International Save the Frog Day is Friday, April 29th. How will you celebrate? I’m only a part-time frogger, having more experience with the arcade game of the same name than with the 28 species of frog and toad in Florida (Ashton & Ashton), 42 species in the Southeast (Dorcas & Gibbons), or the 101 species in the U.S. (Elliott, Gerhardt, and Davidson). But I do see them from time to time in the field, the backyard, or the house (in that last case, casa de my inlaws in Atascadero, CA). And as one of the oldest lineages in the [...]
Introduced species play conspicuous roles in any ecosystem, particularly here in south Florida, the gateway to the Caribbean and most of Latin America. Every few years we hear of the potential for ecological harm posed by the latest introduction, either those that have escaped from captivity, like the walking catfish, Burmese python, or Purple Swamphen; the Everglades ecosystem is still threatened by the intentional introductions of invasive plant species like melaleuca and Brazilian Pepper.
Another widespread exotic species in Florida is Osteopilus septentrionalis, the Cuban Treefrog. It’s the largest treefrog in North America by far, and it’s considered an invasive [...]
Lang Elliott, author and coauthor of many fabulous compilations of nature sounds (the Stokes Field Guide to Bird Songs, Frogs and Toads of North America, Songs of Insects, and many more) has just (finally!) released his much-anticipated CD of Frog Concertos. No narration, nothing to get in the way of the sounds of these wonderful little critters. Just 20 tracks, 1.2 hours (118.6MB in my iTunes), of frog recordings.
Downloadable through Amazon, or you can buy the CD from the author’s website. He has also posted descriptions of the songs (where and when recorded, what species are on the track) [...]
Unfortunately, given the precipitous worldwide population crash among frog populations over the last few years*, even though the rainy season has kicked into high gear here in Florida, I’m not hearing a lot of calling frogs.
Anecdotal evidence is mounting as well. When we first moved into our house in Florida,
With Fidel Castro’s health in serious decline the last few years, the media here in south Florida are waiting with bated breath to hear of the long-reigning leader of the island nation, and its communist government, to expire. Waves of human and animal exodus from the island have marked Florida, though. I discovered one in my garden this morning.
If you’re like me, you might never have really wondered why the word herptile was invented. After all, “Reptiles and Amphibians” is easy enough to say. And besides, “reptiles” aren’t such a simple class, anyway: lots of reptiles have no business being included in the class Reptilia. Until recently, though, no one like me has really had to care about this, because until recently there hasn’t been anything like the slew of high-quality books about the herpetofauna of North America, and particularly of the Southeast, where I live, that has recently hit the market.