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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
11 thoughts on “Amphibians at the Inniswood pond”
Fantastic macros Deb! And great sneaking up on them, when I’ve tried, they are down and gone before I have time to snap!
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)
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. 🙂
We can hear the frogs at the duck pond three blocks away. We love the sound. Fun to see these photos.
Thanks! I used to be able to hear the frogs on warm summer nights when I was growing up. It’s a pleasant sound.
Reblogged this on Nae's Nest and commented:
Frogs! I just have to share FROGS! from TrekOhio at http://trekohio.com another great block about my home state and the beauty it has to offer.
I’m glad you enjoyed it! Thank you for reblogging the post at your site. 🙂
Thank you! 🙂
Wow…lots of great photos of amphibious beings. 🙂
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. 🙂