Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Tadpoles are turning into Tiny Toads

Less than a quarter of an inch long and easily mistaken for an insect or spider, there are hundreds of these little guys currently scampering about on the lakeshore.

To give an idea of scale here's the toadlet sitting in the palm my hand; it's small enough to easily fit on the nail of my pinky finger.

Other tadpoles are turning into tiny Spring Peepers. There is no way to judge size in this image, but this little froglet, encountered in the vegetation bordering the Eastern Ontario Trail, was the same size as the toad above and could fit on my pinky nail with room to spare.

Might as well put these photos of a Green Frog (Rana clamitans) here. This guy is an adult about three inches long, and is sporting his best colors, hoping to attract a girl friend. The dorsolateral ridges (the seams starting behind the eyes and running down the frog's back) set this species apart from the bullfrog.

These Gray Treefrogs (Hyla versicolor) were photographed near the culvert running under the Eastern Ontario Trail just a few feet from where I encountered the Spring Peeper. Gray Treefrogs can vary their color to match the background, and these two were doing a pretty good job of blending in with the leaves of the Virginia Creeper they're sitting on.

A "thumbnail sketch" of the frog on the left ...

... and the frog on the right.

A Gray Treefrog of a dramatically different color. This adult was happily camped out in the reservoir under a potted tomato plant on a second floor balcony. Fully grown frogs are about 5 cm long, twice the size of the little guys depicted above.