Pickerel Frog
Rana palustris


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Domain : Eukarya
Kingdom:
Animalia
Phylum:
Chordata
Class:
Amphibia
Order:
Anura
Family:
Ranidae
Genus:
Rana
Species:
R. palustris




Description


The Pickerel Frog is a medium sized frog with anywhere from seven to twenty-one, usually rectangular brown spots that are set in two columns that run down its back. Yellow or white lines also run down its back, as well as a small, light line that runs down the upper jaw, and its back legs are banded in black stripes. Northern frogs are usually plain or white in color, when the Coastal Plains frogs usually have dark brown spots. Adult male Pickerel Frogs can grow to 4.4 or 5.8 centimeters. Grown females tend to be larger, and can grow up to 7.9cm, but the largest ever recorded was 8.7cm.

Habitat

Pickerel Frogs need a large body of water to submerge their bodies in, as well as plenty of land nearby. In the north, Pickerel Frogs usually live in cool, clear water. They can also be found in bogs, streams, and other habitats. They can sometimes be found on the sides of roads and inside caves. They like warm areas and will be fine at room temperature. These frogs are really only active from April to October. The earliest sighting was April 5 and the latest was October 30.

Predators and Prey


The Pickerel Frog eats mostly invertebrates like ants, spiders, beetles, crickets and other bugs (it also eats sawfly larvae). To finds this food, they search in the small grassy areas beside rivers and streams. Most mammals and other potential predators will not harm the Pickerel Frog because of its toxic skin secretions, but other frogs like the Green Frog and Bullfrog have developed immunities to the poison and won’t hesitate to eat a Pickerel Frog.


Native or Invasive


Native. It is a fairly common species in Vermont.


Form vs. Function


Something unique about the Pickerel frog is that its feet are not webbed. This actually is an adaptation that helps the frog to move on land more easily than if it had webbed feet.

Interesting Facts



The Pickerel Frog is the only poisonous frog that is native to the United States. They have a unique defense mechanism of skin secretions that are toxic to most of its predators and is irritating to human skin.

The Pickerel Frog got its name because it served as bait for fishermen when trying to catch the Pickerel Fish (a predator of the Pickerel Frog).

The Pickerel Frog’s feet and toes are not webbed.

Resources


http://people.wcsu.edu/pinout/herpetology/rpalustris/pickerelfroglife.html

N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Nov. 2012. <http://people.wcsu.edu/pinout/herpetology/rpalustris/pickerelfroglife.html>.

http://www.fws.gov/newengland/pdfs/FrogPoster_emailable.pdf

N.p., n.d. Web.

http://www.grizzlyrun.com/Pets/Amphibians/Frogs/Pickerel_Frog/Default.htm

"Pickerel Frog Directory." Pickerel Frog Directory. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Nov. 2012. <http://www.grizzlyrun.com/Pets/Amphibians/Frogs/Pickerel_Frog/Default.htm>.

http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3302/4600480110_9e82ba5216_z.jpg
http://www.herpnet.net/Iowa-Herpetology/images/stories/amphibians/frogs_toads/Rana_Pickerel_Frog/Rana_Pickerel_frog.jpg
http://campus.murraystate.edu/academic/faculty/hwhiteman/Field/amphibians/pickerelfrog.jpg
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pickerel_Frog
http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/a-blog-around-the-clock/files/2011/10/a1-tree-of-life2.gif