skin is left wrinkled and baggy in the given region. 
(Colour Plate XI, male frog.) The glandular band extending 
backward over the shoulder, marks the margin of a loose, drooping 
fold of skin. The sound produced is a soft guttural in quality, low- 
pitched (about E, an octave below E of the first line), and vibrant, 

The female has a voice, also, but it is less loud and vigorous. 
There is no disterttion of skin over the arm region. 

The Leopard Frog makes a most interesting pet to keep for a 
few days in a small moss-garden enclosed with wire. He is very 
handsome and alert-looking. He eats worms and insects of all 
kinds. He will not take fish or other food from under water. It 
is reported that the Leopard Frog sometimes eats snails. He 
sings vigorously whenever handled, but, more curious still, he 
sings in low purring tones when water is poured gently on his 
back. He evidently likes it, and gives the same response that 
the cat gives when its fur is stroked. 

The Leopard Frog (Fig. 197) is generally between three and 
four inches in length. The white throat is in constant rhythmic 
motion. The frog breathes just as the toad 1 does, though less 
rapidly. The usual colour of the Leopard Frog of the eastern 
United States is metallic green above and pearly white below, 
sometimes becoming yellowish on the posterior portion. There 
are two prominent bronze or yellow folds ot skin extending almost 
parallel to each other from the eyes to the posterior end of the 
body. (Figs. 197, 212, and 217.) Between the lateral folds are two 
rows of rounded olive-green or brown spots, each circled by a 
narrow line of yellow or white. Below the folds along each side 
of the body there are two irregular rows of similar spots. There 
is a dark spot above each eye, and there may be a dark spot in 
front of the eyes. (Figs. 200 and 217.) The eye itself is medium 
in size, with a wide orange-gold iris and a black pupil. A promi- 
nent black band passes lengthwise through the iris. There is a 
yellow or bronze stripe, which passes from the end of the muzzle 
to the shoulder, and another shorter one from the nostril to the eye. 
The upper jaw, which protrudes over the lower, is white, bordered 

1 For breathing of the toad, see p. 76. 


above by black (which may be broken into spots). The black, in 
turn, has above it a yellowish glandular fold, which extends back- 
ward to the shoulder. There are two well-marked folds of skin 
between the bright-coloured lateral folds. There may be three or 
four dark cross-bands on the thigh, that are continuous (when the 
leg is folded) with similar bands on the lower leg and foot. 

This description of colour is generally true, although there is 
often great divergence from it. As we walk across the meadows 
or skirt the marshes in August, hearing the summer song of the 
meadow-grasshoppers in the tall sedges and grasses, we can 
scarcely find two Leopard Frogs that look alike in details. The 
variation in the colour and pattern of their dress is pronounced. 

The ground colour may be brown, or light grey, or green, 
either light and metallic or very dark. The space between the 
lateral folds may be green and the space below brown. The folds 
may be light golden-yellow or dark bronze. The spots may be 
ringed with green when the background is brown. The greatest 
variety appears in the spots and their arrangement. They may 
be small and round, or larger and irregular. They may be in two 
distinct rows, or sometimes in three, or even grown together so 
as to form irregular cross-bands between the lateral folds. We 
may find a frog that has the spots of one row distinct and those of 
the others so blended as to form a band running lengthwise along 
the back. There may or may not be a spot on the end of the 
muzzle in front of the eyes. The spots on the sides may encroach 
on the lateral folds. Finally, the cross-bands on the thigh may be 
incomplete or broken into irregular spots. There is likely to be 
an irregular black band extending upward on the lower arm from 
the base of the fifth finger. There may be a similar black band on 
the sole of the foot from the fourth and fifth toes to the heel. 
The female usually has some grey or brown on the under surface. 
The colour of the iris changes under different light conditions. 
In hibernation, the orange-gold becomes darker and darker until 
the iris can scarcely be distinguished from the black pupil, but 
under the influence of strong light the bright metallic colour 

The frog shown at the left in Fig. 197 is a typical specimen. 
This frog is one that was found at the bottom of the fifteen-foot 
entrance of a drive-well. It was impossible to tell how long 
he had been a prisoner, but something had tamed the poor crea- 


The Common Leopard Frog 

ture remarkably. He was grateful for any attention in the 
way of worms or grasshoppers, and sang and talked most confid- 
ingly when taken in the hand or when showered with water. 
Soon after being taken from his prison, and before he had been 
released to the good hunting-fields near at hand, he moulted 
the skin. The process is exactly like that described for the 
toad (pp. 73-75). The frog sits up very high, with his back greatly 
humped. After the skin is split along the back of the head, he 
uses the front feet to get it from over the eyes, with movements 
like those of a cat when washing over its ears. He looks es- 
pecially ludicrous when removing the hind legs from their sheath- 
ing coats, because of the length of the legs. They are drawn 
forward and then stretched back again and again during the 

The Leopard Frogs are among the first of our frogs to come 
from their hibernation in the spring. 1 The eggs are usually laid 
in March. 2 The shallow water of marshes and of pond and lake 
margins resounds with their voices during the latter half of 
March and in early April, just when the bluebirds are deciding 
which cozy hole in the old apple-tree will make the best home 
for a family. Even when at the height of its power, the in- 
dividual voice is not loud, although it is musical. The voice 
defies description in terms of familiar sounds. It has lately 
been described as a " characteristic snoring croak or rattle." 

Let us go to the marsh or pond in late March or early April. 
It is a warm, sunny forenoon. The maroon hoods and grey, 
pointed leaf-buds of the skunk-cabbage are picturesque among 

The maroon hoods of the skunk-cabbage are picturesque among moss and 
dead leaves at the time when the eggs of the Leopard Frog are laid. 

1 The wood frogs are likely to precede them. 

* March 25, April 5, 1890. R. virescens. T. H. Morgan.^ Baltimore, Md. 

March 22, April i, 1897. R. virescens. R. G. Harrison. 

" The Leopard Frog breeds in March." C. S. Brimley, Raleigh, N. C. 



the moss and dead leaves. The water presents a rather deso- 
late expanse, for it is too early for the appearance of much green. 
All seems silent as we approach. We walk on the firm foun- 
dation made by tangled sweet flag roots until we are at the very 
edge of the water. As we listen and watch, low, moaning, or 
grunting sounds proceed from everywhere about us. The pond 
is filled with Leopard Frogs. We can see their heads, with the 
bright eyes and distended ear-like vocal pouches protruding 
above the water. It is impossible to make one hear these talk- 
ing voices unless he is already familiar with them. To say that 
the sound is low-pitched, throaty, and vibrant does not bring it 
to one's ears. The sounds are produced both by the male and by 
the female. Either will make the sounds when taken into the 

The eggs are laid in masses in the shallow water. They 
may be attached to sticks and grasses or left free in the water. 
Those drawn and described were laid on the morning of April 
9th by a frog brought from the pond two days previous. They 
were attached to a fern leaf that bent over the water. The 
whole laying was in one mass about five inches in diameter and 
two and a half inches thick, which contained between five thousand 
and six thousand eggs. Each egg is very small (i mm. in 
diameter) and velvety black in colour. The eggs are so close 
together that the entire mass is dark-coloured, notwithstanding 
the fact that each is surrounded by a perfectly transparent 
sphere of gelatinous substance (see Figs. 246 and 247) three 
concentric spheres, in fact. This substance is so transparent 
that it does not prevent our watching the process of develop- 
ment. If we look closely at the eggs, we discover that they 
are black above only, and that the lower side about one- 
third of the entire surface is creamy white in colour. The 
egg contains not only the germ of the future frog, but yolk for 
its growth. The white lower part of the egg consists wholly 
of this food yolk. 

Development begins within two or three hours after the 
eggs are laid. To the naked eye the change seems slight for the 
first two days. It begins by the egg becoming slightly larger. 
The black spreads until the visible white portion becomes no 
larger than a pin-point. However, if we increase the power of 
our eyes ever so little by the use of a magnifying-glass of any 




FIG. 197. LEOPARD FROGS (Raiia pipiens Shreher). The left is from Minnesota, the right from Michigan, 

FIG. 198. Structure study of foot and hand of Rana pipiens Shreber. Ithaca, N. Y. 

FIG. 199. YOUNG LEOPARD FROGS in July. The first has the typical spotted dress. The second is bronze with a 
few spots on the legs. The third is metallic green and unspotted. White Bear Lake, Minnesota. 



FIG. 200. The COMMON LEOPARD FROG is wild when young; alert, active and strong when fullgrown. In Texas 
it attains a larger size than does this species in other parts of North America. The lateral folds are conspicuous ; the skin 
may be rough with elongated warts. 

FIG. 201. The COMMON LEOPARD FROG (Kana pipieni, Shreber). Brownsville, Texas Length 4^ i- Light 
greyish brown with dark brown spots. 

The Common Leopard Frog 

kind, we can see something more of the marvellous changes 
that have begun and will continue from the vital force of the 
life within until the egg has become a frog in miniature. If 
we examine the eggs with a lens very soon after they are laid, 
we can see that a groove appears in the midline at the top of 
each. It increases in length until it encircles the egg. The 
partition of which this is the external evidence divides the egg 
into two equal parts. (Fig. 202.) Many scientists believe that 
these correspond to what will be the right and the left side of the 
young frog. This groove is visible to the naked eye, though 
somewhat difficult to see. A second groove appears at right 
angles to the first and rapidly encircles the egg until the latter is 
divided into four nearly equal parts. (Fig. 203.) The next 
division is made by a horizontal partition instead of a verti- 
cal. This partition and its external groove are somewhat 
above the centre of the egg, so that the upper portion is smaller 
than the lower. From this time on the division is more rapid 
and more irregular. It is possible to follow it somewhat 
farther with just a hand-lens, but soon the parts (cells) be- 
come too small and too many to be distinguished. (Fig. 204.) 

Fig. 204. Series of diagrams to show cleavage of the frog's egg. The second 
very nearly corresponds to Fig. 202. The third represents Fig. 203. The last is a 
stage just preceding that of Fig. 205, in which the cells are too small to be seen. 
(After Ecker.) 

If we look carefully at the eggs on the afternoon of the 
second day after they are laid, we shall see a dark line of crescent 
shape' on one side, just below the middle (equator). (Fig. 205.) 
Twelve hours later the crescent has become a circle. The black 



surface of the egg seems to have spread quite to the edges of 
this circle. The circle encloses a mass of white yolk, which pro- 
trudes like a small cushion. 1 (Fig. 206, A.) Throughout the 
development, our knowledge will be limited to what we can see 
on the outside. We can know very little, or nothing, about the 
rapid and wonderful happenings within. However, certain 
external changes will indicate internal conditions. This circle 
with its protruding plug of yolk is the external sign of a splitting 
or separation between cells, which is the beginning of the forma- 
tion of the digestive tract. This digestive tract begins forming 
at its posterior instead of at its head end, therefore this yolk- 
plug marks a point very near the posterior end of the young 

Before the third day is over, the eggs have become elon- 
gated and on many of them a visible groove is being formed 
lengthwise along the top. (Fig. 206, B.) This groove marks 
the back of the developing frog; so that now we know which 
is to be the head and which the tail end, and which is the 
right and which is the left side. 

By the fourth day, the eggs are greatly changed. The 
egg has become still more elongated and the yolk-plug has wholly 
retreated. The groove which began so simply has extended 
along the whole length of the back (top of egg) and two great 
folds of the surface are slowly rolling in over it, one on each 
side. These folds are broader at the head end. (Fig. 207.) 
This is perhaps the most interesting part of the development 
that we shall see. This groove and the folds which are rolling 
over it will form a tube within, which is the beginning of the 
nervous system. The head end of the tube forms the brain 
and the remainder makes the spinal cord. 

On the fifth day, so great has been the advancement that 
we are again puzzled to account for appearances. (Fig. 208.) 
The elongation is still greater, and head and tail ends are curved 
somewhat to one side. The line of the back is nearly straight, 
the yolk side (front) is very convex. The nerve-tube seems 
to be wholly closed in, but the folds still persist to a certain ex- 
tent over the head and along the back. The projection which 
is to form the tail is very apparent. 

1 For technicalities concerning the formation"of the blastopore and its subsequent history, 
see Bibliography, pp. 241-250., 

I 7 8 


bide vi 




FIG. 202. April 9, 1902. LEOPARD FROG'S EGG, greatly magnified. The upper portion is black; the lower in 
cream-white. The first vertical partition is forming. [Providence, R. I.] 

FIG. 203. Drawn to show first two vertical grooves corresponding to two partitions which divide the egg into four 
cells. (Egg tipped to show top.) 




FIG. 205. The cells are too small to be seen. A dark line of crescent shape appears on one side of the egg. 

FIG. 206, A. Morning of third day (April nth). Egg drawn from posterior end. All of the yolk except a mere 
plug is covered by the dark living portion of the egg. 

B. Afternoon of the third day. Egg as seen from left side. Yolk-plug marks posterior end of embryo. Neural 
groove forming along the back. 

Neural fold 

, Neural qroove 



FIG 207. April i2th. Drawn from left side (as B. Fig. 206) but tipped to show back. The neural folds are closing 
in over the neural groove to lorm the nerve tube The anterior of this will make the brain, the remainder will be the 
spinal cord. 






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The Common Leopard Frog 

If we now look at the embryo from above or below, the 
region of head and neck shows slight projections. (Fig. 209.) 
Examining these very carefully from the side, we see the appear- 
ance shown in Fig. 208. That portion in the most anterior 
and largest projection or swelling (sense plate), will become 
the facial part of the head, with upper and lower jaws, mouth, 
and nostrils. The three smaller elevated portions back of this 
are destined to make the gills. There is a blunt projection on 
the lower portion of the head end, which, on account of its posi- 
tion (the front margin of the sense plate), might be mistaken 
for a mouth. Viewed from the front (Fig. 209), it becomes 
one side of a horseshoe-shaped structure which will make, not 
the mouth, but a pair of " suckers," to be used by the tadpole 
to attach itself to water-weeds. 

On the sixth day (April I4th) the young tadpoles are still 
longer and are more curved in the egg. The body seems much 
thinner. The head and tail ends are unmistakable, even to 
the casual observer. The projections on the sides of the neck 
are more distinct. 

On the seventh day the tail is longer and distinctly finned 
at its edges. The head is more distinct from the body. The 
projections at the sides of the neck are longer. The tadpoles 
occasionally move in the egg, putting the head and the tail to- 
gether and then jerking them apart. They seem little changed 
on the following day but move more often. 

On the next morning (April lyth), nine days after the eggs 
were laid, we find most of the tadpoles out of the jelly, clinging 
by two conspicuous " suckers " to the deserted jelly-mass or 
to water-weeds. (Fig. 210.) These "suckers" are not what 
their name would seem to imply. They do their work of cling- 
ing, not by suction, but by means of a sticky substance or cement 
which they secrete. The jelly is much less stiff. Other tad- 
poles hatch as we watch : a vigorous wriggle, and the jelly sphere 
is ruptured and the tadpole becomes free. The tiny bit of life 
may lie flat on the jelly or at the bottom. But after a short 
time it is rested from the exertion and wiggles through the water 
aimlessly until it touches something that will act as a support. 
The tadpole is now about 7f mm. long, very slender and black. 
The transparent tail fin is conspicuous. The projections at 
the sides of the neck are easily seen as branched finger-like gills 



that have grown out from the gill plates formed five days ago. 
If we examine the tadpole carefully with a lens, not only can 
gills and suckers be seen, but prominences that are to become the 
eyes (Fig. 210, side view), and an opening just forward of 
the suckers that is to be the mouth (Fig. 210, front view). 

The low power of the compound microscope used now to 
examine the outside of the tadpole shows us many wonderful 
things. The blood is flowing in the gills. The current is easily 
traced out to the end of each finger-like extension and back again. 
The movement is in jerks or pulses, which are ryhthmic, corre- 
sponding to the pumping action of the heart. If we look still 
more closely, the current is seen to consist of minute circular 
bodies (blood corpuscles) that chase each other in most irregular 
fashion in a colourless liquid (blood plasma). 

However, as we look at the blood movement, another motion 
catches our attention. There is a general wave-like motion of 
the water over the body of the tadpole in the direction of the tail. 
Careful examination reveals the presence of a coat of minute hairs 
(cilia) that are in continual motion, and so create this movement 
of the water. Cilia appear along the back of the embryo at the 
time of the formation of the nerve tube. They increase in 
number as development goes on, until the whole body is covered 
with them and strong currents of water constantly wash the sur- 
face of the tadpole from the head backwards. The most rapid 
streams flow over the back and in the region of the gills. This 
movement of the cilia, with the resulting circulation of water, 
aids the young tadpole in the process of respiration before the 
gills are formed. After the gills are well developed, the cilia are 
reduced in number so that they do not cover the whole body; 
they now serve mainly to bring fresh currents of water to the 

On the tenth day all the tadpoles are out of the eggs. They 
hang quietly from water-weed or other support, or circle about 
with vigorous wigglings of the tail whenever they are disturbed. 
The head becomes larger. This is due to backward growing 
folds on the side of the head. It is easy to see that the folds have 
progressed quite to the roots of the gills. (Fig. 211, April i8th.) 
On the eleventh day they have grown still farther back and have 
united underneath the throat. The tadpole is now 9 mm. long, 
the increase in length being mainly confined to the tail. On the 

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The Common Leopard Frog 

twelfth day the gills are entirely covered, except the very tip ends 
of two or three branches on the left side. (Fig. 211, April 2oth.) 

For two or three days from this time there is little visible 
change. The tadpoles (as black as toad tadpoles at the same 
age) remain clinging to convenient supports by the suckers, now 
greatly reduced in size. They sometimes start out on aimless 
circling trips, but, on the whole, are not very active. The body 
is now increasing greatly in diameter. This increase in diameter 
is due partly to the development of special organs within. Through 
the skin of the under side of the body can be seen the intestine, 
spirally coiled like a watch-spring. This increase is due also to 
the fold which covered the gills growing much farther back on 
the body. Here it has united with the body wall on sides and 
front, except for a small space on the left, where the tips of the 
gills were last visible. It remains unattached at this point all 
during the tadpole life. Thus is formed a spout for the exit of 
water (Fig. 21 1, April 24th) from the internal gills, which replace 
the external gills that we saw covered. 1 

When we look at the tadpoles on the morning of April 24th 
(sixteen days after the eggs were laid), we realize that the mouths 
are open. Hungry tadpoles are swimming rapidly, instead of 
aimlessly as before, and are nibbling the delicate ends of water- 
weeds or vigorously scraping the green slime from the stones and 
sticks at the bottom. 2 They are no longer jet-black, but are 
made to look dark brown because of a fine mottling of gold spots 
on the black. 

Their life for the next few weeks seems to have only four 
needs: to swim rapidly, to eat almost constantly, to rest a little 
sometimes, and to grow. Their enemies are many, and their ranks 
are greatly thinned by them. It will be fortunate if they escape 
the monstrous sucking jaws of the water-tiger. 3 They glide up 
to nibble the end of a green stem, and the stem comes to life and 
sends out a powerful arm equipped with jaws that hold as in a 
vice, while smaller jaws 4 rapidly eat every part of the tadpole, ex- 
cept, perhaps, the long coiled intestine. An unsuspecting tadpole 

1 See Bullfrog, p. 236. 

2 The mouth structure of the Leopard Frog tadpole corresponds with that of the Bullfrog tad- 
pole. (See footnote, p. 235.) 

3 The water-tigers are larvas of the diving-beetles (Dytistidse). 
* The larva of a dragon-fly (Libellulidz), 



approaches an inoffensive-looking brown stem, only to find it a 
house from which the owner 1 rushes with legs that grasp tightly 

and jaws 
that bite. 
The curi- 
,ous back- 
swimmer 2 
pounces upon 
them and sucks 
their blood. 
There is small 
chance of es- 
cape from the 
jaws of the div- 
ing-beetle, 3 or 
from the suck- 
ing beak of the 
giant water- 
bug. 4 The un- 
dulating leech 
gets a deadly 

A narrow escape from the jaws of the j^ 

hold upon them while they rest. They are eaten by fish and 
turtles, by water-birds, and by their own kin. 

What are apparently green stems come to life and send out powerful arms to 
capture the tadpoles. 

1 Caddis- worm, larva of a caddis-fly (Phryganeidae) . 2 Notonecta. 3 Dytiscus. * Belostoma. 


The Common Leopard Frog 

In early May, those that have lived through all these dangers 
are more than an inch long. The tail with its broad transparent 
fin is nearly twice as long as the rest of the creature. Soon the 
hind legs bud out and develop; the front legs appear; the mouth 
and eyes are transformed into those of a frog; the tail is absorbed. 

In July and August the marshy borders of the lakes and ponds 
in which the Leopard Frogs breed are swarming with small 

The back-swimmer is a powerful enemy of young tadpoles. 

frogs. (Fig. 199.) Their home is in the shallow water among 
water-lilies and pickerel-weeds, or farther in, where sedges, grasses, 
and willows grow. They wander over the sand of miniature 
beaches or over the adjacent grassy places, in search of the small 
insect life they feed upon. Let any disturbance come and they 
rush for the water three or four enormous low leaps, one after 
the other, and they disappear under the water with a splash so 
slight as scarcely to ruffle the surface enough to show where they 
are. We may look with great care, but we cannot find them. 
They hide at the roots of grasses or in the water-weeds, keeping 
under cover until we are tired and give up the search. 



