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Content tagged with "amphibian"

Pickerel Frog

Pickerel Frog

Image of Pickerel frog.

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Image of a pickerel frog

Pickerel Frog

Lithobates palustris (formerly Rana palustris)
The pickerel frog is medium-sized, with square or rectangular spots in two parallel rows down the back. There is a wide ridge of skin along each side of the back. It is absent from the northwestern third of Missouri.

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Photo of a plains leopard frog in grass.

Plains Leopard Frog

As predators, plains leopard frogs and other frogs help decrease populations of many insects that are pests to humans. Also, their calls — a rapid series of guttural “chuck-chuck-chuck” sounds — add to the magic of a Missouri evening.

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Photo of a plains leopard frog in grass.

Plains Leopard Frog

Lithobates blairi (formerly Rana blairi)
A medium-sized spotted frog, the plains leopard frog is found in pastures, prairies, and marshes. The ridge of skin along each side of the back is broken, and the small posterior section is raised toward the back. It is not present in the Ozarks.

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Photo of a plains leopard frog in grass.

Plains Leopard Frog

The plains leopard frog is found throughout most of Missouri, except for the Ozarks. It uses a variety of aquatic habitats, including water-filled ditches, farm ponds, river sloughs, small streams, temporary pools, and marshes.

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Photo of a plains leopard frog in an aquarium.

Plains Leopard Frog

The plains leopard frog can be distinguished from Missouri’s two other leopard frogs and the pickerel frog by its distinctively broken and displaced whitish skin ridge along each side of the back, visible here just above the hind leg. Note also the fairly circular and uniform spots on the back, which lack a whitish outline, and the blunt snout and the white line along the upper jaw.

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Photo of a plains leopard frog in a pond.

Plains Leopard Frog

Frogs are predators that help keep populations of insects and other small animals in balance. They, and especially their eggs, tadpoles, and young froglets, become food for both aquatic and terrestrial predators. Plains leopard frogs are known to fall prey to ribbonsnakes and gartersnakes.

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Plains Leopard Frog

Plains Leopard Frog

Audio of Plains leopard frog calls.

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Photo of a plains leopard frog held in a person’s hand.

Plains Leopard Frog

Some of the identifying characteristics visible in this photo of a plains leopard frog are the wide head and blunt nose, white stripe along the jaw, and the white dot in the middle of the tympanum (the round, flat external eardrum).

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Image of a plains spadefoot

Plains Spadefoot

Spea bombifrons
The plains spadefoot is a stout, toadlike amphibian with large, protruding eyes, vertically elliptical pupils, short legs, and large feet. There is a raised area between the eyes. It occurs in counties along the Missouri River.

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