Sightings – Amphibians

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 7/16/10

Observation Time: 5:25 a.m.

Observation Location: Beaver Brook near tennis court

Common Name: American Bullfrog

Scientific Name: Rana catesbeiana

More Information: Wikipedia

American Bullfrog

 

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 5/26/14

Observation Time: 11:50 p.m.

Observation Location: Borderland State Park

Common Name: American Toad

Scientific Name: Anaxyrus americanus

Comments: Toads eat insects, so whenever I find one, I release it in my garden.

More Information: Wikipedia

American Toad

 

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 6/17/13

Observation Time: 4:15 p.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond Dam

Common Name: American Toad

Scientific Name: Anaxyrus americanus

More Information: Wikipedia

American Toad

American Toad

Baby toad nearby:

American Toad

American Toad

 

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 7/16/10

Observation Time: 9:55 a.m.

Observation Location: near Gavins Pond

Common Name: American Toad (juvenile)

Scientific Name: Anaxyrus americanus

Comments: Note toe of shoe in photo to get an idea of the small size of this toad.

More Information: Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center

American Toad

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 9/13/09

Observation Time: 2:30 p.m.

Observation Location: Bay Circuit Trail near Gorwin Drive

Common Name: American Toad

Scientific Name: Anaxyrus americanus

Comments: Notice how well this toad is camouflaged.

More Information: Animal Diversity Web

American Toad

 

Observer: Faith Berkland

Observation Date: 10/13/12

Observation Time: 3:00 p.m.

Observation Location: 302 Mansfield Street

Common Name: Gray Tree Frog

Scientific Name: Hyla versicolor

Comments: In the crux of a spruce that has a divided trunk. But the story is, we just thought it was a toad, however I went to Franklin Park zoo this past Saturday 10/27, and there was a picture of the exact same type of frog!

More Information: Learn what a gray tree frog call sounds like at: music of nature, so you don’t wrack your brains trying to figure out what kind of bird it is.

Observer: Will Sweet

Observation Date: 7/19/08

Observation Time: 9:00 a.m.

Observation Location: Back yard garden

Common Name: Gray Tree Frog

Scientific Name: Hyla versicolor

Comments: While watering the garden, this tree frog revealed itself in a bush.

More Information: Learn what a gray tree frog call sounds like at: music of nature, so you don’t wrack your brains trying to figure out what kind of bird it is.

Gray Tree Frog

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 7/4/11

Observation Time: 4:10 p.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond Dam

Common Name: Green Frog

Scientific Name: Lithobates clamitans

Comments: This is one of our most familiar frogs, and is found statewide. It has some green on its face and a mostly brown body, with a ridge running down each side of its back. This species prefers permanent or semipermanent water bodies (rather than vernal pools that dry up in summer), eating whatever it can grab, mostly insects but occasionally small snakes and even birds. The call is a banjo-like “gunk.” The female lays a thousand or more eggs at a time as a film on the water’s surface.

More Information: Wikipedia

Observer: Rick Dumont

Observation Date: 5/21/09

Observation Time: 8:30 a.m.

Observation Location: Massapoag Sportsmen’s Club, Belcher St.

Common Name: Green Frog

Scientific Name: Lithobates clamitans

Comments: This is one of our most familiar frogs and is found statewide. It has a green face and a green-brown body, and a ridge running down each of its sides. This species prefers permanent or semipermanent water bodies, eating whatever it can grab, mostly insects but occasionally small snakes and even birds. The call is a banjo-like “gunk.” The female lays a thousand or more eggs at a time as a film on the water’s surface.

More Information: MassAudubon.org or Animal Diversity Web

Green Frogs

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 3/17/11

Observation Time: 3:15 p.m.

Observation Location: Coach Lane

Common Name: Lead-backed salamander

Scientific Name: Plethodon cinereus

Comments: The lead-backed salamander is a color variant of the red-backed salamander. They live under rotting logs.