We can find many of them 
in wet meadows and in the long grass 
about wells, much farther from the 
water. They are active hunters, 
greedily eating spiders, beetles, 
crickets, grasshoppers, and other 
small creatures of the ground. Feed 
one of them with the young grass- 
hoppers 1 that are so thick in the 
clover and grasses. He swallows 
them one after another in fact, 
just as rapidly as he can dispose 
of the long spiny legs, which still 
stick out of his mouth after the 
body of the grasshopper is well 
swallowed. He will succeed in eat- 
ing eight or more in a very few min- 
utes, the look of satisfaction in his 
eyes increasing as his sides grow 

Young Leopard Frogs are " aris- 
tocratic-looking." They seem espec- 
ially long-nosed and slender. They 
show the greatest variety in tdress. 
The lateral folds are rich yellow or 
bronze, as is also the line from the 
end of the muzzle to the shoulder. 
The spots are darkest at the edges, 
and are sometimes not yellow-rimmed as they are in the adults. 
Some are brown or tan in colour; others are green. And, 
strangest of all, a few of them have no spots at all. (Fig. 199.) 
Of these, some are metallic green on head, back, and legs, 
with sides strongly marked by golden longitudinal folds, 
but with no spot anywhere. Others are plain brown in colour, 
almost metallic enough to be called bronze, and have the same 
yellow lateral folds. These are more beautiful than the spotted 
ones. Some that have plain colour on head and body show ir- 
regular spots on the legs and arms. 2 

1 Acrididae, or short-homed grasshoppers. 

2 Much search has not revealed adults in this dress. 


Late March. The Leopard 
Frogs are croaking in the pond 
when the blue-birds are decid- 
ing on a home. 

The Common Leopard Frog 

The boys who catch the young 
frogs to sell as bait to fishermen call 
the plain ones "policemen," the plain 
but brilliant colour and the metallic 
stripes giving, perhaps, the appear- 
ance of a uniform. 

The young Leopard Frogs are 
sacrificed in hundreds and thousands 
as bait, wherever bass and pickerel 
fishing is carried on. Each boat- 
man about the small lakes of the 
Middle West keeps a great wooden 
box containing hundreds of the little 
frogs, who desperately jump or climb, 
only to fall back captives. Boys 
search the lake margins, the marshes, 
and the meadows, and put their 
captives into bags or pails. They 
are paid perhaps five cents per dozen 
for them. When the frogs become 
more scarce, the price may be as high 
as twenty-five cents per dozen. 

In the meantime the country 
about is overrun with grasshoppers 
to such an extent that it is difficult 
to grow even morning-glory vines 
about the houses. Nature's supply 
should not be so overwhelmingly 
drawn upon, but, as in all similar 
cases, the creature for which the 
demand is so great should be bred 
for the purpose. (See foot note p. 


July. The Leopard Frogs eat 
the young grasshoppers that are 
so thick in the grass. 



Rana splenoceplala Cope l 


Colour: Green or brown, but more often a combination of 
the two, with one colour abruptly invading the other in irregular 
fashion. (See Colour Plate XII.) Sometimes grey or fawn colour. 
Green or brown spots (small, irregular, or rounded), arranged in 
two irregular rows between the lateral folds, and still more irregu- 
larly on the sides. Spots usually not surrounded by light rings. 
Lateral folds light green, golden, or bronze. This colour of 
the lateral folds continues forward over the eye and along the 
canthus rostralis to the end of the muzzle. Also light metallic 
lines along the jaw from the shoulder to the end of the muzzle. 
These four converging colour lines meet in acute angles at the 
end of the muzzle. Eye golden or bronze, with a dark line through 
it. Ear bronze, with a white circular spot at its centre (not an 
irregular blotch, such as may be present in Rana pipiens. (Fig. 
215.) Upper and lower lips dark, conspicuously spotted with 
white. Legs barred or spotted. (These bands or spots may 
be edged with light.) (Fig. 214.) Arms conspicuously spotted. 
Usually a dark band on the front of the humerus; also on 
the front of the femur (Figs. 21 5 and 220.) Concealed part 
of femur dark in colour, with yellow or white spots or reticu- 
lations. Underparts glistening white, yellow posteriorly. The 
throat and breast may be distinctly or obscurely mottled with 
brown. Whole frog iridescent. , 

Measurements: Size medium, i.e. 2j to 3^ inches. Head 
long, its length contained two and a half times in the total length 
of head and body. (Figs. 219 and 220.) Leg long, its length 
to the heel exceeding the length of the body forward to the end of 
the muzzle. (Fig. 213.) Tibia much longer than femur. 

Structure: Skin relatively smooth, very finely tubercular on 
back, sides, and tibiae. Tibia may be ridged lengthwise. More 
or less unbroken lengthwise folds of skin four in number 
between the prominent lateral folds. (Figs. 214 and 220.) 
Glandular fold along jaw to shoulder. Head narrow, pointed. 

iRana wescens sphenocephala Cope. 



To show the coloration of some spotted frogs of North America. 
Figs, i and 2. THE COMMON LEOPARD FROG[V?aa 
pipiens Shreber, Rhode Island]. Typical pattern of color- 
ation and great divergence from it. 

[Rana sphenocephala Cope. Immature. Seven Oaks, 

Fig. 5. Immature Rana pipiens. Helotes, Texas. 

Fig. 6. Rana pipiens. Ithaca, New York. 

Fig. 7. Female Rana sphenocephala. Hitchcock, Texas. 

Refer to Index to locate descriptions. 






FIGS 213 and 214. The SOUTHERN LEOPARD FROG (Kana sphenocephala Cope). The frog at the left is from 
Hitchcock. Texas ; the right from Ozona, Florida. Metallic green, brown or fawn color. A most beautiful frog in life, and 
extremely active. 

FIGS 215 and 216. Raiia sphenocephala from Seven Oaks, Florida, at the left Rana pi/iicus from Providence, Rhode 
island at the right. Note the relative lengths of head and body. Rana sphenocephala always shows a white circular spot 
a tint centrt 01 the ear. 




FIGS. 217 and 218. The COMMON LEOPARD FROG (Rana pipiens Shrcber) Denver, Colo. Tl;e head is more or 
less pointed. Its length is one-third the total length. There may be a light blotch at the centre of the ear, and a dark spot 
fin the head in front of the eyes. 

-The SOI 1 IIHRN LEOPARD FROG (Rana sphenocephala Cope). The frog at the left is from 

Ozona, Florida ; the right from Hitchcock, Texas. The head is long, narrow and pointed. The length is contained in the 
The ear has a circular white spot at its centre. The eyes are large. There is no spot on the head in 
il of the eves. 

The Southern Leopard Frog 

Eyes large; space between them narrow. (Fig. 219.) Nostrils 
round, below the line of the prominent canthus rostralis, much 
nearer to the end of the muzzle than to the eye. Ear smaller 
than eye. Feet long, webs deeply indented. Fingers and toes 
long and slender. A tarsal ridge, and outer and inner sole tu- 
bercles are present. Thumb of male thickened at base. 

Range: Rana splenocephala is common in the Austroriparian 
subregion. It is reported from Georgia (Nashville, Saint Si- 
mon's Island, Liberty County), Florida (Georgiana, Ozona, Fort 
Myers, Seven Oaks), Louisiana (Prairie mer Rouge, New Orleans), 
and Texas (Hitchcock). One specimen is reported also from 
Wheatland, in southern Indiana. 

The Southern Leopard Frog is perhaps the most beautiful 
frog in North America. It has not the delicate modest beauty 
of the Wood Frog, but it has distinction of form, richness of 
colouring, and intricacy of colour pattern. It has not, like the 
Wood Frog, an expression indicating gentleness and tameness. 
Instead, a creature extremely alert and wild, possessing great 
powers of activity, is seen in the unusually large eyes and in the 
attentive pose of the slender body. (Fig 215.) 

The head is long and pointed, with the eyes set far back. 
This characteristic and the unusual length of the hind legs dis- 
tinguish the frog at once from Rana pipiens, the Common Leopard 
Frog. It is peculiar, also, in possessing a circular white spot at 
the centre of the ear. This spot is never lacking, no matter 
what the colouration of the frog may be at the time. (Figs. 
213, 215, 219, and 220.) Rana pipiens has sometimes a light 
blotch at or near the centre of the ear, but never this clean-cut 
circle of white. 

The background of colouration varies greatly, but is seldom 
plain green or brown. Instead, it is a mixture of the two. The 
colours are equally intense, and meet each other in irregular lines, 
without any blending. The brown is usually a warm shade, 
not grey or ashy, and the green is most often pure green, with- 
out an unusual amount of either yellow or blue in it. An occa- 
sional frog is found which is light yellow-green. The spots may 
be dark green or brown, and are not margined with light colour, 



except on the legs. The spots are irregular in shape and arrange- 
ment. Not only do the two sides of the frogs differ in the num- 
ber, size and arrangement of the spots, but, what is more unusual, 
the two legs are sometimes totally different in these respects. 
(Fig. 219.) The colouring is everywhere highly metallic in 
character. The changes are not especially rapid. This species 
of frog in Texas is often beautiful in a dress of light dove-grey or 
fawn-colour. (See Colour Plate XII ) 

The male Rana spbenocepbala has large vocal pouches, one 
at each side, above the arm. These frogs are wild and active. 
They leap long distances, and are difficult to catch. The species 
is evidently a very distinct one, not intergrading with Rana 
pipiens, but holding its own with the latter frog in the same 
localities in the southern part of the United States. 


Rana palustris Le Conte 


Colour: Brown, with two more or less regular rows of con- 
spicuous squarish spots between the lateral folds, and two irregu- 
lar rows of smaller spots on each side below the folds. Legs 
barred or irregularly spotted. A conspicuous light line from 
muzzle to shoulder. The upper jaw is yellowish, marked with 
brown; the lower is white, marked with brown. The under- 
parts are white in front, bright orange-yellow posteriorly. The 
yellow may extend forward along the sides and outward under 
the arms. (For colouration, see Colour Plate XIII.) 

Measurements: Size medium; male, 2 to 2^ inches; female, 
3 to 3^ inches. The legs are long, the distance from thigh to 
heel equalling the combined lengths of head and body. The 
ear is smaller than the eye. 

Structure: Two relatively broad, non-elevated folds of skin 
extending from the eyes backward the lateral folds. There 
are four folds of skin on the back between the lateral folds. These 
are not coloured differently from the surrounding parts, as are 
the lateral folds. The foot is distinctly webbed, but the webs 
are deeply indented and two joints of the fourth toe are free. 





The brook and the meadows nearbv make the home of the Pickerel Frogs. 






















The Pickerel Frog 

The inner sole tubercle of the foot is small; the outer still smaller. 
The palm of the hand has well-developed tubercles. 

Range: The Pickerel Frog is found throughout the eastern 
part of North America, west to the Great Plains, and north to 
Hudson's Bay. 

If we go to the meadow for blue flags in May, we are likely 
to hear the Pickerel Frogs (Figs. 221 and 222) croaking with low 
voices in the quiet shallows of the meadow brook or of the pond- 
margin near by. The prolonged note is very distinctive. It 
is well described by saying that it resembles the sound produced 

The Pickerel Frogs are croaking when the blue flags are in bloom. 

in tearing resisting cloth of some sort. The pitch varies with 
the individual, but is always low. The range is from G to A 
below middle C. 

As we approach the brook, picking our way over the boggy 
ground with its sedges, sweet white violets and blue flags, many 
small spotted frogs leap astounding distances on both the near 
and the far side of the brook, striking the -water in a series of 
successive splashes. The surface of the water is scarcely ruffled, 
and the frogs are immediately buried in the mud or hidden under 
shelving bits of moss at the brook's edge. The Pickerel Frogs 
are even more agile than the Common Leopard Frogs. 

The brook and the fields and meadows near make the home 
of the Pickerel Frogs, and we shall find them here in all sizes, 
from those one year old and only an inch and a quarter long to 
large ones that are three inches in length. 

There is perhaps no other of our frogs that presents a coat 



of so brilliant a metallic lustre as the young Pickerel Frog after 
he has been in bright light for some hours. Shining gold and 
bronze make up his colour from the tip of his little pointed " nose " 
to the ends of his long back legs. On the other hand, the young 
Pickerel Frog just from a cold day's sleep in the mud is so dark 
that his spots are scarcely discernible. 

The appearance of this frog will deceive us into believing 
that he is our familiar Leopard Frog, unless we are observing 
enough to see that the spots are square instead of round, and 
that as he makes one of his flying leaps there is a flash of orange 
under the back legs and posterior part of the body. These 
things mark him as a Pickerel Frog. He is in fact very closely 
related to the Leopard. However, he is always brown of some 
shade, instead of green. The head is usually less long and pointed 
than that of the Leopard. The spots do not have yellow rims. 
The Pickerel Frog has no large external vocal pouches, like those 
of the Leopard, but the throat, the region back of the eye and 
under the ear, as well as the sides, all expand considerably 
during the croaking. The male is much smaller than the fe- 
male. It is he alone that does the croaking. This species has 
a distinctly unpleasant odour, due to the secretion of the skin. 
Because of this, it is not considered edible. The frog is used 
to a large extent as bait in pickerel-fishing, hence its name. 

These frogs live out of the water (Fig. 221) more than in it, 
even at the breeding season. They go to the water to avoid 
their bird and snake enemies, to lay the eggs, to absorb the cool 
water through their shining coats. They spend the greater 
part of their time hunting, probably for caterpillars that feed 
on the violets and grasses, meadow caddis flies, butterflies 
and millers, flies, gnats, and beetles. It is likely that Pickerel 
Frogs find acceptable any insect that makes its home about the 
brook or that comes there to deposit its eggs in the water or to 
get honey from the flowers that grow there. They are known 
to feed on snails, small crayfishes, and aquatic amphipods and 
isopods. Pickerel Frogs are extremely common throughout 
the Eastern part of the United States. They are not to he found 
at all on the Great Plains of the West, where the Leopard holds 
supreme sway among frogs. They make their home not only 
in brooks and meadow marshes, but do good work in keeping 
pure the water of cold springs. We see their large eyes and 


The Pickerel Frog 

palpitating white throats also in crannies at the mouths of surface 

The eggs of this species are laid in shallow water during the 
month of May. Frogs brought from the pond laid eggs on the 
nights of May 18, 23, and 26, 1902. The irregular egg 
masses are about two inches in diameter, and contain between 
two and three thousand eggs each. The upper half of the egg 
is rich brown in colour; the lower half cream-white. The eggs 
are small (i J mm.) and enveloped in triple spheres of transparent 
jelly. The earlier stages of the development take place very 
rapidly. The jelly holds its compact shape but a very short 
time; it softens, and the whole mass spreads and flattens. The 
tadpoles, which are light yellowish-brown in colour, leave the 
eggs very early. Eggs laid May 23rd were hatched May 2yth. 
The tadpoles cling to the jelly side by side in rows and circles, 
with their heads up and their tails extending downward. The 
next day they are festooning the waterweeds as well as the jelly. 
Now they begin those circling tours, from which they settle to some 
new support, only to start off again in large circles, which give 
place to smaller ones until they find another support or drop 
lightly to the bottom. By the first week in June, the gills have 
become wholly covered, and the bits of life have grown to ordinary 
round-bodied ' pollywogs," with the usual pollywog hunger. 1 
From now on they vary greatly in size, some far outstripping 
the others, although all live under the same conditions. The 
larger ones change to the frog form in July and August; the 
smaller ones may be kept back in the process until September; 
and still others may delay the change until the following spring. 

Large tadpoles of the Pickerel Frog have at first sight much 
the appearance of the Green Frog tadpoles. Looking more 
closely, we see that the head is much more pointed, the eyes are 
not widely separated, and the nostrils are close to the end of the 
muzzle, characteristics which distinguish this species. The 
younger tadpoles have small roundish spots irregularly placed 
on a greenish-brown background of body and tail. The dark 
pigment follows the lines between the muscle-plates of the tail 
so that for nearly one half its length the tail looks like a black 
feather. The tail fin is less than one-fourth of an inch wide 

1 The mouth structure of the pickerel frog tadpole is similar to that of the bullfrog tadpole. 
(See footnote, p 235.) 


everywhere. The lateral line organs, especially in the region of 
the head, are very conspicuous. As soon as the hind legs are 
well grown, and before the front ones appear, the lines of the 
lateral folds begin to show, the square spots are blocked out on 
the back, and the legs become barred with dark. After the 
appearance of the front legs the swellings in the region of the gills 
are very noticeable, as are also the lines from the nostrils to the 
eyes. 1 

Just before the completion of the metamorphosis, while 
the stump of the tail is still present, and just as the swellings in 
the gill region disappear, the young frog moults its skin. It 
now leaves the water and wanders over the grassy places at the 
margin of the water. It is slender and delicate, and very shy. 
At our approach it escapes with enormous leaps into the protec- 
tion of the pickerel weeds and cat-tails that grow in the shallow 



Colour: Brown or olive, obscurely mottled and speckled 
with light. Many large or small rounded spots on head, back, 
and sides. There may be four irregular rows of these spots 
between the lateral folds. The spots usually do not encroach 
on the lateral folds. There may be yellowish-white outlines 
around the spots. Ear brown, with a white blotch at its centre. 
Upper and lower lips coarsely marbled with brown. Legs spotted, 
or crossed by four dark bars. Much yellow on femur and body 
where they fold against each other. Underparts white. (Figs. 
223 to 225.) 

Measurements: Size medium, i. e., length 2^ to 3! inches. 
Length of head contained in total length three times. (Fig. 223.) 
Length of leg to heel equals length forward to eye or nostril. 
Tibia longer than femur. (Fig. 225.) 

Structure: Skin rough, with elongated warts on back and 
sides. Lateral folds conspicuous. Tibia ridged lengthwise. 

1 See Bull Frog, pp. 236, 237. 

2 Judging from measurements made on the type specimens in the National Museum, Rana 
areolata Bd. and Gird, is the same as Rana areolata circttlosa Rice and Davis and as Rana areolata 

capita Le Conte. 










o s 
> -y. 


5 il 

= S 

S 3 
- - 


3 t 

C . 

co -; 






FK.S. 22610 22S. A'tfH</ tfso[>ns Cope. Ozona, Florida. (For coloration see Colour Plate XIV.) This frog lives solitary in 
the burrows of a highland turtle. Its greed is uuequaled even hy that of the American Bullfrog. (Note the development 
of the head and jaws.) 

The Gopher Frog 

No glandular fold along the jaw. A distinct fold over the ear 
from eye to shoulder. Under and posterior surfaces of femur 
granulated. Head large; unusually thick through. Muzzle long; 
space between eyes greater than width of eyelid; nostrils nearer 
to the end of the muzzle than to the eye; eyes large; ear half to 
two-thirds size of eye. (Figs. 223 to 225.) Foot with a tarsal 
fold; webs short (three joints of fourth toe free); inner sole 
tubercle small, no outer tubercle, tubercles under toe-joints 

Range: Rana areolata probably occupies the Austroriparian 
subregion. It is reported from Texas (Hitchcock, Indianola) 
and Georgia (Riceborough). There is also a record of single 
specimens having been collected in Indiana and Illinois. 

This frog has the hiding instinct thoroughly developed, as 
has Rana asopus of Florida. Like the Florida frog also, it has 
unusually large vocal pouches that can be extended from the 
shoulder regions. It is a silent, solitary frog, except at the 
breeding season. 

The species can always be distinguished from Rana cesopus, 
by the lesser development of the jaws in width and massiveness, 
and because the ratio of head and body measurements are as 
one to three, instead of one to two and a half. 


Rana cesopus Cope 

Colour: Brown, dark or light in shade. This colour may 
be purplish, greyish, or yellowish in tone. The broad lateral 
folds are bright orange-yellow. Warts on back and sides, often 
bright yellow. Many closely set black spots on the head and 
on the back between the lateral folds; many smaller black spots 
on the sides. The spots on the back and on the sides infringe 
upon the yellow lateral folds. Upper lip spotted, not light or 
dark bordered. Ear dark, with irregular spot of light in centre. 
Glandular fold along jaw to shoulder yellowish. Legs with 


four or five black or dark brown cross-bars. Foot and hand 
dark; tubercles of hands and feet light in colour. Underparts 
spotted, especially anteriorly. (See Colour Plate XIV.) 

Measurements: Size medium to large, i. e. length 2\ to 4 
inches; female larger than male. Head long, its length con- 
tained two and a half times in total length. (Fig. 226.) Head 
of a frog 3 inches long measures \\ inches wide and i^ inches long. 
Length of leg to heel equal to length of body forward to ear or 
eye. Femur and tibia about equal. Foot long, fourth toe ex- 
tremely long; web medium in size. (See Fig. 228.) 

Structure: Body peculiarly short and squat. Skin leathery, 
and corrugated with elongated wart-like folds on back and sides. 
Tibia ridged lengthwise. Lateral folds broad and elevated. 
The glandular folds of the jaw end above the shoulder in peculiar 
large warts. Ridge from eye to shoulder (over ear) inconspicuous. 
Eye unusually large and prominent. Nostril equidistant between 
eye and jaw. Ear a vertical oval, half to two-thirds size of eye. 
Space between eyes less than width of eyelid. Fingers long and 
slender; the thumb of the male is thickened and horny at its 
base (Fig. 228) ; hand tubercles not notable for size. Legs stout 
and strong; inner sole tubercle relatively large and long, outer 
small or lacking; tubercles under joints of toes rather conspicuous 
(Fig. 228). 

Range: Rana asopus Cope is reported from Florida only 
(Micanopy, Orlando, Ozona, Lake Jessup, Clarcona). 

The Gopher frog of Florida is very different from other 
frogs in its general appearance. It is squat and toad-like, having 
an unusually large head, with a prolonged muzzle, and eyes prom- 
inent and bulging even for a frog. Because of the unusual length 
and breadth of head, this frog has a mouth relatively larger than 
those of other North American frogs. (Fig. 227.) These struc- 
tural characteristics give the frog so peculiar an appearance that 
although it may agree with Rana palustris and with Rana pipiens 
in colour and in being prominently spotted, there would never 
be any difficulty in distinguishing it as a different species. (See 
Colour plates XI, XIII and XIV.) 

