Posted in Animals

Amphibians at the Inniswood pond

Whenever I’m at Inniswood Metro Gardens, I stop by to see what’s happening in this tiny, municipal wetland. And right now, tadpoles are what’s happening.

These tadpoles were really big.

These black tadpoles were really tiny.

These two, very different types of tadpoles were co-existing in the pond. I wonder if they are different species of frog, or the same species born at different times?

Let’s take a look at some prospective parents.

Three at once… oh my!

The happy threesome above are Eastern American Toads. You can distinguish toads from frogs because the skin of the toad tends to be “warty.” A toad also has a large bump on each side of its body, either on its head or over its shoulders. Let’s look at another Eastern American Toad.

Note the swollen bump behind each eye.

These two bumps are the toad’s parotoid glands. If an animal grabs this toad, it will secrete a milky neurotoxin from these bumps to prompt the animal to let it go.

Frogs aren’t lucky enough to have parotoid glands.

A dad was showing his five year-old daughter this frog. She loved it! Then it was set free.

Besides these toads, I’ve seen two species of frogs in this pond: the American Bullfrog and the Northern Green Frog. To distinguish between these species, you just have to note whether there are ridges down the sides of the frog’s back. If there are such ridges, it’s a Northern Green Frog, If there aren’t any ridges on the back, it’s an American Bullfrog. Let’s do a side by side comparison.

This one has ridges, so it’s a Northern Green Frog.
This one doesn’t have ridges down its back, so it’s an American Bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana).

The above bullfrog does have a ridge like structure around its ear, but that doesn’t count. To be a Northern Green Frog, the ridges have to go down the back.

Just for fun, I’m going to post a few more photos, so you can decide for yourself whether you’re seeing an American Bullfrog, a Northern Green Frog, or an Eastern American Toad (or somewhat shorter: a bullfrog, a green frog, or a toad). I’ll label each photo with an identifying letter, then in a day or two I’ll post a comment saying which species I think each is (the answers have already posted in this comment).


Besides seeing frogs, toads, and tadpoles, I’ve also seen a lot of amphibian eggs. There may be those who can determine the species from the eggs, but I’m not among them.

Lots and lots of amphibian eggs
Additional information

If you would like to learn more about frogs and toads, check out my post, Ohio’s 15 species of frogs and toads at a glance. And if you prefer nature in a drier form, I’ve published another article that’s a pictorial guide to the wildflowers found in this park. It’s called, Common Spring Wildflowers in Ohio.

More on Amphibians

© Deborah Platt, Robert Platt and 2012 to 2021

11 thoughts on “Amphibians at the Inniswood pond

    1. When I’m in more remote wetlands, that’s exactly what happens to me. I actually can hear the frog plopping into the water, one after another, as I approach. I almost never see them. But these were taken in a heavily trafficked region, and I think they are so used to people being around that they aren’t alarmed. (Since that one guy caught one, maybe they should be a little alarmed. lol)

  1. I closed out my post with some photos showing unidentified frogs/toads. Here are the species associated with each of the lettered photos.

    (A) Northern Green Frog – because of the ridges
    (B) Eastern American Toad – because of the “wartiness”, plus you can see the parotoid glands on the top toad
    (C) Another Northern Green Frog – again because of the ridges
    (D) American Bullfrog – no ridges. Note how wide his mouth is!
    (E) One final Northern Green Frog – ridges! I think this is the lightest skin coloration I’ve seen in this species of frog.

    If anyone thinks I’ve made an error in indentifying any of these frogs, please feel free to let me know in a comment. Hope you enjoyed trying to identify the frogs yourself. 🙂

    1. Thanks! They seem to be a big attraction. Every time I go for a walk in this park, I try to see if I can spot any frogs in the pond, and there’s always other people around doing the same thing. 🙂

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