River Frog - Rana heckscheri
snore (in Summer)
Description & Identification
Large, reaching 5" (13cm). Dorsum greenish-black/gray with faded black blotches; underside highly mottled with black, especially the rear half and hind legs; conspicuous white spots on jaw and lip areas, more prominent on lower jaw; webbing of hind toes does not extend to tip of longest toe. No dorsolateral ridges present. Skin rough or rugose.
Eggs are laid in a thin mass just below the surface among emergent vegetation such as maidencane; hatch in approximately 3 days. Tadpoles grow, to over 4" (100mm); upon hatching are blackish with a conspicuous silver-white band encircling the body just behind the eyes but lose this band and become a black to deep olive color with lines of gold spots as they grow; tail muscle is dark and the fins are edged with black. Metamorphose in approximately 1 year.
Habitat & Behaviors
This is an aquatic species preferring permanent bodies of water such as rivers, lakes, ponds or swamps. It is not particularly wary and when caught, this frog goes limp instead of struggling as do most other frogs. This frog may have toxic or foul skin secretions which can be detected on one's hands upon handling. Predators probably avoid it for this same reason.
Bullfrog and Pig frog lack white spots on the lips and jaw areas, and their skin is smooth. Young adult Bronze frogs may exhibit pale spots on lips but will have conspicuous dorsolateral ridges.
A rumbling snore, similar to that of the gopher frog but which does not carry as well; April to July.