The male frog has two large vocal pouches (one at each 


The Gopher Frog 

shoulder). These can be extended between the arm and the 
glandular fold above. When the pouch is not inflated, the 
region back of the angle of the jaw and between the arm 
and glandular fold (which extends fully one-half inch behind 
the jaw angle) is occupied by broad folds of thin dark-coloured 

The general colour of these frogs varies considerably. It 
may be grey or brown, somewhat yellow or purple in tone. The 
spots may vary in size and in number. In any individual frog, 
the colour changes are striking and rapid. The frog may change 
from nearly black to white, through shades of brown or purplish 
grey. The spots keep their intensity when the frog is light in 
colour. (Colour Plate XIV.) In the light-coloured frog, yellow 
colour is very prominent. It is not only on the elongated warts 
and lateral folds, but extends from the lateral folds over the eyes 
along the canthus rostralis to the nostrils. The secretion of the 
skin given off when the frog is annoyed is offensive in odour. 

Thisjrog is so wary and has such strong habits of hiding, 
that but few specimens have come to light. The wariness of 
this species has resulted in a habit of spasmodic instead of con- 
tinuous activity. Its method, like that of the cricket grass- 
hopper, is ludicrous to observe. It remains absolutely quiet for 
minutes at a time, relying on its protective colouration until the 
danger is well-nigh upon it. When the movement comes, it is 
with startling suddenness and despatch, leaving the frog statuesque 
again and observant, but in a new place. 

Rana asopus is comfortable in water, though not conspicu- 
ously a water-frog. It sits with head and shoulders protruding 
from water-weeds, invisible because of the colour and spotting 
of its dress. When the air becomes cooler than the water, it 
withdraws under the surface, and rests for hours, even days, at 
a time, with motionless flattened body, closed eyes, and arms 
and legs in hibernating position. 

Outside of the breeding season, it lives solitary in gopher- 
holes, hence its name. These so-called gopher-holes are the 
burrows of a Florida highland turtle. The burrow about eight 
inches high, and fourteen wide, and sometimes as long as thirty 
feet extends obliquely and irregularly through the sandy soil, 
starting under a clump of palmetto, or under a log, stump, or fence. 
The frog sits at the mouth of the burrow, watching for an unsus- 


pecting insect, bird, or batrachian. It disappears so quickly 
at the approach of danger, that not only is it seldom seen, but, 
to be captured, must in all cases be dug out of the burrow. 

This frog seems especially fond of toads as an article of diet. 
It ejects the poison from the mouth as soon as it has swallowed 
the toad. A toad of surprisingly large size can be managed, 
owing to the unusual development of the jaws and throat of 
this species. If the toad is too large to be all swallowed at once, 
so that the poison can be sent out through the mouth almost 
immediately, the frog gives up the attempt and disgorges the 
toad after about fifteen minutes. This time, however, is sufficient 
to allow some action of the poison to take place, and the frog 
shows many signs of discomfort. It has convulsive movements 
of the muscles, it leaps blindly upward, and finally, lowering 
the head and opening the cavernous mouth, uses the hands in 
frantic efforts to remove the irritation from there. During 
several weeks of captivity, Rana asopus fed almost wholly upon 
toads, of species lentiginosus, woodhousei, and jowleri. This 
habit of eating toads may be duplicated in the case of Rana 
catesbiana. At least this frog has been found dead witn full- 
grown specimens of Bufo jowleri partially swallowed. 



Colour: Brown posteriorly; lighter anteriorly, often bright 
metallic green, especially on sides of head under the eyes and 
below the canthus rostralis. Iris golden. Ear bronze. Lateral 
folds light yellowish brown. Three or more irregular rows of 
spots between the lateral folds, and many spots placed irregu- 
larly below the folds. Spots light edged or not. Legs light 
brown, spotted with dark, even on the feet. Underparts white, 
yellow posteriorly. (See Colour Plate. II.) 

Measurements: Size medium, i. e. length 2 to 3 inches. 
Leg short ; length of leg to heel equalling length of body forward 
to eye. Tibia but slightly longer than femur. 

i Rana jisheri Stejneger. Annotated List of Reptiles and Batrachians Collected by the Desert 
Valley Expedition in 1891. Leonhard Stejneger. North Amer. Fauna, No. 7. 1893. 
Also Rana draytoni onca Cope. Cope's Batrachia of North. America. 


Rana Onca 

Structure: Skin smooth, except for lateral folds and a few 
inconspicuous elongated wart-like elevations on the back between 
the lateral folds and on the sides. Head rounded, thick through, 
with much the proportions and appearance of the head of Rana 
clamitans. (Fig. 257.) Ear larger than eye in male, slightly 
smaller than eye in female. No conspicuous ridge over ear. 
No glandular fold along jaw. Feet delicate; webs broad and 
long. Inner sole tubercle small; outer lacking. 

Range: Rana onca Cope is reported from Utah and Nevada. 

This species of frog (Fig. 257 and Colour Plate II) is not 
nearly related to the black-cheeked frogs of the Pacific Slope. 
It is apparently much nearer the eastern Rana clamitans, and the 
spotted frogs Rana pipiens. The general colouring, also the 
shape and proportions of head, body, and legs are remarkably 
like those of Rana clamitans (Fig. 230); the spotting reminds 
one of Rana pipiens (Fig. 197), but differs in that it represents 
a temporary colour pattern instead of a permanent one. Rana 
onca never attains the size of either of these other frogs. 

Rana onca is a very bright, active little frog. It eats worms 
and insects greedily. It will try to take a worm away from a 
companion frog, biting at the frog's head again and again. In 
locomotion it proceeds by short hops, given in quick succession 
with short toad-like legs. 

The power for rapid change of colour is considerable. The 
frog may be brown or green, of light or dark shade. The spots 
may or may not be rimmed with light colour. They may be 
darker or lighter than the background of colour. When lighter, 
they are shining gold or bronze. There is much iridescence in 
the colouration. In fact, the young frogs may wear a coat 
everywhere rich in metallic lustre. 

The frogs examined have shown no external vocal pouches. 
The large webs and the unusually large tympanum make this 
frog easy of indentification within its western range. 




Rana clamitans Latreille. 


Colour: Extremely variable and changeable. Typically, 
the colouring is brilliant metallic green on head and shoulders 
and dusky olive (perhaps spotted) posteriorly. There may be 
a yellowish band (widening anteriorly) along the lines of the jaw 
from the shoulder forward. Throat of the male bright orange- 
yellow; that of the female, white, spotted with dark. Sides of 
the body often marked with large blotches of dark. (This is especi- 
ally true of the female.) Legs spotted or barred with dark. 
(See Plate XIII for colouration of the Green Frog.) 

Measurements: Size somewhat above medium, i.e. male, 
3 to 3i inches, female 3 to 5 inches. Legs relatively short; the 
length of the leg to the heel being much less than the combined 
lengths of head and body. Tibia and femur about equal in 

Structure: The skin may be rough. Head unusually thick 
through. Head somewhat pointed. Ear of male much larger 
than the eye; that of female no larger than eye, often smaller. 
(Figs. 229 and 230.) Body stout. Lateral folds conspicuous; 
a groove occupies the midline of the back. The web is broad; 
it leaves the last two joints of the fourth toe free. (Fig. 231.) 

Range: Very common throughout eastern North America, 
including Canada and Florida. 

As we walk along the path that skirts the meadow brook, 
we are surprised by a scream, followed by another and still another. 
Our curiosity demands that we investigate. The sound suggests 
a frightened bird, though there is almost no shrubbery for the 
concealment of a bird. We walk more slowly, and approach 
the brook. There is nothing to be heard now, except the occa- 
sional splashing of water as a startled tadpole rushes to safety 
from the shallow water; or the whirring of wings as a dragon-fly 
passes startlingly near to our faces. We walk on along the 

1 Called " Spring Frog " and " Pond Frog " in various parts of the country. 


Fig.!. GREEN FROGS. Male and Female. [Ranacl<nnHans 
Latreille. Rhode Island.] The male can be distinguished 
by the larger ear and the yellow throat. 

Fig. 2. THE PICKEREL FROG. Female. [Raiia palns- 
tris LeConte. Rhode Island.] Distinguished from the 
Leopard Frog by the squarish shape of the spots. Com- 
pare with color plates 11 and 12. 

Fig. 3. THE STRIPED FROG. Male. [Kaiia virgatiprs 
Cope. Lakehurst, N. J.] The underparts are spotted and 
striped with irridescent yellow. The upper parts are rich 
brown with four stripes of brighter color running length- 
wise along the body. 

Refer to Iiidc.v to locate descriptions. 




The Green Frog 

muddy bank of the little stream. Again we hear the sound 
ahead of us, and surely something is moving toward the water. 
Now we suspect that it may be a frog, and so we are on the look- 
out still more alertly as we proceed. This time we see the creature 
plainly a small Green Frog. (Fig. 234.) It leaps high into 
the air and drops into the water, uttering the short, high-pitched 
cry. It is hard to believe that the sound which startled us was 
made by this small creature, but we remember that the " Scream- 
ing Frog " is one of the old names given to the Green Frog. Day 
after day confirms our experience. Year after year we become 
accustomed to the fact that young Green Frogs especially in 
the spring months give this short, frightened scream when 
they are alarmed. 

The older frogs of this species (Figs. 229 and 230) make the 
same high jump, but they give a very different call when they 
take refuge in the water. 1 This sound is very familiar indeed 
to every person who has been in the country. It is a nasal 
" chu-n-ng," or " k-tun-n-ng," so low-pitched that it may be 
almost or quite an octave below middle C. It is a cheerful, 
vigorous call, somewhat musical in quality. The croaking of 
the Green Frog is a sound still different, and is given from 
shallow water. It is explosive, prolonged, and low-pitched and 
is likely to be repeated five or six times in succession. When 
we hear it given with less than its usual force, we may be deceived 
into thinking that we hear the drumming of a woodpecker. It 
may be imitated very well by cutting on a table, with heavy 
shears, some kind of coarse resisting cloth. Or it may be imi- 
tated less well by tearing heavy cloth in a jerky fashion. It 
resembles the croaking of the Pickerel Frog, but has more 
strongly accentuated notes in it. 

The explosive character of the sound will be better under- 
stood if we watch the frog when he is croaking. He works hard; 
there is no appearance of external vocal pouches (as in the Leop- 
ard Frog, Fig. 9), but the yellow throat and the sides expand 
with such force as to jerk the whole body forward. Slowly the 
distended parts sink in as the vigorous sounds proceed. Then 
the throat and sides swell out again, and there follows another 
explosion of sound. And so on over and over. One yellow- 

1 They may give the screaming call also, but I have not heard it. 







The Green Frog comes from his 
winter sleep soon after the red- 
wings appear in the marshes. 

throated creature, hidden among the 
green slime and brown leaves of the 
pond margin, gulps out his ejaculatory 
remark; exclamatory responses come from 
other yellow throats hidden in other parts of 
the shallow water. 

It is easy to confuse the Green Frog with 
the Bullfrog. This is not alone because the two 
look alike, but because both are more aquatic 
than most of the other frogs of eastern North 
America. From season to season they remain 
in the 'water or wander out on the bank only 
a few feet from the water. The Green Frog 
can always be identified by the conspicuous 
lateral folds of skin which extend from the eyes 
to the posterior part of the body. The Bullfrog 
has no such folds. 

In the adult frog the head and the upper 
third of the body are brilliant metallic green. ,, t 

This colour merges^ into a dull brownish olive on ( 'i 

the posterior portion of back and sides. This 
dull colour is likely to be irregularly spotted with 
dark brown. The young frogs (sometimes the older ones) lack 
the light metallic green on the head and shoulders. Instead, 




FIGS. 229 and 230. Adult GREEN FROGS (male and female), 
by the large size of the ear. (For coloration see colour Plate XIII.) 

Rhode Island. The male [left] can he distinguished 

FIG. 231. Structure study of the foot of the GREEN FROG (female). 


FIG. 232. The young GREEN FROG 
climbs out of the water on anything available. 

FIG. 233. The young GREEN FROG (the tail has 
just been absorbed) floats at the surface with eyes and nos- 
trils above the water. [Enlarged.] 

FIG. 234. A young GREEN FROG can be distin- 
guished from the young Bullfrog by the lifted fold of skin 
extending from cadi eye to the posterior end of the body 



FIGS. 235 to 241 (1-71. Photograph to indicate the metamorphosis of the GREEN FROG (Rava clami/ans Latr.). 
Compare the development of the legs in 1,4 and 7. The left arm appears first, thrust through the breathing-pore; the right 
arm breaks through the skin 13). Compare lengths of tail in 2, 5 and 7. Compare 3, 4 and 7 as to the size of the mouth. 

The Green Frog 

there may be a well-defined band of the brilliant green on the 
sides of the upper jaw below the eyes and ears, but elsewhere the 
green is replaced by dull olive. (For colouration 
of the Green Frog, see Colour Plate XIII.) 

The head is narrower than that of the 
Bullfrog, but it is unusually thick through. 
(The head of the female is narrower than 
that of the male.) The eye is very large and 
bright, with a golden iris and an oval 
black pupil. The ear of the male is much 
larger than the eye. (Fig. 229.) It is a 
conspicuous flat brown circle with a yel- 
low spot at the centre. The ear of the 
female is smaller about the size of 
the eye and lacks the yellow centre. 
(Colour Plate XI II.) 

The Green Frog moults the 
skin four or more times each year. 
If the frog is out of the water when 
the moulting takes place, the pro- 
cess is like that of the American 
Toad and of the Leopard Frog, 
and the skin is swallowed. If the 
moulting takes place in water, the 
skin may float off in large 
patches and is not eaten. 

A small pond on a sunny 
day about the middle of April 
is a scene of much beauty and 
of great activity. There is a 

Green Frogs may catch the dragon-flies that have left their larval skins . 



fringe of sombre alder enriching the 
brilliancy of a red maple and setting 
off 'the delicacy of a leaning grey 
birch. On one side the meadow 
slopes gently to the edge of the 
water. The bottom of the pond is 
a mat of delicate green, with lifted 
layers forming black openings lead- 
ing to hidden caverns. The water 
is very clear. Suddenly the sun 
goes under a cloud, and the water 
becomes dark and impenetrable to 
the sight. A gust of wind sends 
the smooth surface into thousands 
of ripples that race toward the 
edge, but before they reach it a 
reverse wind hurries them off to one 
side, and all is still again. A song- 
sparrow sings from the shelter of 
the alders. Again the sun comes 
out, and the bottom of the pond 
is again illuminated. The smallest 
object can be seen distinctly. 
Brown tadpoles appear, and with 
vigorous tail-wigglings begin nib- 
bling the green of the pond bottom. 
A few of them rise to the surface 
to rest in the sunshine. There 

creeps a caddis-fly larva, clumsily carrying its log house. Long- 
legged water-striders walk on the surface where there were none a 
moment before. Black, flat-bottomed whirligig beetles skate over 
the surface in interlacing courses that never end. From one of the 
dark cavern doors a black, yellow-spotted salamander 1 appears, 
moves slowly and gracefully over the green, to disappear within 
another arched doorway in the green. A painted turtle in the 
shallow margin water lumbers over the green with head bent 
downward, and disappears underneath. Suddenly frogs' heads 
are lifted above the green, and then above the water. They are 
Green Frogs; the water is so clear and so illuminated, that we 

The Green Frog captures the 
damsel-flies before their wings are 

1 Amblystoma tigrinum 


The Green Frog 

can see the lateral folds on their sides. All is silent. Their eyes 
are watchful. Occasionally one moves a short distance in such 
a way half-floating, half-swimming that the water is un- 
disturbed. One eats a water-strider, making a slight splash and 
ripple of the water as he uses his hands to help get the insect's 
long legs into his mouth. Having finished the first, he devours 
another. A second frog snaps up a back-swimmer (see p. 183) 
that has rushed to the surface for a breath of air. A large dragon- 
fly larva (see p. 182) creeps right under one frog's nose. He 
dives for it with a great splash of the water, and if we can judge 
by his look of satisfaction and the number of times the great eyes 
are lowered and lifted, success met his effort. A company of 
whirligig beetles circles near one of the frogs. He sees them at 
a distance of three or more feet, and swims slowly about half 
the distance towards them. They approach still nearer. There! 
He snaps up one, then another, then a third. The company 
takes alarm; some dive under the water (each with its silver 
bubble of air), others dash over the surface to join a second com- 
pany farther away. 

And so on. A small pond has infinite numbers of large 
and small forms of life, in a world practically concealed from 
us. In this world each creature is wholly intent on his one 
interest of the moment, whether it be escape from a devouring 
enemy, or the finding of a mate, or a snug retreat, or a breakfast. 
This little world reminds us of our own, in the fact that very often 
the interests of various individuals clash. 

Green Frogs feed upon the fairy shrimps 1 of icy March pools. 

The Green Frogs come early from their hibernation in the 
mud and moss about the ponds. They appear early enough 
to feed upon the delicate fairy shrimps 1 of icy March pools. The 

1 Branchipus. 



truth is, they are more or less active throughout the winter, if the 
temperature is not too low. It is interesting to keep American 
Toads and Green Frogs together under the same conditions, to 
compare their hibernating habits. Even with the temperature at 
60 F., the toads disappear early, and for weeks and months at a 
time will not so much as come to the surface. The frogs scarcely 
hibernate at all. They sit patiently in the water or on the moss, 
or possibly in shallow burrows in the moss. They take worms and 
small fish greedily all through the winter, whereas it is usually 
difficult to get toads to eat before the arrival of spring. 

The eggs of the Green Frog are usually laid some time between 
the last of March and the last of April. The eggs are larger than 
those of the American Toad, and the jelly of the large mass (usu- 
ally fastened to a twig or other support) is very firm, and 
remains so during the early development. The egg clusters are 
often laid during times of high water. Placed just below the sur- 
face of the pond and attached to the twigs of buttonbush, alder 
or other shrubs that are growing in the water, they are left some 
distance above the surface when the water recedes. If this re- 
ceding comes before they are several days old and the jelly- 
mass considerably softened, here they continue to cling to 
their supports and soon dry under the influence of sun and 

The early development of the Green Frog eggs is rapid. The 
young embryos are light in colour and so may be distinguished 
from those of the Wood Frog and of the Leopard Frog, although 
easily confused with those of the Pickerel Frog. The tadpoles, 
(Figs. 235 to 241), like those of the Common Bullfrog, may 
live two years before the final metamorphosis. 2 It is not until the 
second summer, and possibly until the third, that the change to 
the frog form occurs. 

During almost any of the warm months of the year we may 
find Green Frog tadpoles changing to the adults. The hind 
legs grow rapidly, and may be conspicuously barred with dark 
colour. The left arm appears first, thrusting itself out of the 
breathing-pore. (Fig. 237.) Then the right one breaks through 
the skin. The changes in mouth and eyes begin. The tail is slowly 

2 The mouth structure of the Green Frog tadpole is similar to that of the Bullfrog tadpole. 
(See footnote, p. 235.) 



To show change of color in three North American frogs. 

(1) THE EASTERN WOOD FROG [Rana sylvatica 

LeConte. Providence, R. I.] Any individual frog 
may be brown of so dark a shade that it is nearly 
black or so light that it is flesh color; the intermediate 
phases of coloration may be red, yellow or ashy in tone. 

(2) Rana aurora Bd. and Gird. Seattle, Washington. The 

different sizes represent frogs one year old, two years 
old, and three or more years old. 

(3) THE GOPHER FROG [Rana tesopus Cope. Orlando, 

Florida.] The spots are always dark brown or black. 
The background may change from creamy white to 
dark brown (gray, yellow or purple in tone). 

Refer to Index to locate descriptions. 




The Eastern Wood Frog 

absorbed. (Fig. 239.) The ears are the last external sign 
to tell that the change is quite completed. The variation 
in the size, colour, and markings of the changing tadpoles is very 
great. Most curious is the fact that some tadpoles show the 
lateral folds and the colouring of the adult male or female long 
before the change is completed, while others take on the frog form 
entire before the lateral folds are well developed or before the 
sexual colouring is evident. 

The activity and the spirit of adventure which characterize 
the Green Frog are evident very early, in fact before the tail is 
wholly absorbed. The young frog may sit contentedly in shallow 
water (Fig. 234) or float at the surface with only eyes and nose 
above (Fig. 233), but more likely he climbs out of the water on 
anything available. (Fig. 232.) Unlike the youngj Bullfrog, 
which constantly hides under water or moss, the young Green 
Frog is curious and alert, and always in evidence. 

Rana sylvatica Le Conte 


Colour: Variable, changing from chocolate-brown to fawn- 
colour, through varying shades of reddish, yellowish, or greyish 
brown. Lower back and sides may or may not be irregularly 
spotted, legs may or may not be barred, with dark colour. There 
is a black or dark-brown patch of colour in the region of the ear. 
The dark colour may extend in a band (widening behind) from the 
snout to the shoulder. A light line extends along the jaw from 
snout to shoulder. The lateral folds may be light yellowish 
brown. Underparts yellowish or greenish white, sometimes 
mottled with dusky anteriorly. (See Colour Plate XIV.) 

Measurements: Size relatively small, i. e. male 2 inches, 
female 3 inches. Ear smaller than the eye. (Fig. 245.) Dis- 
tance between nostrils equal to the width of the head between 
the eyes. The legs are extremely long, measuring twice the 
length of head and body together. (Fig. 242.) The length of 
the leg to the heel considerably exceeds the total length of head 
and body. The lower leg (tibia) is more than half the combined 
lengths of head and body. (See Fig. 242.) 



In June the Wood Frog is found where 
the fragrant pyrola stands on its carpet 
of oak leaves and pine-needles. 