More Information: Fairfax County Public Schools

Lead-Backed Salamander

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 8/11/11

Observation Time: 3:50 p.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond Dam

Common Name: Pickerel Frog

Scientific Name: Rana palustris

Comments: The skin secretions of a stressed pickerel frog are known to be toxic to other frogs, as many a novice frog catcher has found when he finds only the pickerel frogs still alive in his bucket. These secretions can also be moderately irritating if they come in contact with the eyes, mucous membranes, or broken skin. It is advisable to wash one’s hands after handling pickerel frogs.

Pickerel frogs look a lot like leopard frogs. Here’s where you can learn how to tell the difference: https://discovery.acadiau.ca/herpatlas/photopages/compleopick.htm

More Information: Wikipedia

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 8/20/10

Observation Time: 7:45 a.m.

Observation Location: Gavins Pond Dam

Common Name: Pickerel Frog

Scientific Name: Rana palustris

Comments: The skin secretions of a stressed pickerel frog are known to be toxic to other frogs, as many a novice frog catcher has found when he finds only the pickerel frogs still alive in his bucket. These secretions can also be moderately irritating if they come in contact with the eyes, mucous membranes, or broken skin. It is advisable to wash one’s hands after handling pickerel frogs.

More Information: Wikipedia

Pickerel Frog

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 4/10/10

Observation Location: Hockomock Swamp, Easton

Common Name: Red-backed salamander

Scientific Name: Plethodon cinereus

Comments: Red-backed salamanders can be found by turning over rotting logs in the woods.

More Information: Wikipedia

Red-Backed Salamander

PS – Read about the salamander migration at Moose Hill in 2008.

 

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 9/13/09

Observation Time: 3:00 p.m.

Observation Location: Mass Bay Circuit Trail near Borderland State Park

Common Name: Wood Frog

Scientific Name: Rana sylvatica

Comments: Very well camouflaged in center of photo.

In case you were wondering how frogs survive the winter, check out this 2-minute time-lapse video of a frozen wood frog thawing out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ofSdw5V21Ek

More Information: Wikipedia

Wood Frog

 

Observer: Rita Corey

Observation Date: 3/22/10

Observation Time: 10:00 p.m.

Observation Location: Between 268 & 281 Mountain St, going east to west

Common Name: Yellow Spotted Salamander

Scientific Name: Ambystoma maculatum

Comments: Rainy night; stopped car to watch it cross the road; told the neighbor driving behind me and he came out to watch: he had never seen one before.

More Information: Read about the salamander migration at Moose Hill in 2008.

Observer: Rita Corey

Observation Date: 3/23/10

Observation Time: 10:00 p.m.

Observation Location: Between 268 & 281 Mountain St, going west to east

Common Name: Yellow Spotted Salamander

Scientific Name: Ambystoma maculatum

Comments: Was it the same one I had seen the night before crossing the road? I suspect there are lots of them! Gave a note to all neighbors on Mountain St from Hampton Rd to dirt road to be on the lookout as they drive home on rainy nights.

More Information: Read about the salamander migration at Moose Hill in 2008.

Observer: Rita Corey

Observation Date: 3/29/10

Observation Time: 9:30 p.m.

Observation Location: Between 268 & 281 Mountain St, going west to east

Common Name: Yellow Spotted Salamander

Scientific Name: Ambystoma maculatum

Comments: Again, a rainy night in late March…

More Information: Read about the salamander migration at Moose Hill in 2008.

Observer: Paul Lauenstein

Observation Date: 11/27/05

Observation Time: 9:00 p.m.

Observation Location: Moose Hill Street near Kendall Estate

Common Name: Yellow Spotted Salamander

Scientific Name: Ambystoma maculatum

Comments: It’s best not to handle salamanders because the salts and oils on your skin don’t do amphibians any good (mea culpa!). To see a variety of frog and salamander species, walk down Moose Hill Street on the first rainy night after the snow melts in late March. That’s when mole salamanders migrate from their their burrows to nearby wetlands to spawn.

More Information: animaldiversity.org

Yellow Spot_hands3-ps

Observer: Scott Didham

Observation Date: 9/24/11

Observation Location: Mansfield St.

Common Name: Yellow-spotted salamander

Scientific Name: Ambystoma maculatum

More Information: Read about the salamander migration at Moose Hill in 2008.