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Leopard Frog

 
 

Image: http://www. flicker.com/images/jungle_boy (creative commons license)

Description: The Northern Leopard Frog is a large species of frog that can reach up to five inches in length. Females are usually slightly larger than males. The frog is usually green or brown with various spots and grayish patches throughout the body. It has a pair of conspicuous whitish folds that run down the back (known as dorsolateral folds) and white underparts. The toes are webbed. In the wild, Northern Leopard Frogs can live up to four years.

Habitat/Range: The Northern Leopard Frog can be found in rural, urban, or forested areas in ponds, swamps, marshes, slow-moving rivers with sufficient vegetation. They will sometimes venture into grasslands and lawns. The presence of a leopard frog is often revealed by it short call during the summer. The Northern Leopard Frog inhabits most of northern North America with the exception of the Pacific Coast.

Breeding: The Northern Leopard Frog breeds is spring. Up to 6,500 eggs are laid during the winter. Tadpoles go through their development within the breeding pond and become mature in 70-100 days.

Diet: The Northern Leopard Frog is an opportunistic feeder and will eat virtually anything it can find including beetles, ants, flies, water insects, worms, small snakes, and even other leopard frogs!

Status: The Northern Leopard Frog was once one of the most common frogs in North America. Populations have suffered dramatically in recent years to the bewilderment of scientists, though pollution, deforestation, and habitat loss have been implicated. Large numbers of these frogs have been historically collected to be used for dissections in science labs.

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