Structure: The body is 
flat. (Fig. 243.) The head is 
broad and pointed. The skin 
is relatively smooth and moist. 
There are a few tubercles on the 
lower sides and posterior back. 
(Fig. 250.) The lateral folds 
are conspicuous. (Colour Plate 
XIV.) The foot is light-col- 
oured and delicate. The toes 
are long and slender. The web 
is extensive, but it leaves free 
the last two joints of the fourth 
toe and the last joint of each of 
the other four toes. 

Range: Rana sylvatica is 
found in damp woods through- 
out the northeastern United 
States; it is not found west 
of the Great Plains, south of 
South Carolina, or north of 
Quebec, Canada. 

Most of our frogs invite us to ponds or brooks, or river 
margins, if we would find them, but the Wood Frog (Figs. 242 
to 245, and Colour Plate XIV) takes us to the shade of the pines 
and oaks of the forest. 

It is June. The chestnut trees are waving fragrant plumed 
tops. The red-eyed vireo, now in one tree, and then in another, 
is talking incessantly of the beauty of things. A slight wind 
sways the curving branches of low-growing hickories and chest- 
nuts, their leaf shadows falling cool on the moss and brown 
leaves below. As we walk up the wooded hillside, getting our 
garments covered with bedstraw burrs, tiny frogs jump out 
from our feet, in front, at the right, and at the left. But stand 
still, and you will see only the brown pine-needles and oak leaves, 
the erect, fragrant pyrola, and the nodding waxy pipsissewa. 
The frogs are small, and their colours are so thoroughly matched 
with those of their surroundings as to make them almost invisible. 




1 **'*>*** * - * A *- (^ 

The home of the WOOD FROG (Rana y/ratica Le Conte). 



1 2 

FIG. 242 (i). The WOOD FROG covers more ground in a single leap than do most of our other frogs. Photo- 
graphed to show length of hind legs, also the lateral folds and other distinctive characteristics. 
FIG. 243 (21. The WOOD FROG in resting position. 

FIG. 244 (3). Very alert. The WOOD FROG can always be known by its dark cheek patches. 
FIG. 245 (4). The WOOD FROG (Rana sylvatica Le Conte) is a typical land frog. Rhode Island. 

The Eastern Wood Frog 

Step forward ever so little, and bend down to pick a spray of 
red-tipped pyrola flowers, and a frog will leap almost from under 
your very hand. It is hard work to catch a half-dozen of them, 
and good fun to make them swim in the near brook. The 
work comes first, for the ground is uneven and these atoms of 
frogs leap enormous distances, never twice in the same direction. 
Besides, they are not easy to keep after they are caught. They 
are strong and slippery, and they are so delicate that they must 
be handled with great carefulness. The fun comes when we 
release them in the water. They are powerful swimmers, and 
kick out their hind legs vigorously. However, they make for 
the nearest miniature island, or for the shore, where they are 
hidden, and we have at once lost all but one or two. It makes 
us very active indeed to keep trace of these; before we are aware 
of it, they, also, are gone. 

However, we saw them long 
enough to realise that they were 
slender and delicate in shape, grey 
or brown in colour, and that they 
had black or dark-brown cheek- 
patches. They are one-year-old 
Wood Frogs. Wood Frogs are 
more truly land frogs than are 
any of the others among our 
North American frogs. 

In addition to these very 
small frogs, we are certain to come 
upon larger Wood Frogs, two 
years old or more. We are most 
likely to find them along wood 
paths or at the edge of the brook. 

Land-life, and the broader 
experience resulting therefrom, 
seems to have produced a some- 
what higher development in this 
frog. It not only looks much 
more intelligent, but it is certainly 
less unintelligent in some of the 
ways of its living, than other frogs. 
It jumps farther than most of the June. 


The waxy flowers of the pipsissewa. 


others, and has the habit of turning during the movement, so that 
when it strikes the ground it is facing the enemy. It is much more 
alert in getting food, resembling the toad in this respect. It sees 
the moving insect at a distance of several feet, stealthily walks 
or creeps toward it, and perhaps follows it some distance, before 
making the capture. Besides, the Wood Frog is our most silent 
frog, in this, again, resembling the toad. It is only at the early 
breeding-season that its hoarse croaking can be heard. When 
a creature lives on the ground, and has no manner of defense, 
and none of escape, except jumping (and that always on the 
ground), silence must be a great protection. 

The Wood Frog may measure 2^ or 3 inches in length. 
Its head is pointed. The body is broad and flat. (Fig. 243.) 
The legs are extremely long, measuring twice the length of the 
head and body together. The hind feet are strongly webbed. 
The upper parts are light or dark reddish, yellowish, or greyish 
brown in colour. This frog is distinguished within its own range 
by the dark-brown or black cheek-patches. A distinct dark 
line reaches from the front of the eye to the end of the muzzle. 
A golden yellow line extends along the sides of the upper jaw 
and is continued to the shoulder. The eyes, which are larger 
than the ears, are very orominent, and possess an alert, but gentle 
expression. The golden iris shows a lower half much darker 
than the upper. The light-brown lateral folds, extending from 
the eyes to the posterior end of the body, are very conspicuous. 
(Colour Plate XIV.) The male Wood Frog, when held in the 
hand, talks in a vigorous purring voice, something like that of 
the Common Leopard Frog. 

Very early in the spring, the Wood Frogs come from their 
winter sleep under the leaves and mossy logs. In fact, they are 
the first to be enticed by the spring sunshine. In February or 
March, after only a few days of moderate temperature (40 to 60 
F.), the frogs are out and the eggs are laid 1 in the pools of the 
woods or of the open country adjacent. The eggs are laid in 
masses which measure about four or five inches in diameter, and 
which contain from one thousand to three thousand eggs each. 

1 March 23, April 2, 1882. W. H Hinckley, Milton, Mass. 
February 23, March 8, 1890. T. H. Morgan, Baltimore, Md 

April 4, April 10, 1904. After an unusually severe and prolonged winter. (The eggs were 
hatched by April 23.) M. C. Dickerson, Providence, R. I. 


The Eastern Wood Frog 

(Figs. 246 and 247.) The masses may be attached to twigs and 
grasses in shallow water, or they may be free. 

After the eggs have been in the water a week or more, the 
mass flattens and spreads greatly, and rests on the surface of 
the water. There are likely to be several masses close together 
in the water. The jelly about the eggs becomes green in colour, 
and thus the egg-masses bear a close resemblance in position and 
appearance to the floating masses of green pond-scum. The 
green colour of the jelly about the eggs is due to the presence of 
innumerable microscopically small green plants. The relation 
between these plants and the developing egg is one of mutual 
advantage. The plants feed upon the large amount of carbon 
dioxide breathed out by the young tadpoles, and the tadpoles 
get, as their share in the partnership, the free oxygen that the 
plants give out as a waste product from their starch-forming 
process. This oxygen must be of infinite value, produced every- 
where in the midst ot the egg-mass, because it supplies sufficient 
pure air for breathing, in spite of the crowded condition of the 
two thousand or more growing tadpoles. 

These egg-masses are not easily found, partly because they 
are so inconspicuous, and partly because our attention is rivetted 
on the very conspicuous jelly masses (Fig. 249) of the spotted 
salamanders, 1 or of the marbled salamanders 1 (which choose the 
same time and often the same place for depositing eggs). Eggs 
that are laid in water that afterwards freezes are not killed, 
and will develop as soon as a higher temperature returns. 

As has been said, the hoarse croaking of the Wood Frog is 
heard only at the breeding-season. At that time, however, 
dozens of the frogs croak together in a most clamorous fashion. 
The repeated notes are low-pitched (about an octave below 
middle C). The notes have 
been compared to the quack- 
ing of ducks, but near at 
hand, at least, they are much 
less unmusical. The males alone do the croaking. They have 
no external vocal pouches, but, as in the Pickerel and Green frogs 
the throat and sides of the body over the lungs distend consider- 
ably as the sounds are produced. The breeding-season is likely to 


1 Amblystoma punctatum or Amblysloma opacum. 



be over before the first of May. (Fig. 250.) After that time 
their voices are never heard. 

In colour, the eggs are chocolate-brown above and white 
below. If laid early, they develop very slowly, requiring at 
least a month to reach the hatching stage. (Fig. 248.) If laid 
later, when the temperature of the water is much higher, the 
development is so much more rapid that the tadpoles may hatch 
in nine or ten days. The development is especially rapid in 
shallow temporary pools. The young tadpoles are nearly black 
in colour. The external gills become considerably longer and 
more branched before their absorption than do those of the 
Leopard Frog. (See Fig. 210.) 

The tadpoles of the Wood Frog eat 1 not only the green 
jelly-mass from which they themselves hatch, but also the soft 
green spheres within the jelly-masses vacated by young salaman- 
ders. Like other tadpoles, they act as scavengers by greedily 
devouring all dead animal matter of the pond. 

In late May, the margins of the ponds will be found swarm- 
ing with young Wood Frogs with tails of varying lengths. The 
frogs (minus the tails) are f inch long, about the size of a male 
adult Pickering's Hyla. Their hind legs are extremely long, 
and the webs are fully developed. The lateral folds show red- 
brown on a dark wood-brown background. The young frogs 
are active and shy. 

In permanent ponds or in deep or well-shaded temporary 
pools, the development is more slow, because the pool endures 
longer, and the frog is somewhat larger when it leaves the water. 

In late June, the brown leaves of the bottom of such a pond 
are covered with Wood Frog tadpoles that just match the leaves 
in colour. Many of them have the legs well developed, perhaps 
the arms also. With their plump " pollywog " bodies and their 
long waving tails, they are much larger than the young frogs 
that have left the water. 

The variation in colour among the Wood Frogs is great 
indeed, and the colour changes are fairly rapid. The young 
frogs are likely to be dark in colour, more often than light; and 
when light, they are more nearly grey than brown. The older 
ones vary from a colour so light that it might be called flesh- 

1 The mouth structure of R. sylvaiica is like that of ^?. fatcsbiana (see footnote, p. 235), except 
that the lower lip is broader and bears four rows of teeth, instead of three. 


The Northern Wood Frog 

colour, to a brown that is almost black. The female is 
usually much lighter than the male. The Wood Frogs may 
be either conspicuously 
spotted and the legs con- 
spicuously barred, or they 
may show perfectly even 
colour without trace of 
spots or bars. Indeed, 
conspicuously spotted and 
barred frogs may lose all 
trace of the markings with- 
in the space of half an hour. 
The change from light 
brown to dark, or the re- 
verse, may take place in 
fifteen minutes only. (See 
Colour Plate XIV.) 

The Wood Frog is 
beautiful at all times It 
has a high-bred and delicate 
air. It is to the ground 
what the chickadee is to the trees --a gentle spirit of the 
woods. Its appearance and ways are always in harmony with 
the subdued light, the quiet, and the delicate mosses and frail 
ferns that live in the shade of great trees. 

Rana cantabrigiensis Baird 


Colour: Dark brown to yellowish grey. A dark line from 
the end of the muzzle extends backward on each side along the 
canthus rostralis through the eye, to form a large patch of colour 
in the region of the ear. A light line along the jaw from the 
end of the muzzle to the shoulder. There may be a light dorsal 
streak from near the end of the muzzle to the posterior part of 
the body. Lateral folds light-coloured, and bordered below by 
irregular line of black. Legs barred or spotted with dark. 



Underparts light, more or less mottled with dark, yellowish 

Measurements: Size below medium, i. e. length 2 to 2| inches. 
Distance between nostrils greater than width of the head between 
the eyes. Legs long, length to heel just equalling total length 
of head and body. (Legs shorter than are those of Rana sylvatica.} 
Tibia equal to the femur and equal to one-half the total length 
of head and body. 

Structure: Skin smooth. Head pointed. Ear smaller than 
the eye. Lateral folds not greatly elevated. Web large. 

Range: The distribution of Rana cantdbrigiensis is wholly 
northern. It is reported from Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, 
and Minnesota northward to Great Slave Lake on the west and 
St. James Bay on the east. 

Rana cantdbrigiensis would be recognised at once as a species 
closely related to Rana sylvatica, the Eastern Wood Frog. It 
differs only slightly in colouration and general form. It can be 
distinguished at once by the leg measurement; the leg to the 
heel just equals in length the total measurement of head and body. 

This frog has the same delicacy of beauty, the same gentle- 
ness and alertness of expression, possessed by the Eastern Wood 
Frog. It would be surprising to find any great difference in its 
habits. It is probably silent, except at the breeding-season, 
and is more thoroughly a land frog than are most of the species 
of Rana. 

Its relationship to Rana sylvatica is also shown by its 
northern distribution, which provess ability to endure a lower 
temperature than most frogs. (Rana sylvatica is the earliest frog 
to appear in the spring in the northeastern United States.) 

West of the range of Rana cantdbrigiensis, that is, from the 
Great Slave Lake to Alaska, inclusive, the representative of 
this frog is a subspecies, Rana cantdbrigiensis latiremis Cope. 
The leg measurement will always distinguish this frog from 
the Northern Wood Frog. The western form has short, stout 
legs, the measurement to the heel never being more than three- 
fourths the combined lengths of head and body (length to heel 
equals distance forward to eye.) There are a few other differ- 
ences plainly visible; for instance, distance between the nostrils 



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FIG. 251 (i). Structure study of Kami draytoiin Bd. and Gird. (Female. Half-grown.) South San Francisco, Cal. 

FIG. 252 (2). Photograph of foot of Rana draytonii (female) to show size and number of the tubercles on the sole and 
under the joints of the toes. (In water.) 

FIG. 253 (3). Frog of Figs. 251 and 254. Note the length of the fingers. 

FIG. 254 (4). Photograph (in water) to show one possibility in size and arrangement of spots. 

Rana Draytonii 

is considerably greater than the width of head between the eyes, 
and the webs are much larger than in either Rana cantdbrigiensis 
or Rana sylvatica. 



Colour: Female Reddish brown on the upper parts, with 
or without darker spots. The region below and behind the eye 
(including the ear) may be dark brown in colour. A yellowish 
band along the jaw from the shoulder to the eye. Arms, legs, 
and upper sides irregularly spotted with dark; the legs may 
be transversely barred. Underparts light, spotted, and marbled 
with dark. Lower sides of body and underparts of legs and feet 
bright red. Rich mosaic arrangement of black and yellow on upper 
leg and side of body where they rest against each other. The 
male is less rich in colouring. It is greyish brown or yellowish, 
is more likely to be distinctly spotted, and has much less red. 
In both sexes, the palm of the hand and the sole of the foot are 
purplish grey in colour. (See Colour Plate XV.) 

Measurements: Size large, i. e. adult males 2| to 4! inches 
(Figs. 255 and 256), females still larger. The length of the head 
is contained three times in the total length of head and body. 
The lower leg is somewhat longer than the upper leg. The 
length of the leg to the heel is not as great as the combined lengths 
of head and body. 

Structure: The skin is tuberculated, especially in old speci- 
mens. (Fig. 255.) Buttocks granulated. Head broader than 
long, rounded in front. Body broad and heavy. Canthus 
rostralis fairly prominent. The ear is smaller than the eye. 
(Fig. 251.) A glandular ridge extends backward from under 
the eye, narrowing to the arm. This ridge is interrupted at the 
angle of the jaw, and also back of this, where the curving ridge 
descends from the eye to the shoulder. (See Fig. 255.) The 
lateral folds are distinct, and are perforated with minute pits. 
There is a conspicuous fold of skin over the ear from eye to 
shoulder. The legs are massive in full-grown specimens. The 
tubercles under the toe-joints are especially conspicuous. The 
inner tubercle of the sole is medium in size; the outer, small or 
lacking. (Fig. 252.) A distinct tarsal ridge. The fingers are 



unusually long. (Fig. 253.) The first is thickened at the base 

Range: Rana Draytonii is reported from various parts of 
California, also from the mountains of Lower California. (From 
Petaluma, El Dorado, Presidio, Fort Tejon, Carmel, San Fran- 
cisco, and South San Francisco, California.) 

This Western species, when half-grown, is a frog of much 
beauty of form as well as of colouring and texture of skin. It 
is very alert and intelligent-looking, and becomes tame in cap- 
tivity. (Fig. 251.) When it has attained its full size, it is 
much less attractive in appearance. The eye, although very 
lustrous, seems too small for the size of the frog; the skin has 
toughened and coarsened until it is leathery in appearance, and 
is tubercular in structure (see Fig. 255), and the colouring is 
much less delicate and beautiful. 

This frog is hardy. It is partially aquatic in its habits, 
remaining in shallow water much of the time and taking food 
from under the water. It eats fish greedily, as does the Eastern 
Bullfrog, and therefore must prove a menace in fish-ponds. 

It is a very awkward frog, because of the massive build 
and great length of its hind legs. (Figs. 255 and 256.) When 
walking, it is ludicrous in appearance, and it is still more 
ridiculous when it captures a fish from under the surface of the 
water and swallows it. The frog tries to brace himself on the 
long hind legs so as to use the hands, both at the same time to 
keep the fish away from the angles of the jaws and to push it 
into the mouth. To brace himself against slippery mud is not 
easy, and besides, the frog loses his balance because both hands 
are lifted at once, so he makes a great kicking and splashing 
before he finally swallows the fish. This frog eats not only 
fish, but also various water-insects, tadpoles, and smaller frogs. 
This species is said to be one of the most cannibalistic of our 
North American frogs. He eats worms and air insects, also; 
among the latter, sow-bugs are said to be favourites. 

Both male and female " talk " vigorously in a low-pitched 
musical voice, when they are taken in the hand so that the feet 
are unsupported. There is no appearance of distended vocal 
sacs when the frog croaks. 



draytonii Bd. and Gird. Female, four or five years old. 
South San Francisco, Cal. Photographed to show the coloring of 
the upper and under surfaces. The frog at the left is in water. 

/ gj7"?\.ys*;p , : - , 

,/'jr>jtt:T 4 

Rana Draytonii 

This frog can be recognised at once because of the presence 
and distribution of red colour on the underparts. This colour 
is vividly displayed on the sides when the frog is in sitting posi- 
tion; considerable red is sometimes found on the upper surfaces 
of the body and legs, blending with the rich chocolate-brown 
of the upper parts. (Colour Plate XV.) The dark brown or black 
patch of colour in the region of the ear will help to identify the 
frog sometimes, but very often this spot is no darker than the 
background of colour elsewhere. The iris is rich orange-bronze, 
instead of yellow, as in its near neighbour, Rana pretiosa. But 
from this species the smooth, firm texture of the skin on the soles 
of its feet will at once distinguish it. (See Fig. 252. Compare 
with Fig. 263.) The tubercles under the joints of fingers and 
toes are unusual in size. There is great variety in the size and 
appearance of the spots on different individuals. Some are 
almost plain in colour and some are conspicuously spotted. 
The spots may be of large size (see Fig. 256) or very small. 
They may be spots of solid colour or may have lighter centres. 
(Fig. 254.) The spots may infringe on the lateral folds, in fact, 
sometimes small spots are aggregated along the lateral folds. 

For the exact webbing of the toes, see Fig. 252. The web 
of the male is broader than that of the female. The first finger 
on the hand of the male is thickened and hardened at its base, 
and is dark-coloured and horny, especially on its upper surface. 
All of the fingers are unusually long. (Fig. 253.) 

Rana draytonii hibernates in the mud at the bottom of ponds 
and creeks in winter, when the air is colder than the mud and 
water. Here the frogs would be at the mercy of their enemies 
the large water-beetles, water-snakes, and especially the leeches, 
except that the cold affects these enemies in the same fashion, 
and they are sleeping also. 

In the region of middle California, this frog comes from 
its hibernation in late January or in February. The large egg- 
clusters are laid at once in the shallow water of ponds. It is 
said that the eggs hatch in about six weeks, and that the tad- 
poles become young frogs in four or five months. 1 

The young frog is very small in the first year and still during 
the second and third years, in fact, it takes four or five years 

1 Facts given by S. C. Coombs, Frog Ranch, South San Francisco, Cal. 

2I 5 


for it to attain a length of two and a half to three inches, and 
eight years or more to become full-grown. It is said by people 
of the Western Coast that RanaDraytonii is the best edible frog in 
North America, and that the flesh of the Eastern Bullfrog is 
tough and coarse compared with it. 



Colour: Brown, yellowish, or olive, often matching the colour 
of dead leaves. There may be small spots or specks of dark 
brown or black on head, back, and sides. Space behind the eye 
and including the ear may be black. A black line below canthus 
rostralis from eye to jaw. Iris golden yellow. Glandular fold 
from under eye to shoulder, yellowish. Upper and lower lips 
spotted with dark. Arm may be crossed by 3 to 5 narrow dark 
bands. Much red in the colouration, showing on the parts of 
legs and feet which are concealed when folded, on the sides of 
the body, and under the arms at their insertions. Reticulations 
of yellow and black on body and femur where they lie against each 
other. Throat and underparts light, obscurely mottled with 
dark. Hand and foot may be purplish grey in colour. (For 
colouration, see Plate XIV.) 

Measurements: Size medium, i. e. length 2^ to 3^ inches. 
Length of head enters total length three and a quarter to three 
and a half times. Leg very long, its length to the heel exceeding 
the total length of the head and body. Tibia much longer than 
femur. (See Colour Plate XIV.) 

Structure: Skin very smooth, finely pitted. Buttocks 
granulated. Broad lateral folds perforated with pits. Groove 
along the middle of the back. Body flat, long, and slender. 
(Fig. 258.) Muzzle rounded. Canthus rostralis prominent. A 
glandular fold of skin along jaw from under the eye to the shoul- 
der. Eyes large, prominent, facing outwards. Space between 
eyes equal to or greater than the width of the eyelid. Ear round, 
one-third to one-half the diameter of the eye; it is likely to be 
inconspicuous when the cheek-patch is dark. Ridge from pos- 
terior angle of eye to shoulder not prominent. Tibia ridged 
lengthwise. Arms and legs slender. Fingers long and slender; 




FIGS. 255 and 256. Male frog of Raiia diavtuini Bd. and Gird., eight or more years old. Slightly under natural 
size. South San Francisco, Cal. The missive legs are conspicuously banded and the back has many large dark spots. 
The skin is leathery and tubercular. 



FIG. 257.- Rana onca, Cope. Las Vegas, Nevada. Immature frogs, i l /4 in. long. (For description see 
page 196 ; for coloration see Colour Plate II.) 

FIG. 258. Rana aurora Bd. and Gird. Seattle, Washington. (For coloration see Colour Plate XIV.) 

FIG* 259 Rana aurora Bd. and Gird. (For description see page 216.) 

Rana Aurora 

base of first finger greatly thickened in male (Fig. 258) ; tuber- 
cles under finger-joints fairly conspicuous. Foot not thick, 
web delicate, with two joints of fourth toe free; inner sole 
tubercle'small, outer small or lacking. (Fig. 259.) 

Range: Rana aurora occupies the Pacific Slope. It is 
reported from Washington, Oregon, and California. In Cali- 
fornia, where Rana Draytonii is the common frog, Rana aurora is 
said to be found in the high Sierras only; in Oregon and Wash- 
ington, it is abundant, but is less so in many parts of these 
states than is Rana pretiosa. 

Rana aurora is a delicately formed, smooth frog, less hardy 
than most frogs of North America. (See Figs. 258 and 259, also 
Colour Plate XIV.) It is shy and wild, and difficult to keep in 
captivity, except in a perfect imitation of its environment. In 
such a place, it seems to enjoy equally sitting under the shade 
of ferns or in the water, and eats earth-worms greedily. Both 
male and female give high-pitched, jerky cries, expressing fright, 
when taken in the hand. One unusually large specimen opened 
his mouth wide and gave a prolonged high-pitched scream, remind- 
ing one of the similar sound produced by the Common Bullfrog. 

Judging from the radical difference in the sizes of the frogs 
to be found in the spring, this frog requires four or five years to 
become full-grown. It changes colour rapidly, from dark rich 
browns to delicate shades of rosy tan. Rana aurora is a delicate, 
timid-looking frog, but, notwithstanding the promise of its name, 
it does not always compare in beauty with many of the other 
frogs of North America. It seldom has the richness of colouring 
that may be possessed by Rana draytonii, its neighbour on the 
Pacific Slope. 

Rana aurora is easily confused with Rana draytonii (Fig. 251 
and Colour Plate XV), because of the likeness, both in colouring 
and proportions. The former frog can be distinguished by the 
following characteristics: It has a longer leg, the greater length 
especially noticeable in the tibia. Its skin is very smooth, 
while that of Rana draytonii, especially in the full-grown frogs, 
is always tubercular, and may be extremely so (even on the ear). 
Rana aurora has a longer foot with a broader web, but with a 
much smaller inner sole tubercle. 



Rana pretiosa Baird and Girard 


Colour: Variable; dull or bright yellowish or reddish brown 
on head, back, and upper surfaces of arms and legs. Few or 
many irregular, roundish black spots like splashes of ink 
on the back between the lateral folds. Lower sides light yel- 
lowish grey, unspotted. Underparts light, obscurely or con- 
spicuously marbled with greyish brown. Salmon-red on under- 
surfaces of legs, and in a more or less conspicuous U-shaped 
marking on the belly. A light glandular streak from under the 
eye to the arm, interrupted at the end of the jaw. Iris bright 
yellow, noi orange-coloured or bronze. (See Colour Plate XVI.) 

Measurements: Size medium, i. e. male 2 to 3 inches; female 
3 to 4 inches in length. Leg to the heel as long as the body 
(i. e. forward to the ear). Foot conspicuously longer than lower 
leg. (Figs. 260 and 262, also Colour Plate XVI.) 

Structure: The skin is everywhere rough, even in the region 
of the ear. Lateral folds distinct. Head rounded, broader 
than long. Ear smaller than the eye. Head not conspicuously 
angled along the lines between eyes and nostrils. Nostrils 
round. Eye not large, set obliquely, so as to be but slightly 
elevated, and so as to face more dorsalwards than is usual. 
The foot has broad webs extending to the tips of all the toes, 
except the fourth, which has the short terminal joint free. (Fig. 
260.) The whole lower surface of the foot, as well as the but- 
tocks and outer surfaces of legs (especially of lower leg), very 
rough with crowded tubercles. The inner tubercle of the foot 
is small, and there is a small tubercle opposite this on the sole. 
(Fig. 263.) 

Range: Northwestern North America, as far east as the 
foot of the Rocky Mountains in Montana, north to Puget Sound, 
and south to southern California. 

The Western Frog has been found during the winter, sleep- 
ing in the mud under a foot or more of water, along marshy lake 



THE WESTERN FROG [Rana pretiosa Bd. and Gird. 
Female. Seattle, Washington.] Photographed (in water) to show 
the coloring of the upper and under surfaces. 

. r 

f f' 

The Western Frog 

margins. It appears in the Puget Sound region from the last 
of February to the middle of March. A few scattered individuals 
may, however, be seen on sunny days throughout the winter. 
These are usually among the lily-pads along the marshy borders 
of the lakes. 

As soon as they appear in March, they set up a noisy croak- 
ing, and the eggs are laid between this time and the first of April. 
The egg-masses (Fig. 261) are unattached. They vary greatly 
in size, but average about a pint in bulk. In one case where 
the eggs were counted, a laying consisted of over fifteen hundred 
eggs. The eggs are relatively large, measuring nearly 2 mm. 
in diameter. Each egg is in a transparent sphere of jelly meas- 
uring one-half inch across. The eggs are placed in the shallow, 
marshy pools near a lake, but never in the deep lake-water itself. 
The length of time required for hatching is from one to two weeks, 
varying with the temperature; those in the warm, shallow water 
hatching earlier than those in deep water. The later develop- 
ment is slow, and it is not until after the summer is passed that 
the tadpole becomes a frog. This slow development is perhaps 
correlated to the conditions of the region of the frog's range. 
There is an abundance of water in this region, even in summer, 
so that the development is not hastened by the drying up of the 

From this time on the growth is slow; at least, there can be 
found, each spring, frogs of four or five different sizes, so that it 
would seem as though they require four or five years to reach 
the adult size. 

The adults are easily captured during the breeding-season. 
As soon as we approach them, they dive into the mud of their 
shallow pool, burying the head and shoulders, but leaving the 
legs exposed in good position for capture. Their colouring is 
highly protective. It is difficult to see them when they are 
sitting among the alternating lights and shadows of the reeds. 
They depend so much on their protective colouration, that they 
lie low and allow themselves to be touched before taking alarm. 1 

This frog is distinguished from other Western frogs by its 
round nostrils, the tubercular character of the soles of the feet, 
the long foot and large web, and the lack of prominent lines 

1 Many facts concerning this species were kindly furnished by Prof. J. F. Tiling worth, Seattle, 



from the nostrils to the eyes. The frog shows no salmon-red 
colour when in sitting position, and so one's surprise is great 
on discovering so much brilliant colour on the under surface of 
the frog's body and legs. The undersurfaces of the arms may have 
the same colour. The lack of red on the side distinguishes it 
at once from Rana Draytonii (see Colour Plate XV), and from 
Rana aurora, as does also, the lack of dark cheek-patches. 
The position of the eyes also aids in the distinction. 

As to colouration, this frog may be any shade of yellowish 
or reddish brown, from the lightest to the darkest. The sides 
are always lighter than the back. The legs are irregularly 
barred and spotted with brown. The knees are likely to possess 
the same light yellowish grey colour of the lower sides. The 
male is considerably smaller than the female, and is likely to 
be more spotted. The forearms are muscular, and the first 
finger is thickened and hardened at its base. The feet and 
webs are enormous for the size of the frog. (Fig. 260.) The 
web has a spread of one and one-half inches on a frog only two 
and one-half inches long. 

When taken in the hand so that its feet are unsupported, 
this frog " talks " vigorously, as do many of the frogs and toads. 
This is true of both male and female, but the voice of the male 
is louder and more emphatic. External vocal pouches do not 
show when the frog croaks. 

The Western Frog is thoroughly aquatic in its habits. It 
gets its food largely from the water, feeding greedily on small 
fish, as does its near neighbour on the Western coast, Rana dray- 
tonii, and as does the Eastern Bullfrog. 

It is interesting to watch the male swim in very shallow 
water. With flattened body and lowered head, he searches 
for something under which he can hide. Finding nothing, he 
kicks out his powerful legs, alternately spreads and folds the 
extremely large webs, and continues the search. He some- 
times turns so sharply, that the body is entirely turned around 
before the legs have had time to turn, and so for the moment 
one leg ludicrously measures itself straight forward along the 
body. Finally, some bit of moss is found under which the frog 
can push his head, and there consider himself safe. So safe 
does he feel, that almost immediately he lifts his head till nostrils 
and yellow eyes are above the weeds and water. The eyes are 




FIG. 260 (i).Ranapretiosa. (Male). Seattle, Washington. The first finRer is thickened, the webs are unusually large 
FIG. 261 (2). A portion of the egg-mass of Kana pretiosa. 

FIG. 262 (3). Rana preliosa. (Female). Seattle, Washington. Distinguished by round nostrils, warty skin long foot 
and light lower sides. 

FIG. 263 (4). Rana pretiosa. (Female). Structure study of foot. 

























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Rana Boylii 

peculiar, in that they are little elevated at their upper margins, 
and so face upward more nearly than sideways. This is one 
ot the many characteristics that adapt this frog to a thoroughly 
aquatic existence. 



Colour: Dull olive or greyish brown; sometimes brick-red. 
Upper surface may be obscurely spotted with dark. Upper 
jaw spotted irregularly. Iris metallic yellow. Legs and arms 
barred with dark. Underparts white, mottled anteriorly, and 
bright yellow posteriorly. Much yellow around the arm inser- 
tion. Webs yellow (See Colour Plate II.) 

Measurements: Size small, i. e. length i^ to 2\ inches. Head 
short and broad. (Fig. 265.) Legs very long; length to heel 
equals the total length of the frog, and sometimes exceeds it. 
(Fig. 265.) Tibia longer than femur. 

Structure: Skin thick and coarse; unusually warty over 
all upper parts. (Fig. 264.) Underparts smooth; buttocks 
granular. Lateral folds broad, not elevated, very inconspicuous. 
Muzzle projects beyond lower lip. Nostrils small. Ear round, 
smaller than eye, indistinct because covered with fine warts, as 
is the surrounding skin. (Fig. 264.) The fold extending over 
the ear from eye to shoulder is indistinct. Canthus rostralis 
prominent. Space between the eyes greater than the width 
of the eyelid. Arms well developed; fingers long, with small 
tubercles under the joints. Foot with broad webs extending 
quite to the expanded tips of the toes. Inner sole tubercle 
medium in size; outer tubercle small. (Fig. 266.) 

Range: Rana boylii Baird and Girard, is reported from 
California and Oregon. 1 

Rana boylii, which, in California, is called the Yellow-legged 
Frog, has perhaps the most toad-like appearance of any frog 
of North America, although it does not sit erect in toad fashion. 
(Fig. 265.) The likeness lies in the texture of the skin. The 

1 Eldorado County, Ashland, Ore Shasta County; Mill Valley, Maria County, Cal. 



short, flat body is completely covered with small warts, from 
the tip of the nose to the ends of the feet, producing a surface 
that at first glance has somewhat the appearance of coarse sand- 
paper. The frog is usually olive, grey, or yellow-brown, obscurely 
spotted on the back (Colour Plate II), but often the whole 
tubercular upper surface is bright brick-red. This red is some- 
times to be seen on the lateral folds and on the tibia, when the 
frog is brown or olive elsewhere. 

Rana boylii is excessively shy and wild. Its first instinct 
is to hide. It scuttles head-first under cover at any approach. 
If there is no place of concealment, or if its hiding place is dis- 
turbed, it leaps great distances, and the enemy who can capture 
it must be alert of sight and grasp. This frog emits a curious, 
oily odour, greatly like that given out by the California Toad, 
Bujo balopbilus. 

It has great power to change its colour from dark to light, 
appearing nearly black at one moment, and light reddish or 
yellowish grey half an hour later. 

Rana boylii is one of the most distinct species of frogs in 
North America. Within its own range, the yellow colour of 
the underparts will suffice to distinguish it, since Rana dray- 
tonii, Rana aurora, and Rana pretiosa, the other frogs of the 
Pacific Slope, have red instead of yellow in the colouration. Com- 
pared with all the frogs of North America, it is peculiar in the 
tubercular character of the skin, though some specimens of 
Rana draytonii approach it in this characteristic. Rana boylii 
is like Rana pretiosa, Rana catesbiana, Rana grylio, and Rana 
septentrionalis in the extensive webbing of the feet. 



Colour: Chocolate-brown or brownish olive, with four narrow 
lengthwise stripes of bright golden brown. There are two of 
these stripes on each side. One occupies the position usually 
held by the lateral fold (i. e. from the posterior part of the eye 
backward) ; the other lies below this, and extends along the middle 
of the side. The lower stripe is continuous with a stripe of bright 
golden brown extending from the shoulder forward along the 


Rana Virgatipes 

jaw. Throat yellow, speckled with bronze. The sides of the frog 
have large dark spots on a metallic, brownish yellow back-ground. 
There are small black spots on the back and sides between the 
stripes. The belly and undersurfaces of the arms are yellowish 
white, spotted and mottled with rich brown. Under-surfaces of 
legs vividly striped lengthwise with yellow and brown; stripes 
continued on tibia and foot. (See Colour Plate XIII.) 

Measurements: Size somewhat below medium, 5. e. length 
2 to i\ inches. Head long; length contained three times in 
total length. (Fig. 267.) Space on top of head between eyes 
unusually narrow (half width of eyelid). Leg short (Fig. 268); 
length of leg to heel equals length of body forward to the ear. 
Tibia and femur equal. Foot relatively long; fourth toe much 
the longest; third longer than fifth. 

Structure: Skin relatively smooth and wet. Head pointed, 
upper jaw projecting over the lower. Canthus rostralis promi- 
nent. Eye peculiarly bulging (Fig. 267); extends beyond 
the jaw on the sides of the head, so that it can be seen from 
below. Ear larger than eye, and very distinct, surrounded by a 
circular ridge of skin. Inconspicuous fold of skin from eye 
over ear to shoulder. No lateral folds. A groove marks the 
middle of the back. Fingers slender; first thickened at base. 
Web broad and conspicuous; two joints of fourth toe free. Inner 
sole tubercle of medium size; outer lacking. 

Range: Reported from Atlantic City and Lakehurst, New 

Rana virgatipes (Colour Plate XIII and Figs. 267 and 268) 
was first discovered by Cope, at Atlantic City, in 1891. It was 
found in company with Leopard Frogs and Green Frogs, in stag- 
nant water, where sphagnum moss, bladderworts, and water-lilies 
grow. In the summer of 1905, it was reported as very abundant 
near this type locality. 1 

These frogs have been seen at Lakehurst, at intervals from 
May to September. They occur rather abundantly in the ditches 
about the cranberry-bogs, as well as in the lake itself. They 
are often found seated on a lily-pad or on the sphagnum moss. 2 

i.Fowler, Acad. Nat. Sci., Philadelphia. 

2 1 am indebted to William T. Davis, New Brighton, N. Y., for these facts, as well as for 



Rana virgatipesis decidedly a water frog, and is one of the least 
hardy of the North American species. It has only average powers 
of leaping and swimming, but its instincts for hiding are strong. 
When disturbed, it disappears at once under floating water-weeds. 

It differs from the other smaller frogs of North America in the 
great development of the eyes and ears. It is like the bullfrogs 
in lacking the lateral folds. It resembles the Leopard Frog, 
in that the male frog has large vocal sacs that can be extended 
at the sides behind and under the ears. It shows close relation- 
ship in structure and habit to Rana grylio (pp. 227 to 227). 

Rana sepientrionalis Baird 


Colour: Light olive, with or without coarse vermiculations 
of darker colour. There may be large irregular blotches of 
brown on the sides and posterior back. No light stripe along the 
jaw. Legs blotched or transversely banded. Underparts light yel- 
lowish, unspotted. Buttocks yellow, with dark blotches. Posterior 
surface of femur may be strongly reticulated with dark colour. 

Measurements: Size medium, i. e. length 2 to 3 inches. Leg 
measurement to heel equals body measurement forward to the 
eye. Tibia and femur about equal in length. 

Structure: Skin relatively smooth; finely pitted when ex- 
amined closely. Underparts smooth. Buttocks but slightly 
granulated. Body rather stout. Head narrow, rounded in 
front. Space between the eyes narrow. Nostrils large, half- 
way between eyes and tip of muzzle. Ear larger than the eye 
in the male, smaller than the eye in the female. No lateral 
folds, or only slight traces of them. Feet long, toes provided 
with long, broad webs. Inner sole tubercle medium in size. 

Range: Rana septentrionalis is wholly northern in its dis- 
tribution. It is reported from the Adirondack Mountains, 
from Lucknow, Ontario, and Fort Ripley, Minnesota, and from 
Moose River and the Hudson Bay region. 

It is thought that this species is intermediate in its charac- 
teristics between some more primitive form and nearly all the 


The Northern Frog 

North American species of Rana. From some such form might 
have come all of our frogs, except, perhaps, the black-cheeked 
ones, such as Rana sylvatica, Rana draytonii, and the like. It 
shows close relationship to the Green Frog (Rana clamitans) and 
to the Bullfrog (Rana catesbiana) . 

The Northern Frog is described as decidedly a river frog; 
it is never captured in lakes and ponds. It is silent and unob- 
trusive, solitary in habit, and thoroughly aquatic. We do not 
see it in meadows or woods, but if we walk along the brook 
margin or river bank, it will dive into the water, much as does 
the Pickerel Frog (Rana palusiris) in a similar situation. It 
hides under stones, among water-plants, or in the mud near 
the centre of the stream, and may not return to the surface for 
fully a half-hour. In this habit of remaining long under water 
when frightened, it resembles the Common Leopard Frog (Rana 
pipiens). When it does appear, just head and shoulders are 
thrust out among the water-weeds at the border of the stream. 
The Northern Frog eats water-insects, and sometimes small 

The breeding-season is in June and July. 1 The egg-masses 
adhere to water-plants, and wave back and forth with the cur- 
rent half-way between the surface of the water and the bottom. 
Two years are required for the development and metamorphosis 
of the tadpole. The full-grown tadpole with developing legs 
may measure four inches in length, two and one-half inches 
being the measurement of the tail. The tadpoles are the scav- 
engers of the brooks and rivers. For instance, they will greedily 
eat a dead brook-trout, leaving only a perfectly cleaned skeleton. 

Both the frogs and the tadpoles give off a strong, disagree- 
able odour when annoyed. This odour is said to be like the 
scent of the mink, and this species of frog is often called the 
Mink Frog. 

1 June 24 and July 30, 1883. Dr J. H. Gamier, Lucknow, Ontario. 



Rana grylio Stejneger 


Colour: Head and shoulders usually vividly green; olive 
posteriorly, with many irregular black spots. The whole frog may 
be olive or rich dark brown. Ear orange-brown, with green centre. 
Middle and posterior back may have four longitudinal bands of 
bright orange-brown, alternating with bands of olive. Small black 
spots on legs. Underparts light, unspotted, except posteriorly. 
Throat of male bright yellow. Undersurfaces of legs may be mot- 
tled and reticulated in coarse pattern with black and yellow. 

Measurements: Size large, i. e. length 4 to 5 inches. Head 
long, its length contained little more than two and one-half 
times in the total length. (Fig. 269.) Legs medium in length; 
length to heel equals length of frog forward to a point anterior 
to the eye. Tibia same length as femur. 

Structure: Skin smooth on the head, slightly rougher else- 
where on upper parts (Fig. 274); when examined closely, seen 
to be everywhere finely pitted. Head with pointed outlines, 
gradually diverging backward to the widest part of the head 
in the region of the middle point of the ear. (Fig. 271.) Eyes 
greatly elevated and unusually large. (Fig. 273.) Space be- 
tween the eyes narrow. Ear of male greatly larger than the 
eye (twice the diameter) (Fig. 269); that of the female about 
equals the eye in diameter. (Fig. 270.) Nostrils prominent, 
near together; slightly nearer to the muzzle than to the eye. 
Elevated fold of skin over the ear to the shoulder. (Fig. 274.) 
A groove runs along the midline of the back. Arms and legs 
very muscular. Fingers long. (Fig. 271.) Foot broad; webs 
large, extending fully to ends of toes (all except fourth toe rela- 
tively longer than corresponding toes of Rana catesbiana). 
(Fig. 272.) No outer sole tubercle; inner sole tubercle small. 
Palm tubercles and all subarticular tubercles small. 

Range: Reported from Florida (Pensacola, Kissimmee, 
Ozona) and Mississippi (Bay St. Louis). 

This frog was first found in 1900 at Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, 
but was not recognised as a distinct species until more material 




FIG. 263. The SOUTHERN BULLFROG (Rana grylio Stejneger~). Ozona, Florida. A beautiful frog, very retiring 
and thoroughly aquatic in habit. Usually vivid metallic green on head and shoulders, olive posteriorly. Head long and 
pointed. Ear of male greatly larger than the eye. 


FIG. 270. Female of the SOUTHERN BULL- 
FROG. The ear is no larger than the eye. 

FIG. 271. Photographed I in wuturi to show the long narrow 
head, and the smooth character of the undersurfaces of the fingers 
and toes. The breathing movements of the throat are suspended 
under water. 



FIG. 272 (i). Foot of Rana grylio. Toes long with inconspicuous tubercles and long broad webs. 
FIG. 273 (2). Head pointed ; eyes greatly elevated and close together. 

FIG. 274 (3). Structure study of Rana giylio. (Enlarged.) To show texture of skin, relative size of eye and ear, and 
fold oi skin from eye to shoulder. The photograph shows the transparent nictitating membrane of the eye. 

The Southern Bullfrog 

was obtained some time later from Kissimmee, Florida. The 
frog might be unknown now, if it had not been for the persistent 
reports of its voice. The sounds produced are said to resemble 
the grunting of a herd of pigs, thus differing entirely from the 
familiar bass notes of the Common Bullfrog. 

The frog is really very different in appearance from the 
Common Bullfrog, not resembling it in shape, porportions of 
body, or colouring. The long, narrow, pointed head, with its 
large eyes set close together, tell the story at once. But other 
evidences lie in the ratio of the lengths of head and body (com- 
pare Figs. 269 and 278), in the greater length of toes (except 
the fourth) (compare Figs. 272 and 282), and in the finely pitted 
texture of the skin. In addition to all these points, there is 
that of colouration. Rana grylio, in its brilliant phases of colouring, 
furnishes one of the most charming studies in blended shades 
of yellow, green, and brown, all of these colours showing metallic 
lustre. Especially beautiful is the colouring of the undersurfaces. 
This species shows great power of changing colour. It may 
be brilliant or dull, light or dark/ green or brown. There may 
be green as vivid as that of the anterior head region on the breast, 
at each side, about the arm insertion. 

The frog is shy and wary, and is seldom seen, except by 
those who are looking for it. It lives in deep water, among 
pond-lilies and other vegetation of the lake. It seldom leaps; 
its strong instinct, when frightened, is to dive and hide. 

Rana grylio shows close relationship to Rana virgatipes 
of New Jersey in shape and proportion, metallic colouring, tex- 
ture of skin, large size of eyes and ears, in lacking the lateral 
folds, and in aquatic habits. 

Rana catesbiana Shaw 


Colour: Green or greenish brown, of light or dark shade. 
The back and sides may be plain in colour or may be spotted 
with dark. (Figs. 276 and 277.) The spots, when present, 
may be distinct or connected. Arms and legs spotted or barred 



with dark. Underparts white, distinctly or obscurely spotted 
and mottled with dark. The throat of the male may be yellow. 
The iris is either golden or reddish bronze. 

Measurements: Size large, both male and female often 
reaching a length of 7 to 8 inches. The leg to the heel is not 
as long as the combined lengths of head and body. The femur 
is about equal to the tibia. 

Structure: The head is broad and flat. The body is stout 
and flat. Ear of male much larger than the eye (Fig. 277); 
the ear of the female is about the size of the eye. (Fig. 276.) 
The lateral folds are lacking. (Figs. 276 and 278.) A strong 
fold of skin extends from behind the eye to the arm, curving 
around the ear. (Figs. 277 and 278.) Toes broadly webbed; 
no joints free, except the last of the fourth toe. (Fig. 282.) 

Range: Rana catesbiana Shaw is found in North America, 
east of the Rocky Mountains (including Florida and Texas). 

Bullfrogs are late in coming permanently from their hiber- 
nation. 1 It may not be until late May or early June that we 
hear their deep bass voices from the ponds, or that we see their 
gigantic green bodies perched on partially immersed logs or 
floating among water-weeds at the surface. They prefer large 
ponds or lakes, where they can find deep water as well as shallow, 
screened from the shore by low willows, alders or other water- 
loving plants. They like such places, also, because of the shel- 
tering growths of pickerel-weed, arrowhead, and water-lilies. 
(Fig. 275.) These make good hiding-places, and about the 
roots and stems and under the leaves are to be found cray- 
fishes, water-beetles and bugs, snails and shrimps, the larae 
of dragon-flies and May-flies, and, in fact, all sorts of delicacies 
for a water frog's menu. For the Bullfrog differs from the 
Leopard and Pickerel frogs, in that it does not hunt in any place 
except the body of water which makes its home. We shall not 
find Bullfrogs when we go for country walks across meadows 
and through orchards, even though the meadows and orchards 
may be near ponds or lakes. We are more likely to see them if 
we go rowing on river or pond. The Bullfrog is more thoroughly 

1 Solitary individuals may remain active throughout the winter, in spring houses or large 
springs, in the vicinity of Philadelphia. 




FIG. 275. Under the pickerel weed. The BULLFROG is the most aquatic frog of Northeastern North America. 
\_Rana catesbiaiia Shaw. Rhode Island.] 



June We are likely to hear and see BULLFROGS if \ve go rowing on river or pond. 


BULLFROGS prefer large ponds where the water is screened from the shore by willow, alder and other 
water-loving plants. 

The Common Bullfrog 

aquatic than any of the other frogs of northeastern North Amer- 
ica. However, if we happen to be walking across country, or 
even along a country road during a long-continued heavy rain, 
we may overtake a large Bullfrog who seems to be making the 
same journey. Whether the continued wet weather has tempted 
him to go hunting beyond his usual bounds, or whether he is mi- 
grating from pond to pond, it would be difficult to say. He 
proceeds by successive leaps, about three feet each in length. 
He can cover a distance of five or six feet without difficulty, 
notwithstanding his large, heavy body. A wet Bullfrog leaping 

across a dry surface leaves curious tracks, interesting in that 
they show how large a part of the under portion of the body 
and thighs strikes the ground forcibly after each leap, and how 
the frog " toes in " with its front feet. 

The Bullfrog is our largest frog. (Fig. 277.) He may 
measure six or seven inches from the tip of the muzzle to the 
posterior end of the body. A young frog of this species, which 
had been raised in the laboratory, measured four inches in length 
on his first birthday. However, size is not a good criterion by 
which to judge the age of a Bullfrog, or even its identity. The 
variation in this particular is marvellous. A frog one year old 
may be no more than two inches long. Much depends on the 
size attained by the tadpole before the transformation, and of 
course much also depends on the food and other conditions 
of the environment, and the ability of the individual frog to cope 
with these conditions. 

The Bullfrog (Figs. 276 to 278) is very easily distinguished 
from other frogs, however, whatever may be its size. The head 
is broad and flat. (The head of the young Bullfrog is relatively 
less broad than that of the adult.) The ear is much larger than 
the eye. There are no lateral folds. There is a short fold of 
skin extending backward from the eye, over the ear, and down 



to the shoulder. The hind feet are fully webbed. (Figs. 281 
and 282.) 

The colour varies greatly, not only according to the sex, 
but also among individuals of the same sex. The Bullfrog 
has power to change colour considerably. The general colour 
of the upper parts is dull olive-green, marked with irregular, 
dusky spots of brown. However, when the frog is in warm air, 
and exposed to bright light, the skin may become a beautiful 
spotless yellow-green, very light in tone. The Bullfrog just 
from the mud, or from some place of concealment in deep water, 
is so dark-coloured that he is nearly black. Experiments prove 
that light has much to do with these changes of colour; at least, 
that these changes in colour take place with changes of light, 
when temperature and moisture conditions remain the same. 1 

The female is usually more brown and spotted, and the 
male more nearly plain green. The under parts of both are 
white, with distinct or indistinct mottlings of brown. The 
male has a bright yellow throat; that of the female is dirty 
white, mottled with brown. The ear of the male is much larger 
than that of the female. 

This description holds regarding the Bullfrog of north- 
eastern North America. In southern New York, and still 
farther south, the Bullfrog is more likely to be spotted, and 
the male lacks the bright yellow on the throat. The Bullfrog 
of Texas has the underparts vividly marked everywhere with 
irregular, connected black spots. This frog of the Southwest 
has also a more tubercular and leathery skin. There are prob- 
ably three or four distinct varieties of this species in different 
localities of North America. It is certain that the Bullfrog 
of Wisconsin and adjoining regions is different enough to be 
classified as a variety. (Fig. 278.) It is finely spotted with 
dark on all parts except the head. There is much more bright 
yellow in its colouration than in that of Bullfrogs from other parts 
of North America. The male has this colour not only on the 
throat, as in the case of the Eastern Bullfrog, but also along 
the sides of the body and on the legs and feet to the tips of the 
toes. The head is relatively more pointed than that of other 
Bullfrogs. The body is relatively longer; the head is contained 

1 See pp. 22 to 27 for discussion of change of colour in the Batrachia. 


The Common Bullfrog 

three and one-fourth to three and one-half times in the total 
length, whereas the usual proportion is one to three. The eyes are 
surprisingly small and little elevated, giving the flat head an 
expression greatly lacking in intelligence and alertness. The 
longitudinal diameter of the eye in a frog 6 inches long is a 
short f inch, while it is fully inch in an Eastern Bullfrog meas- 
uring 5 f inches. The smaller size of the eye results in a greater 
space between the eye and the nostril and a longer fold of skin 
above the ear. In this frog the vocal sacs of the throat extend 
backward over the arm so that when the frog croaks, not only 
does the throat swell, but pouches appear between the ear and 
the arm as in the case of the Leopard Frog. The increase in vocal 
powers in this frog is shown also in the fact that the female croaks 
in a manner similar to that of the male, but without quite the 
same force and without the appearance of pouches at the sides 
of the head. 

The Common Bullfrog is a powerful swimmer, with great 
strength and length of hind legs (which may measure from 
seven to ten inches long) and with very large webs. It is inter- 
esting to see one dive under the water. The legs are straight- 
ened powerfully, and then slowly drawn forward into position 
for the second stroke. The huge web is alternately extended 
into a flat resisting membrane and folded again as the leg is 
drawn forward. The eyes are shut; that is, they are flattened 
until they are level with the head, by being lowered in their 
sockets, which project downward from the roof of the mouth. 
(Fig. 279.) This takes the eyes out of danger during the swift 
motion through the water, but also makes it necessary that the 
frog shall swim rapidly but a short distance at a time. He must 
stop, or slacken speed and open his eyes to see where he is, 
and then, perhaps, may make a new plunge with eyes lowered, if 
an enemy is near. The frog, like the toad, has no outer ear to 
hinder him in swimming. The ear-drum is at the surface of the 
head, covered and protected merely by the moist skin. 

Something else is seen to take place, also, as the frog dives 
under water. Large bubbles of air are given off from the nostrils, 
which are then closed tightly. The frog does not use the lungs 
in breathing under water; the nostrils are kept closed, and the 
throat shows none of the swallowing movements so conspicuous 
when the frog is breathing air. The frog's moist skin is like a 



great gill stretched over the whole body. In consequence the 
frog not only can live under the water for months at a time, but 
will, by preference, spend a very large portion of his time lying, 
with flattened body and closed nostrils, at the bottom of the 

If we go rowing on river, lake, or park lagoon some moon- 
light night in late June, we are certain to hear the deep-toned 
call of the Bullfrog many times. Coming as it does at unex- 
pected intervals and from unexpected directions, it seems 
startlingly weird in the quiet of the night. For June nights are 
quiet. The insect orchestras are not yet in full swing and the 
frog choruses have disbanded. The toads are still calling, though 
much more feebly than earlier in the season, and the voices of 
only a few can be heard, whereas there were hundreds in May. 
The Bullfrog does not sing in chorus; the call is an isolated one. 
The notes are so low in pitch that we think of him as the bass 
viol among the batrachia. The call resembles, to a consider- 
able degree, the roar of a distant bull, but it has a more musi- 
cal ring, and the notes are less blended and slurred. The pitch 
varies with the individual. The following are four interesting 
annotations of the bullfrog's call: 1 

The call can be imitated well by saying with a hoarse, deep- 
toned voice the syllables of various interpretations of it, such 
as, " Be drowned," " Better go round," " Jug o' rum," or " More 
rum." The imitation is especially good if the slurred words 
are repeated in front of some reverberating hollow body. That 
the call has a musical quality was once illustrated most ludic- 
rously. During the rehearsal of a chorus of female voices, a 
big yellow-throated Bullfrog, in an adjoining room, began vig- 
orously ejaculating, " Jug o' rum, jug o' rum, jug o' rum." 
Several persons were deceived for the moment into thinking 
that the bass voice of the director had joined the chorus, for it 
happened that the first few notes of the frog were in time and 
harmony with the chords of the selection. A tame Bullfrog 

1 Familiar Life in Field and Forest. F. Schuyler Matthews. D. Appleton & Co. 











FIG. 278. The BULLFROG (Rana catesbiana Shaw) is heard in the ponds by the first of May. Oshkosh, Wiscon- 
sin. (See page 230.) 

The Common Bullfrog 

will always sing when other sounds are being produced, whether 
these are musical or not. He always becomes enthusiastic at 
the sound of running water. 

The Bullfrog has two internal vocal sacs, which act as 
resonators. These are in the pouch of the throat, and the open- 
ings into them are on the floor of the mouth. (See Fig. 279.) 
When the frog croaks, the yellow throat over the vocal sacs, 
and the sides of the body in the region of the lungs, are forcibly 
distended with air drawn in through the nostrils. Throat and 
sides immediately relax as the air passes out over the vocal 
cords of the throat and the sound is produced. 

The frog's vocal powers do not stop with the croaking de- 
scribed. If we live in the country, or if we are given to camping 
and fishing, it is possible that at least once in a lifetime we shall 
hear this species of frog give voice to quite another sound. This 
comes when he is forcibly seized by a huge enemy, such as a hawk 
or an otter. The unexpected sound given at such a time is most 
distressing to hear. It is a loud, prolonged, high-pitched scream, 
containing anguish and antagonism, to such an extent that we 
cannot but think that the cry is made by the human voice. 
Sometimes, when we take into our hands a masterful, untamed 
Bullfrog, just brought from the pond, he gives this same cry 
with wide-opened mouth. The scream of distress is so penetrat- 
ing, and so prolonged, that we hasten to release the frog, for 
fear our neighbours will accuse us of cruelty to children. 

However, as the mouth is held wide open while the cry is 
given, we find a most excellent opportunity to see various things 
about which we may have been curious. (Fig. 279.) The 
tongue has a forked posterior end, and has its front end fastened 
just back of the lower lip. 1 There is a circle of small, sharp 
teeth on the upper jaw. Two large openings at the sides back 
of the tongue lead into the vocal sacs. Two smaller openings 
on the roof of the mouth are the openings of the tubes leading 
from the nostrils. Their situation so far in front of the throat 
makes it clear why it is that the frog must swallow the air that 
passes in at the nostrils in order to get it down to the lungs. 
The great rounded elevations on the roof of the mouth are made 
by the eyes. These extensions from the roof of the mouth 

1 See description of toad's tongue, p. 81. 



appear when the eyes are flattened to a level with the top of the 

The Bullfrog feeds upon the insects and other small life 
of the pond, as has been stated. But this does not make up the 
greater part of his food. He is the green dragon of the pond 
to the fish, the small turtles, the young water-birds, and, alas, 
to the frogs also. The Bullfrog will eat any moving object 
that he can swallow or partially swallow. It does not take long 
to find out the cannibalistic traits of this frog, and to learn that 
we must not keep a large specimen in the same place with smaller 
frogs. When we open the collecting-pail on arriving home 
from a trip to the pond, we learn our lesson, for several of the 
smallest frogs have disappeared, and the feet and legs of one of 
the largest are protruding from the capacious mouth of the big 

The Bullfrogs are found throughout the United States, east 
of the Rocky Mountains. They are less common than many 
other frogs. This is not entirely owing to the many enemies 
of the adults, i. e. snakes, otters, hawks and owls, herons, turtles, 
and (at the South) alligators. Nor is it wholly due to the fact 
that the tadpoles and the young frogs are preyed upon by fish 
and by all sorts of small enemies of the pond to say nothing 
of their own greedy kin. It is probably due in some measure to 
the fact that their large size has made them especially valuable 
as food for man, and that their large size, together with their 
greed, has made them easy of capture. They bring a price of 
from one to four dollars per dozen at the markets. 1 

The Bullfrog is solitary in habit, except at the breeding- 
season. This breeding-season is late, extending from the last 
of May into July. The tadpoles do not develop into frogs during 
the first season, as do those of the Leopard and Pickerel frogs. 
It is not until the second season, and sometimes the third, that 
a Bullfrog tadpole makes its final transformation. 2 Giant 
Bullfrog tadpoles can be found any month in the year. It is 

'Frog hunting is carried on in all parts of the United States. The states supplying the 
largest amounts for the market are New York, Maryland, Virginia, Indiana, Ohio, Alissouri and 
California This work yields $50.000 annually to the hunters, but threatens the practical ex- 
tinction of our native frogs. It has been demonstrated on Frog Reserves or "Frog Farms" in 
Wisconsin, California and elsewhere that frog raising is a practicable and profitable industry. (See 
Notes on the Edible Frogs of the U. S. Extract from Report of 1897 of the Commissioner of 
U. S. Fisheries) 

2 This fact is interesting to persons actually concerned in frog culture. 





Vomer with 

to Larynx 
andLuncjs -- 

Internal nostril 

Elevation Caused 
bu Eye ball 

Opening of 

the EustachianTube 

from Ear 
Openino into 
Vocal Sac 



The Arms 

within the 



Exit from 
Left Gill 


"Narrow Canal 

and left- 
Gill Chambers 

FIG. 279. Drawing to show the floor and the roof of the Bullfrog's mouth. 

FIG. 280. BULLFROG TADPOLE, one day previous to the time of activity of the arms. Drawn to show the connec- 
tion of the gill chambers. (This canal lies directly in front of the heart.) [Enlarged.] 














The Common Bullfrog 

perhaps during June and July, however, that most of the final 
transformations are made. 

If we bring tadpoles from the pond in early July, we shall 
find that many of them have hind legs. The size of the tadpole 
is surprisingly large. It may measure six or seven inches from 
the mouth to the end of the tail, the tail alone being three or four 
inches long. Let us examine one of these tadpoles (Fig. 283) 
closely to see how he is fitted to live his life in the water, sur- 
rounded by innumerable enemies. If we take one into our hands, 
we find it slippery and soft. The skeleton is cartilaginous. The 
creature has no means of defence, but must depend wholly on 
hiding and on flight. Fortunately, he is well provided for both. 
The marbled speckled brown of his moist skin makes him almost 
invisible on the muddy bottom, or among brown stems and leaves 
in the pond. The long tail has a broad fin, and is provided with 
strong muscles. With this equipment the tadpole can swim rap- 
idly and vigorously, and can splash the mud of the bottom so as 
to obscure his course, and make it possible for him to glide off 
unseen in some new direction. The hind legs are fairly well de- 
veloped, and the broad feet are webbed to the ends of the toes, 
so they give effective help in swimming. The eyes are large and 
conspicuous; in fact, they seem already to show a slight ele- 
vation, as though they were beginning to take on the character- 
istics of the frog's eyes. The mouth is small. It consists of 
fleshy lips covered with rows of tiny teeth. 1 The lower lip is 
especially broad and ruffled, and bears along its lower edge rows 
of fleshy papilla, which, probably, serve for determining the 
nature of substances when the tadpole is seeking food. Between 
the lips, and somewhat within them, is a horny beak, which, 
though very small, is much like a bird's beak in shape. It con- 
sists of an upper and a lower jaw, strong, and very thin and sharp 
at their edges. The mouth is well fitted to bite off the delicate 
ends of leaves and stems, or to scrape off the tender green or 
brown plants from sticks and stones. It is equally adapted for 
eating animal food. The Bullfrog tadpole (like that of the Green 
Frog and of the Wood Frog) is especially fond of any animal food 

1 The mouth structure of the bullfrog tadpole is as follows: The upper lip is relatively narrow, 
and bears only one complete row of teeth; the lower lip is very broad, has three rows of teeth and 
a border of papilla?; the border of the lower lip extends upward to the upper lip, and is doubled in 
at the corners of the mouth. This structure corresponds almost exactly with that of the tadpoles 
of three other water-frogs, R. pipiens, R. palustris, and R. damitans. 



available. Thus these tadpoles act as scavengers and dispose 
of dead fish, or dead tadpoles even, that otherwise would become 
a menace to the living creatures of the pond. 

On the left side of the tadpole is a conspicuous opening: the 
breathing-pore. (See Fig. 283.) The breathing is done by means 
of internal gills on each side of the throat, in a position like that 
of a fish's gills. They are concealed, however, by the outer skin. 
(Fig. 280.) This is the fold of skin which grows back from the 
sides of the head in the young tadpole and covers the external 
gills. 1 There are three sets of these internal gills on each side. 
They are feathery tufts extending into cavities between the walls 
of the throat and the outer skin of the sides of the head. These 
cavities, or gill-chambers, are connected with each other by 
a passage underneath the skin of the throat. (See Fig. 280.) 
Alternating with the tufts of gills, there are three openings 
in the throat-wall. These openings (gill-slits) connect the throat 
and mouth with the gill-chambers at the sides of the head. Water 
is constantly passing in at the mouth and nostrils, through the 
gill-slits into the gill-chambers, over the gills, and out at the breath- 
ing-pore. The water of the gill-chamber on the right passes into 
the gill-chamber on the left, and thence out of the breathing- 
pore on the left side. 

One important way in which the tadpole is fitted to cope 
with the difficulties of his life is his power of reproducing the tail, 
should a hungry fish or other enemy bite it off. When you col- 
lect tadpoles for the aquarium, do not collect and put in with 
them the giant diving-beetles or any other of the tadpole's enemies. 
If you do so, on the first morning after the aquarium is arranged 
the beetles will be looking very hearty and the tadpoles will be 
scared, wobbling, tailless creatures, which demand quick rescue 
before the beetles complete their destructive work. However, 
if the beetles are removed, the tadpoles soon recover their assur- 
ance, and in a very few weeks their waving filmy tails are nearly 
as long as they were before the disaster. 

The lateral-line organs are easily made out because of the 
large size of the tadpole. 3 

On the second day of our observation (July 4th) the mouth is 
beginning its transformation. It is much wider, and as it is con- 

1 See Leopard Frog, Fig. 211. 

3 For figure, and discussion of lateral-line organs, see p. 6. 




FIG. 285. July sth. Developing BULLFROG TADPOLE, % natural size. The right arm breaks through 
the skin after the left one comes out of the breathing pore. 

FIG. 286. July gth. The absorption of the tail has begun. The legs do all the work of swimming. Com- 
pare with FIG. 288. 










The Common Bullfrog 

stantly opened and shut in breathing, the rudimentary tongue 
is visible on its floor. The fringe of the lower lip is still present, 
but the horny beak within seems to have disappeared. From 
this time to the end of the change the tadpole does not eat. 

The elbow of the left arm is now visible within the breathing- 
pore. (Fig. 284.) The skin of the right side has become thinner, 
so that the movement of the right arm is plainly visible, and 
before night the movement has worn a hole through the skin, and 
the right elbow is plainly visible also. We are not surprised in 
the morning to see the left arm projecting through the breathing- 
pore. Two hours later the right arm is pushed out so that both 
arms are now free. (Fig. 285.) These arms begin their growth 
at the time when the back legs appear, but are concealed within 
the gill-chambers. (See Fig. 280.) 

On this day the tadpole breathes with much effort. The 
mouth, which is still increasing in width and shows the develop- 
ing tongue within, is opened and shut constantly. The gills have 
begun to be absorbed, and the lungs, although developed, are not 
yet fully in use. The left arm blocks up the breathing-pore, so that 
little of the water sent to the gills can escape there. (Fig. 286.) 
The water is taken in at the mouth and nostrils to the gills of 
the throat, and is expelled through the mouth, instead of through 
the breathing-pore. The lungs are used somewhat; the tadpole 
very often comes to the surface of the water and gives out a 
bubble of air from the mouth. In a very few days (by July Qth) 
a decided change takes place: the gills are wholly absorbed; the 
lungs are fully in use; the mouth is kept closed, and the tadpole 
is an air-breather. Now the tadpole spends much time at the 
surface of the water, sometimes rushing madly from the bottom 
to exchange a bubble of impure air for fresh. (Fig. 288.) He 
is very comfortable out of water. (Fig. 287.) 

The developing tadpole is white on the under side of the 
body and yellow on the under side of the legs. The mouth is 
open back to a point on a line with the front of the eye. The 
legs are greatly developed, and the tail is becoming shorter and 
narrower. It is dark in color and almost black at its end. The 
tail is no longer used in swimming, but the legs do all of the work. 
(Fig. 288.) The process of absorption has begun by which all 
the living part of the tail retreats into the body of the tadpole 
and helps in the formation of new organs. The wandering white- 



blood corpuscles (phagocytes) accomplish this retreat of the tail 
substance in such a manner that the external skin of the tail is 
not broken, and in fact, nothing of the process, except the result, 
is visible from the outside. These corpuscles move out into the 
tail and carry the particles one by one into the body to serve as 
food for the tadpole. It is therefore true that a tadpole ''eats" 
its tail, though not at all according to the customary manner of 
eating. The decrease in the size of the tail proceeds rapidly 
until there is a mere black stub left (Fig. 289), and our 
tadpole looks no longer like a tadpole, but, instead, like a fully 
formed frog. The skin is more distinctly mottled. That about 
the eyes and nose is green and iridescent. The eyes are more 
elevated, showing rounded black centres surrounded by a broad 
iris, reddish gold in colour. The mouth is open to a point on a 
line with the back of the eye. The lines where the membrane 
of the gill-chambers joined with the body wall are still visible 
around the arms. The head is kept above the water; the nos- 
trils are constantly moving and the throatjDulsating. 

It is not until four days later that the ear membrane is visi- 
ble. Now the tail is wholly gone (July i6th). The frog begins 
to show hiding and burrowing habits. In fact, young frogs at 
this stage remain concealed under water, mud, or moss most of 
the time, except at night. During the first summer the young 
Bullfrog eats insects of all sorts, but by fall it is capable of dis- 
posing of small fish. The Bullfrog, whose transformation has 
been traced, was heard to croak for the first time in early July, 
one year after its change. At this time the ears had gradually 
increased in size until they were considerably larger than the 
eyes. Head and body together measured over four inches in 

Each of us has actually before him, or in memory, a typical 
pond or small lake, for our country is everywhere made pictur- 
esque by them. We have waded there for lilies, or fished from 
its sheltered coves for pickerel, or perhaps for frogs. It is called, 
indiscriminately, "the lily-pond," or "the frog-pond." The lilies 
make a large part of its beauty, the Bullfrog a large part of its 
life. The Bullfrog is the spirit of the place. (Fig. 290.) Inde- 
pendent, self-composed, silent, he may sit for hours with no slight- 
est movement to tell that he is alive. But he is fully alert to 
every disturbance of the water and to every shifting shadow. 





















FIG. 290 The BULLFROG independent, self-composed, alert is the spirit of the place. 

The Common Bullfrog 

Not only is he alert in sight and hearing, he is ready in muscle 
for a sudden movement at any second. If a dragon-fly skims 
over the water's surface in front of him, the insect is swallowed 
quickly. If a sparrow comes for its daily bath beside what seems 
to be a moss-covered stone, its brown tail feathers are seen a mo- 
ment later protruding from the frog's mouth, while the frog is 
sitting sedately in just the same spot. Sometimes a bird drops 
from the overhanging bough above, because of the correct aim of 
some gunner and becomes a trophy for the frog instead of for the 

However, it is not appetite alone that brings into play the 
alert senses and muscles of the Bullfrog. Let a bear approach 
from the wooded shore ever so stealthily, when his paw comes 
down suddenly over the frog, he finds he has nothing but water- 
weeds and mud to pay him for his trouble. 1 A heron hunting 
frogs has no chance of catching the Bullfrog, if the frog is on the 
bank. It is only when the Bullfrog is in the mud that he is 
speared by the powerful beak. Ages of generations of contest 
with this enemy have not taught the frog to bury the hinder por- 
tion of his body when he plunges into the mud. He may not see 
the snake, his greatest enemy, and so, at last, he is lost. But 
what eyes could see its sinuous body moving so cautiously, neither 
shape nor motion differentiated from the surrounding water and 
the waving plant stems? 

And so, in pond and marsh, the contest goes on, as it always 
has in past ages. Each day the life of the individual is given to 
maintain the life of the species, and the balance of life among the 
races is kept, although the scales may tip somewhat now in one 
direction and now in another. Very definite and very emphatic 
is our admiration for the individual. Each represents high spe- 
cialization along a given line of development, and seems perfected 
to the minutest detail in its fitness for its life. Each is so invisible 
in its environment that it seems wonderful that an enemy ever 
finds it at all. Each is supplied with the power of extremely rapid 
movement. However, certain characteristics may be of the 
greatest advantage to a given individual, but of the greatest 
danger to that individual when the same powers are possessed 
also by an enemy. Thus the rapid flight of a bird or insect is 

1 William J. Long. 



counteracted to its disadvantage by the invisibility and rapid 
movement of the frog, and these characteristics of the frog are 
offset fatally for him by the same characteristics and the power 
of stealthy approach in the snake. 

So life goes on, and gladsome but arduous days are passed 
by the denizens of the pond. 




1882. Notes on the Habits of the Savannah Cricket Frog (Acris crepi- 
tans). Amer. Nat., vol. xvi, pp. 707-711. 

1884. Recent Studies of the Spadefoot Toad. Amer. Nat., vol. xviii, pp. 

1899. Notes on the Reptiles and Batrachians of Intervale, N. H. Bost. 
Soc. Nat. Hist. Proc., vol. xxix, pp. 63-75. 

1868. Catalogue of Reptiles and Batrachians found in the vicinity of Spring- 
field, Mass. Proc. Bost. Soc. Nat. Hist., vol. xii, Dec., 1868. 

1894. On the Growth in Length of the Frog Embryo. Quar. Jour, of 
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1895. Notes on the Ciliation of the Ectoderm of the Amphibian Embryo. 
Quar. Jour. Micr. Sci., vol. xxxviii, p. 465. 

BAIRD, S. F., and GIRARD, C. 

1853. Characteristics of Some New Reptiles in the Museum of the Smith- 
sonian Institute. Jour. Acad. Nat. Sci., Phila., vol. vi, p. 173. 

1853. List of Reptiles Collected in California by Dr. J. L. Le Conte with 
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1853. Communication from Baird. and Girard. Acad. Phila., vol. vi, 

P- 378. 

1854. Description of New Genera and Species of North American Frogs. 
Jour. Acad. Nat. Sci. Phila., vol. vii, p. 59. 


1887. Migration of Frogs. Amer. Nat., vol. xxi, p. 388. 

, Ueber die Homologien einiger Schadelknochen der Stegocephalen 

und Reptilien. Anat. Anz. i. No. 13, pp. 348-350. 

1892. Animal Coloration. London. 

1893. Ueber Druckversuche an Froscheiern. Anat. Anz., vol. viii. 


1882. Catalogue Batrachia Salientia s. Ecaudata in the Collection of the 
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1892. The Poisonous Secretion of Batrachians. Natural Science, i, pp. 

1896. The Tailless Batrachians of Europe, London: Printed for the Ray 
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1878. Thierleben Bd. I. Abth. 3. 

1896. Batrachia found at Raleigh, North Carolina. Amer. Nat., vol. 
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, Klassen und Ordnungen des Thierreiches, Wirbel-thiere. Bd. VI, 

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1885, 1886. Reptiles and Batrachians of Rhode Island. Random Notes 
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CASE, E. C. 

1899. The Development and Geologic Relations of the Vertebrates. Univ. 
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1897. Notes on the Edible Frogs of the United States and their Artificial 
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1902. Frog-raising. As Good and Better than Gold Mines. How to 
Breed and Feed It, and How to Protect It from its Enemies. (South San 
Francisco, San Mateo County, Cal.) 

(This is a pamphlet sold in sealed packages at a price of five dollars. It 
is almost valueless.) 
COPE, E. D. 

1863. On Trachycephalus, Scaphiopus, and other American Batrachia. 
Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Phila., p. 43. 

1866. On the Reptilia and Batrachia of the Sonoran Province of the Nearc- 
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1867. On the Structure and Distribution of Genera of the Arciferous 
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1867. On the Families of Raniform Anura. Jour. Acad. Nat. Sci. Phila., 
pp. 189-206, 1867. 

1870. Synopsis of Extinct Batrachia and Reptilia of North America. 3 parts. 

1874. Catalogue of the Air-breathing Vertebrates from the Coal Measures, of 
Linton, Ohio. Supplement to the preceding. 

1875. Check-list of North American Batrachia and Reptilia. Bulletin of 
the U. S. National Museum, No. i, 1875. 

1875. Synopsis of Extinct Batrachia of the Coal Measures. Geol. Survey 
of Ohio, vol. ii, Paleontology. 

1880. On the Zoological Position of Texas. Bulletin U. S. Museum Nat. 
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1882. The Reptiles of the American Eocene. Amer Nat., vol. xvi, 
p. 979. 

1884. Batrachia of the Permian Period of North America. Amer. Nat., 
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1885. Batrachia. Standard Nat. Hist. Vol. Ill, p. 322. 
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1888. Catalogue of Batrachia and Reptilia. Brought by William Taylor 
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i88g. Batrachia of North America. Bulletin of U. S. Nat. Museum, No. 34. 

1890. Synopsis of the Families of Vertebrates. Amer. Nat., vol. xxiii, p. 849. 

1892. The Batrachia and Reptiles of Northwestern Texas. Proc. Acad. Nat 
Sci. Phila., 1892, pp. 331-333. 

1896. Primary Factors of Organic Evolution. Chicago, 1896. 

1896. The Geographical Distribution of Batrachia and Reptilia in North 
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Origin of the Fittest. D. Appleton & Co. 

1898. Batrachia of New Brunswick. Bulletin 16, Nat. Hist. Soc., New 
Brunswick vol. iv, part i. 
DAVIS, N. S., and RICE, F. L. 

Batracha found East of the Mississippi. Illinois State Lab. of Nat. Hist. 
Bulletin 5. 

1904. Note on Hyla Andersonii Baird. Proc. Nat. Sci. Ass. Staten Island. 
Vol. ix, No. 8. 


1863. Air Breathers of the Coal Period. 

1842. Natural History of New York. Zo5logy of New York. Vol. Hi, 
part 3, Reptiles and Amphibia. 

1905. Batrachians of the Vicinity of New York City. Guide Leaflet No- 
20. Amer. Museum Nat. Hist. Reprinted from Amer. Museum. Jour. Vol. 
V, No. 4. 


1902. Catalogue of New York Reptiles and Batrachians. Bulletin 51, 
N. Y. State Museum. 

1889. The Anatomy of the Frog. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 

1805. "Red-leg," An Infectious Disease of Frogs. Jour. Exper. Medi- 
cine, vol. vii, No. i, 1905, pp. 33-58. 

1896. Ueber den Einfluss des Lichts auf die Pigmentirung der Salaman- 
derlarve. Archiv fur mikroskopishe Anatomic. Band 48, pp. 369-374. 
FOGG. B. F. 

1862. List of Reptiles and Amphibia found in State of Maine. Portland 
Soc. of Nat. Hist., Proc. vol. i : 86. 

1901. Amphibia and Reptiles. Macmillan & Co., Cambridge Nat. Hist. 



jgoi. Color in Amphibia. Paper before the Royal Institution of Great 
Britain, April 26, 1901. 
GAGE, S. H. and S. P. 

1886. Combined Aerial and Aquatic Respiration. Science, vol. vii, 394- 

GAGE, S. H. and NORRIS, H. W. 

1890. Notes on the Amphibia of Ithaca. Proc. Amer. Ass. Adv. of Sci., 
vol. xxxix, p. 339. 

GAGE, S. H. 

1898. The Life History of the Toad. Teachers' Leaflet, No. 9. The 
College of Agriculture, Cornell University, Ithaca, N. Y. 

1891. Synopsis of the Reptiles and Amphibia of Illinois. Bulletin Illinois 
State Lab. Nat. Hist. 

1894. Preliminary List of the Vertebrate Animals of Kentucky. Bulletin 
Essex Institute, vol. xxvi, Nos. i, 2, and 3. 

1801. The Food of the Toad. Kentucky Agri. Exp. Station, Bulletin 
No. 91. 

r882. The Mink or Hoosier Frog. Amer. Nat., vol. xvi, pp. 945-954. 

1882. The Cell Parasite of the Frog. Revue Scientinque, Jan. 28, 1882. 
Abstr. Amer. Nat., vol. xvi, pp. 323-326. 

1901. Ecker's und Wiedersheim's Anatomie des Frosches.. 

1884. Chem. Comp. of the Egg and its Envelopes in the Common Frog. 
Jour. R. Microsc. Soc., London, series 2, vol. iv, p. i, pp. 203-204. 

1897. E. D. Cope, Naturalist. A Chapter in the History of Science. Amer. 
Nat., vol. xxxi, pp. 831-863. 


1858. Catalogue of Batrachia Salientia in the Collection of the British 

1888. Recent Notes on Scaphiopus Holbrookii. Amer. Nat., vol. xxii, 

PP- 535-537- 

1898. On the Growth and Regeneration of the Tail of the Frog Larva. 
Papers from the Anat. Lab. of Johns Hopkins University, vol. iii, pp. 430-483. 

HAY, O. P. 

1889. Notes on the Life History of Chorophilus triseriatus. Amer. Nat. 
vol. xxiii, pp. 770-774. 

1890. On Certain Species of the Genus Chorophilus. Proc. Amer. Ass. 
for Adv. of Sci., vol. xxxix. 

1892. Batrachians and Reptiles of the State of Indiana. Report of the 
Geol. Survey of Indiana, 1892. 



HAY, W. P. 

1902. A List of Batrachians and Reptiles of the District of Columbia and 
Vicinity. Vol. xv, pp. 121-145. 

1903. On Batrachia and Reptiles. Forest and Stream May 16, 1903, p. 


1904. Fauna of New England. List of the Batrachia. Occasional Papers. 
Bost. Soc. of Nat. Hist., vol. vii. 


1897. General Principles of Zoology. Henry Holt & Co. 

1882. On Some Differences in the Mouth Structure of Tadpoles of Anu- 
rous Batrachians found in Milton, Massachusetts. Proc. Bost. Soc. Nat. 
Hist., vol. xxi, pp. 307-314. 

1882. The Development of the Tree-toad. Amer. Nat., vol. xvi, p. 636- 

1883. Abstract of Article on Mouth Structure of Tadpole. Amer. Nat., 
vol. xvii, p. 670. 

1883 The Development of the Tree-toad. Proc. Bost. Soc. Nat. Hist., 
vol. xxi, p. 104. 

1883. Notes on the Peeping Frog, Hyla pickeringii Le Conte. Memoirs 
Bost. Soc. Nat. Hist., vol. iii, pp. 311-318. 

1884. Notes on the Development of Rana sylvatica Le Conte. Proc. 
Bost. Soc. Nat. Hist., vol. xxii. 


1842. North American Herpetology. Philadelphia. 

1904. American Natural History. Scribners. 
HOWE, R. H. 

1899. North American Wood Frogs. Proc. Bost. Soc. Nat. Hist., vol. 
xxviii, No. 14, pp. 369-374. 

1875. Article on Amphibia, Encycl. Britann. gth Edition, pp. 750-771. 


1899. Manual of the Vertebrate Animals of the Northern United States. 


1892. The Cleavage of the Amphibian Ovum. Anat. Anz., bd. vii. 

1894. Journal of Morphology, vol. ix. 
KING, H. D. 

1902. The Gastrulation of the Egg of Bujo Uniiginosus. Amer. Nat., 
vol. xxxvi, pp. 527-548. 

1902. Experimental Studies on the Formation of the Embryo of Bufo 
lentiginosus. Bryn Mawr College Monographs, vol. i, No. 2, pp. 54S-5 6 3- 

1904. The Formation of the Notochord in the Amphibia. Bryn Mawr 
Monographs. Contributions from the Biological Laboratory. Reprint Series, 
vol. i, No. 3. 




1897. Habits, Food, and Economic Value of the American Toad. Hatch 
Experiment Station, Bulletin 46. 


1855. Descriptive Catalogue of the Ranina of the United States. Jour. 
Acad. Nat. Sci., Phila., vol. vii, pp. 423-431. 

1900. Comparative Physiology and Morphology of Animals. D. Appleton 
LEE, F. S. 

1898. Functions of the Ear and the Lateral Line in Fishes. Amer. Jour, 
of Phys., vol. i, No. i. 


1883. Synopsis der Thierkunde, bd. i. 

1883. Bufa americanus at Play. Amer. Nat., vol. xvii, p. 683. 

1884. Review of the Progress of Batrachology in the Years 1880-1883. 
Amer. Nat., vol. xviii, pp. 149-154. 


1900. On the Transformation and Regeneration of Organs. Amer. Jour. 
Phys., vol. iv, No. 2, pp. 60-68. 


1894. Notes on Reptiles and Batrachians Collected in Florida in 1892 and 
1893. Proc. U. S. Nat. Museum, vol. xvii, pp. 317-339. 


1896. Reptiles and Batrachians of Nova Scotia. Nova Scotia Inst. 
of Science, Proc., vols. ix, xli, xliii. 

1893. Vertebrate Embryology. G. P. Putnam's Sons. 

1898. Study of the Vertebrate Fauna of the Hudson Highlands. Amer. 
Museum of Nat. Hist., Bulletin 10, pp. 303-352. 

1899. Notes on the Mammals of the Catskill Mountains, with General 
Remarks on the Fauna and Flora of the Region. Amer. Museum of Nat. 
Hist., Proc., xxi, pp. 341-360. 

MEEK, S. E. 

1899. Notes on Collection of Fishes and Amphibians from Muskoka and 
Gull Lakes (Ontario). Field Columbian Museum. ZoologicalSeries,vol.i,No.i7. 

1899. New Tree Frog from the District of Columbia. Proc. Biological 
Soc., Washington, vol. xiii, pp. 75-78. 


1900. Animal Behavior. London. 

1891. Some Notes on the Breeding Habits and Embryology of Frogs. 
Amer. Nat., vol. xxv, p. 753. 



1801. The Problem of Development. International Monthly, 


The Development of the Frog. Macmillan & Co. 


1893. The Orientation of the Frog's Egg. Quar. Jour. Micr. Sci., vol. 
MORGAN, T. H., and DAVIS, S. E. 

1902. The Internal Factors in the Regeneration of the Tail of the Tad- 
pole. Bryn Mawr College Monographs, Reprint Series, vol. i, No. 2. 

1904. Batrachians and Reptiles of Ohio. Contributions from the De- 
partment of Zoology and Entomology. Bulletin Ohio State Univ., series 8, 
No. 18, pp. 96-123. Reprinted from Boc. Ohio State Acad. Sci., vol. iv, part 
3, paper 9, pp. 91-144- 


1905. Mayflies and Midges. Bulletin No 86. New York State Museum. 
(Food of Bullfrogs.) 


1890. Descriptive Catalogue 'of the Vertebrates of New Jersey. State 
Geol., N. J. Final Report, vol. i, part i, pp. 643-648. 
ORR, H. 

1888. Notes on the Development of Amphibia. Quar. Jour. Micr. Sci., 
vol. xxix, p. 316. 


1802. Hearing and Allied Senses in Fishes. Bulletin U. S. Fish Com- 
mission, pp. 45-64. 

1803. The Sense of Hearing in Fishes. Amer. Nat., vol. xxxvii, No. 
435, pp. 185-204. 

1803. The Skin and Eyes as Receptive Organs in the Reaction of the 
Frog to Light. Amer. Jour. Physiology, vol. x, pp. 28-36. 

1886. Notes on the Hermit Spadefoot (Sca//M0#s holbrookii Harlan; 
5. solitariusHolbrook). Bulletin of Amer. Museum of Nat. Hist., vol. i, No. 
7, pp. 213-221. 

1890. Colours of Animals. London. 

1871. Some Statements concerning the Frogs and Toads Found at Cam- 
bridge, Massachusetts. Proc. Bost. Soc. Nat. Hist., vol. ix, pp. 229-230. 

1889. Frogs Eating Snakes. Amer. Nat., vol. xxiii, p. 74. 

1884. Mental Evolution in Animals. New York: D. Appleton & Co. 
1884. Animal Intelligence. 

1888. " Ventral Suckers " or " Sucking Disks " of the Tadpoles of Dif- 
ferent Genera of Frogs and Toads. Amer. Nat., vol. xxii, p. 263. 




1900. Unusual Mcdes of Breeding and Development among Anura. 
Amer. Nat., vol. xxxiv, pp. 687-715. 


Variations, etc., Induced by Changes of Temperature. Studies Biol. Lab. 
Johns Hopkins Univ., vol. ii, No. 3, p. 385. 

1881. Animal Life. D. Appleton & Co. 

1898. Frogs and Toads Found in the Vicinity of New York. Proc. Linn. 
Soc. of New York, No. 10. 1898, 

SHIPLEY, A. E., and McBRiDE, E. W. 

1901. Elementary Text-book of Zoology. Macmillan Co. 

1879. The Spadefoot in New Haven, Connecticut. Amer. Nat., vol. 
Xiii, pp. 651-652. 

1879. Catalogue of the Reptiles and Amphibia of Michigan. Supple- 
ment to Science News. 8vo. New York, 1897. 

1882. Reptiles and Amphibia of Ohio. Geological Survey of Ohio, 1882, 
pp. 629-734. 

1901. Hyla andersonii Baird. Proc. Phila. Acad. Sci., vol. liii, p. 342. 

1885. Some Notes on the Development of Rana temper aria. Quart. 
Jour. Micr. Sci., vol. xxv. 

1890. Annotated List of Reptiles and Batrachians Collected by Dr. C. 
Hart Merriam and Vernon Bailey on the San Francisco Mountain Plateau 
and Desert of the Little Colorado, Arizona. North Amer. Fauna, No. 3, pp. 

1893. List of Reptiles and Batrachians Collected by the Death Valley Ex- 
pedition in 1891, with Descriptions of New Species. North Amer. Fauna, 
No. 7, pp. 157-228. 

1899. Description of a New Genus and Species of Discoglossoid Toad 
from North America. Proc. U. S. Nat. Museum, vol. xxi, pp. 899-901. 

1902. A New Species of Bullfrog from Florida and the Gulf Coast. Proc. 
Nat. Museum U. S., vol. xxiv, pp. 211-215. 

1905. A Resume' of the Geographical Distribution of the Disco- 
glossoid Toads. Amer. Geographical Soc. Bulletin, vol. xxxvii, No. 2, pp. 

1905. The Geographical Distribution of the Bell-toads. Science, Oct. 
20, 1905, p. 502. 

1801. Hyla andersonii Baird. Proc. Phila. Acad. Sci., vol. liii, p. 342. 

1843. On the Bujo lentiginosus of Shaw (B. 1. fowleri Putn.). Proc. 
Bost. Soc. Nat. Hist., vol. i, p. 136. 




1877. Contributions to the Nat. Hist, of the Hawaiian and Fanning Islands 
and Lower California. U. S. National Museum, Bulletin 7. 

1889. Home Instinct in Toads. Amer. Nat., vol. xxiii, p. 1032. 
TEST, F. C. 

1890. Contribution to the Knowledge of the Tree Frog Hyla Regllla. 
Proc. U. S. National Museum, vol. xxi, pp. 477-492. 


1887. Der Haftapparat der Batrachierlarven. Zeitschr. Wiss. Zool. XLVI, 
pp. 67-79. 


1903. The Response of the Frog to Light. Amer Jour, of Phys., vol. ix, 
No. vi, pp. 466-488. Also, Bryn Mawr Monographs, Reprint Series, vol. i, 
No. 3, 1904. 


1900. Statistics of Fisheries of the United States. 
TRUE, F. W. 

1893. Useful Aquatic Reptiles and Batrachians of the United States. 
Fisheries and Fishery Industries of the United States, sec. i, pp. 141-162. 

1860. Reports of Explorations and Surveys to Ascertain Route for Rail- 
road from Mississippi River to Pacific Ocean. 1853-55. Printed in Wash- 
ington, D. C., 1860. 

1896. Additional Notes on the Herpetology of Lower California. Proc. 
Cal. Acad. Sci., Second Series, vol. v, part 2. 

1863. Catalogue of Reptiles and Batrachians Found in the Vicinity of 
Norway, Oxford County, Maine. Proc. Bost. Soc. Nat. Hist., vol. ix, pp. 

1899. A Peculiar Toad. Amer. Nat., vol. xxxiii, p. 139. 

1892. Untersuchungen iiber die Zeichnung der Wirbelthiere. Zoologische 
Jahrbucher, band vi, pp. 155-229; band, vii, pp. 365-410. 

1876. Natural History of Selborne. 


1886. Comparative Anatomy of Vertebrates. Macmillan Co. 

1896. Amphibian Larynx. Zoologische Jahrbucher, neunter Band. 1896. 

1896. The Wrinkling of the Frog's Eggs during Segmentation. Amer. 
Nat., vol. xxx, pp. 761-773. 

1900. Formation of the Blastopore in the Frog's Egg. Anat. Anz., bd. xviii. 




1882. North American Reptiles and Batrachians. Bulletin 24, U. S. 
Nat. Museum. 

1903. The Instincts, Habits, and Reactions of the Frog. Reprint from 
Harvard Psychological Studies, vol. i, Jan., 1903, pp. 579-638. 

1905. The Sense of Hearing in Frogs. Reprint from Journal Compara- 
tive Neurology and Psychology, vol. xv, No. 4, 1905, pp. 279-304. 



Absorption of tail, 237. 

Acris gryllus, 20, 27, 37, 38, 47, 153-156. 

Acris gryllus crepitans, 153. 

Aestivation, 16. 

Age of Toads, 73. 

Aglossa, 14. 

American Discoglossoid Toad, see Ascaphus. 

American Toad, see Bufo americanus. 

Amphibia, see Batrachia. 

Anderson's Hyla, see Hyla andersonii. 

Animal behaviour, 27-35. 

Apoda, i. 

Arcifera, 7. 

Ascaphus truei, 7, 51-52. 

Austral Region, 37. 

Austroriparian subregion, 38. 

Batrachia, distinction from Fishes and 

Reptiles, i, n, 14. 
number of, 15. 
phylogeny of, 11-15. 
two orders of, 2. 
Bibliography, 241-250. 
Bombina maxima, 52. 
Boreal Region, 37. 
Boulenger, 10, 52. 

Breathing pore, 8, 69, 70, i8r, 204, 236, 237. 
Breeding season of Salientia, 4-5. 
Brogniart, 12. 

Bufo aduncus, 63 (footnote). 
alvarius, 41, 45, 106-108. 
americanus, 4, 19, 21, 45, 63-89, 66 
and 75 (call), 67-72 (life history), 
73-75 (moulting), 76 (breathing), 
79 (poison), 80-86 (food and econo- 
mic _ value), 81 (tongue), 86-87 (pro- 
tection), 87 (colour change), 93, 

boreas, 38, 44, 115-116. 
boreas nelsoni, 41, 116. 
cognatus, 19, 40, 41, 45, 93, 99-102. 
columbiensis columbiensis, see boreas. 
columbiensis halophilus, see halophihts. 
compactilis, 19, 39, 41, 44, 102-104. 
copei, 63. 

debilis, 39, 41, 44, m, i 12 . 
{owleri 4, jo 20 21, 45, 66, 93~97, 95 
, (call), 96 (development), 96-97 (dis- 
tinction from B. americanus). 
halophilus, 41, 44, 113-115. 
halophilus columbiensis, 114. 
hemiophrys, 38, 45, 98. 
lentiginosus, 4, 19, 45, 89-91. 
lentiginosus americanus, see ameri- 

lentiginosus fowleri, see fowleri. 
lentiginosus woodhousei, 19, 39, 41 45 

tntcroscaphus, 114. 
punctatus, 19, 39, 41, 44, 110-112. 
quercicus, 19, 45, 104-106. 
valliceps, 39, 41, 44, 108-110, in. 
BUFONID^E, 7, 9, 14, 26, 44, 63-116. 
Bullfrog, see Rana catesbiana. 
Burrowing, 16, 33, 36, 54, 56, 72, 88, 101. 

California Toad, see Bufo halophilus. 
Chorophilus nigritus, 38, 47, 157-160. 

J Chorophilus, n. feriarum, 4, 48, 157, 160. 
n. septentrionalis, 38, 48, 157, 160. 
n. triseriatus, 40, 48, 157, 160. 
occidentalis, 161. 
ocular is, 47, 162. 
ornatus, 48, 161. 
Chromatophores, 22-23. 
Cilia, 1 80. 

Circulation in gills, 180. 
Classification, 7-11. 
Cold-blooded, 15, 36, 79. 
Colour change, 22-27 (general), 87 (B. 
americanus), 109 (B. valliceps), 114 
(B. halophilus), 120 (H. versicolour), 
125 (H. gratiosa), 127 (H. cinerea), 
135 (H. regilla), 149 (H. squirella), 
152 (Smilisca baudinii), 156 (Acris 
gryllus), 190 (R. palustris), 197 (R. 
onca), 210 (R. sylvatica), 227 (R. 
grylio), 230 (R. catesbiana). 
Colour pattern, 26-27. 
Common Bullfrog, see Rana catesbiana. 
Common Leopard Frog, see Rana pipiens 
Common Tree Frog (or Tree Toad), see 

Hyla versicolor. 
Cope, 53, 120, 168. 
Cranial crests, 77, 97. 
Cricket Frog, see Acris gryllus. 
Croaker, see Rana sylvatica. 
Crossoptergii, 12. />;'. 

CYSTIGNATHID.-E, 7, 9, 14, 43 , 45t 163-165. 

Development, 3-5. 

frog's egg, 176-181. 

toad's egg, 67-71. 
Dipnoi, 12. 

DISCOGLOSSID., 5, 7, 8, 14, 26, 43, 51-53. 
Distribution, 35-42. 

Ears of Salientia, 6, 31, 77, 231, 238. 
Eastern Wood Frog, see Rana sylvatica. 
Economic value, 80-86, 185, 234. 
Efts, 21. 
Eggs of Salientia, description, 3-4. 

development 67-71, 176-181. 

enemies of, 4. 
Enemies of eggs, 4. 

of tadpoles, 146, 181-183. 

of toads and frogs, 72, 215, 234. 
Engystoma carolinense, n, 19, 21, 40, 48, 


' texense, 48, 168-169. 
ENGYSTOMATID.E, 8, 10, 43, 48, 166-170. 

Families of Salientia, 7. 
Firmisternia, 8, 
Fishes, i, 6. 
Flash colours, 26. 

Florida Tree Frog, see Hyla gratiosa. 
Food of frogs, 28, 184, 190, 196, 202-203 ' 
214, 228, 238, 239. 

of tadpoles, 69, 210, 235. 

of toads, 29, 90, 8 1-86. 
Fossils, see Phylogeny. 
Fowler's Toad, see Bufo fowleri. 
Frogs, see RANID.E. 

Geographical Distribution, 35-42, 52, 134, 



Gill chambers, 236, 237. 
Gills, 14, 68, 69, 179-181, 236, 237- 
Gopher Frog, see Rana czsopus. 
Grass Frog, see Rana pipiens. 
Green Frog, see Rana clamitans. 
Green Tree Frog, see Hyla cinerea. 

Hermit spadefoot, see Scaphiopus holbrookii. 
Hibernation, 15, 33, 88. 
Hyla andersonii, 26, 38, 46, 131-133. 
arenicolor, 41, 46, 122-124. 
carolinensis, see cinerea. 
cinerea, 24, 40, 47, 126-128. 
evittata, 38, 47, 128-130. 
jemoralis, 47, 150-151. 
gratiosa, 24, 27, 46, 124-126. 
fickeringii, 4, 20, 21, 24, 38, 46, 138- 
148, 139-142 (voice), 143-144 (col- 
our), 145-147 (life history). 
regilla, 4, 24, 26, 41, 47, 134-138. 
squirella, 24, 47, 148-150. 
versicolor, 24, 27, 38, 46, 117-122, 119 
(colour), 120 (protection), 121-122 
(life history). 
v. ph&ocrypta, 120. 

Hyla of the Pine Woods, see Hyla femorahs. 
HYLID^E,?, 9, 14, 19, 26, 39, 43. 46, n7~ 

Hypopachus cuneus, 19, 48, 169-170. 

Inhibition, 31. 
Intelligence, 34. 
Interference cells, 25. 

Key to BUFONID^E, 44. 
HYLID;E, 46. 
RANID^:, 48. 

Labyrinth tests, 29. 

Lachrymal canal, 5. 

Larva, see tadpole. 

Lateral line sense organs, 6. 

Leeches, 4. 

Leopard Frog, Common, see Rana pipiens. 
Southern, see Rana sphenocephala. 

Life History, 3~7 (general), 55-56 (S. hol- 
brookii'), 67-73 (B. americanus), 96 
(B. fowleri), 121-122 (H. versicolor), 
137-138 (H. regilla), 145-148 (H. 
pickeringii), 156 (Acris gryllus), 159- 
160 (Chorophilus nigritus), 175-185 
(R. pipiens), 191-192 (R. palustns), 
204-205 (R. clamitans), 208-2 io( R. 
sylvatica), 219 (R. pretiosa), 225 (R. 
septentrionalis), 234-238 (R. cates- 

Linnseus, 1 1 . 

Literature, 76-77 (footnote), 

Lithodytes latrans, 39, 40, 46, 163-164. 
ricordii, 46, 164. 

Merriam's Life Zones, 37~38. 

Metamorphosis, 5-7, 69-71, 204-205, 235- 

Mink Frog, see Rana septentrionalis. 

Moulting skin, 73 (Bn{o americanus), 201 
(Rana clamitans). 

Mouth structure of tadpoles 69 (B. ameri- 
canus), 97 (B. fowleri), 121 (H. ver- 
sicolor), 146 (H. pickerinii), 156, 
(Acris gryllus), 160 (Chorophilus), 181 
(R. pipiens), 191 (R. palustris), 210 
(R. sylvatica), 235 (R. catesbiana). 

Mouth structure of toads and frogs, 81, 

Mud puppy, 2. 

Narrow-mouthed Toads, see ENGYSTO- 


Necturus, 3. 
Neotropical Region, 37. 
Newts, 2. 

Nocturnal habit, 83. 

Northern Frog, see Rana septentrionalis. 
Northern Wood Frog, see Rana cantabri- 

Oak Toad, see Bufo quercicus. 

Opercular membrane, 6, 14, 68, 70, 181, 237. 

Orientation, 32. 

Pacific Tree Frog, see Hyla regilla. 

Pain scream, 32, 233. 

Peeping Frog, see Hyla pickeringii. 

PELOBATID/E, 4, 5, 7, 14, 26, 43, 53-62. 

Pentadactyle limbs, i, 13. 

Phototactic, 32. 

Phylogeny, 11-15. 

Pickerel Frog, see Rana palustris. 

Pickering's Hyla, see Hyla picker ingii. 

Pigment cells, 22-23. 

"Playing dead," 34, 71, 87. 

Poison, 1 6- 1 8, 79-80. 

Pond Frog, see Rana clamitans. 

Proreptilia, 12. 

Protection, 17, 33, 34, 86-88, 120, 130, 138, 

Protective resemblance, 27, 34, 87, 120; 

Figs. 61, 81, 134, 137, 212, 239. 

Rain of Toads, 71. 

Rana assopus, 17, 20, 49, 193-196. 

areolata, 20, 40, 49, 192-193. 

areolata assopits, see cesopus. 

areolata capita, see areolata. 

areolata circulosa, see areolata. 

aurora, 26, 41, 49, 216-218. 

boylii, 41, 50, 221-222. 

cantabrigensis, 38, 49, 211-213. 

cantabrigensis latiremis, n, 38, 212. 

catesbiana, 3, 18, 20, 21, 26, 27, 50, 
196, 227-240, 228 and 234 (food), 230 
(colour change), 231 (swimming), 
231-232 (respiration), 232-233 
(voice), 233 (mouth structure), 234 
(economic value), 234-2 38 (metamor- 
phosis), 236-238 (breathing of tad- 

clamata, see clamitans. 

clamitans, 38,49, 197, 198-205,198-200, 
(voice), 200-201 (comparison with 
Bullfrog), 201 (moulting), 202-203 
(food), 204, (eggs), 204-205 (meta- 

draytonii, 4, 26, 41, 49, 213-216. 

draytonii onca, see onca. 

fisheri, see onca. 

grylio, 20, 26, 27, 50, 226-227. 

onca, 27, 49, 196-198. 

palustris, 26, 38, 48, 188-192, 190 
(food), 191-192 (life history). 

pipiens, 4, 5, 20, 27, 38, 40, 41, 49, 
171-185, 172 (vocal pouches), 173 
(breathing), 174 (colour), 175 (moult- 
ing), 175-176 (eggs), 176-181 (de- 
velopment), 181 (mouth structure 
of tadpole), 181-184 (enemies of 
tadpole), 185 (economic value), 
:8 7 . 

pretiosa, 4, 26, 41, 49, 218-221. 
septentrionalis, 50, 224-226. 



Rana sphenocephala, 20, 48 186-188. 

sylvatica, 3, 4, 18, 26, 38, 49, 205-211, 

208-210 (development), 208-209 

(voice), 211 (colour change). 

virescens, see pipiens. 

virescens brachycephala, see pipiens. 

virescens sphenocephala, see sphenoce- 


virgatipes, 20, 26, 38, 50, 222-224. 
RANID^;, 8, n, 26, 43, 48, 171-240. 
Regeneration, 18, 236. 

Respiration of adult, 70, 76, 231, 233, 237. 
of tadpole, 5, 8, 14, 68-69, 70, 179-181 

236, 237. 
Rocky Mountain Toad, see Bufo 1. 

Salamanders, see URODELA. 
Salientia, animal behaviour, 27-35. 

Classification, 7. 

Colour of, 22-27. 

Development and metamorphosis, 

Distribution, 35-42. 

Hibernation, 15-16. 

Phylogeny, 13. 

Poison, 16-18. 

Regeneration, 18. 

Songs of, 18-22. 

Salt-marsh Frog, see Rana pipiens. 
Scaphiopus couchii, 41, 44, 57-59. 

Iiammcrtidii, 41, 44, 59-60. 

h. bombifrons, 40, 44, 61-62 

holbrookii 4, 38, 43, 53-57. 55 (call), 

55-56 (life history). 

Screaming Frog, 198 (see Rana damitans). 
Skeletons of Batrachia, i. 

of Fishes, i. 

of Reptiles, 2. 

of Salientia, 2. 

of Urodela, 2. 

Skin absorption _of water, 78, 90. 
Smilisca baudinii, 27, 40, 46, 151-153. 
Snakes, 72. 

Sonoran Subregion, 39. 
Southern Bullfrog, see Rana grylio. 
Southern Leopard Frog, see Rana sphenoce- 


Southern Spadefoot, see Scaphiopus couchii. 
Southern Toad, see Bufo lentiginosus 
Southern Tree Frog, see Hyla squirella. 
Spadefoot of the Western Plains, see Scaphio- 

pus h. bcmibifrons. 
Spadefoot Toads, see PELOBATIDCE. 
Spea, see Scaphiopus. 
Special senses, hearing, 30, 32. 
lateral line, 6. 

Special senses, sight, 30, 32. 

touch, 28, 29, 34. 
_ taste, 28, 90. 

Spring Frog, see Rana damitans. 
Spring Peeper, see Hyla pickeringii. 
Statistics on food of toad, 83-86. 
Stegocephali, 12, 13. 

Stejneger, Dr. Leonhard, 52, m, 157. 
Striped Frog, see Rana virgatipes. 

Suckers," 68, 179. 

Swamp Tree Frog, see Chorophilus nigritus 
Syrrophus marnockii, 39, 40, 45, 165. 

Tadpole, development, 67-71, 176-181. 

enemies of, 146, 181-183. 

food of, 69, 210, 235. 

lateral line sense organs, 6. 

metamorphosis, 5-6, 69-70, 235-238. 

mouth structure, 69, 181, 235. 

regeneration of tail, 18, 236. 

respiration, 5, 8, 14, 68-69, ?o, 179- 
181, 236, 237. 

suckers, 68, 179. 

Tailless Batrachia, see Salientia. 
Temperature, 4, 6, 15-16, 23, 28, 33. 
Tongue of Toad, 81 (Fig.Sg). 
Toads, see BUFONID/E. 
Tree Frogs, see HYLID/E. 
Tree Toad, see Hyla versicolor. 
Triton, 2. 

Urodela, 2, 5, 13, 147, 209. 

Vocal Pouches, External, 19, 75, 95, 101 

.. , J3, 172, 188, 195. 

Vocal bacs, 19, 75, 233. 

Voice among Salientia, 18-22 (general), 
95-96 (B. fowleri), 64, 66, 75, (B. 
americanus), 91 (B. lentiginosus), 101 
(B. cognatus), 103 (B. compactilis), 
105 (B. quercicus), ng(H. versicolor), 
123 (H. aremcolor), 128 (H. cinerea), 
T.3o(H.evittata), 133 (H. andersonii), 
138 (H. regilla), 139-143 (H. picker- 
wgii), 155 (Acris), 164 (Lithodvtes), 
167 (Engystoma), 173 (R. pipiens), 
189 (R. palustris), 198-200 (R. dami- 
tans), 209 (R. sylvatica), 232 (R. 

Warts, 1 8, 80. 

Water Dog, 2. 

Western Frog, see Rana pretiosa. 

Western Spadefoot, see Scaphiopus ham- 

Wood Frog, see Rana sylvatica.