Northern green frogs

Northern green frog (Rana clamitans melanota or melanotus, Ranidae) on the edge of Crooked Lake. Photographed 09/02/2012 at Waterloo State Recreation Area, Michigan.

Today I did some hiking at Waterloo State Recreation Area north of Chelsea, Michigan. While on the Hickory Hills Trail I stopped for a while at the edge of Crooked Lake just to wait and watch. My patience was rewarded when I noticed a number of these northern green frogs (Rana clamitans melanota or melanotus, Ranidae).

Northern green frog (Rana clamitans melanota or melanotus, Ranidae) on the edge of Crooked Lake. Photographed 09/02/2012 at Waterloo State Recreation Area, Michigan.

The frogs shown here were much darker than those found elsewhere. Despite the name, green frogs have a variable coloration dependent on local conditions. While these frogs were rather drab, some exhibit rather bright and colorful green and dark patterns. Although these individuals lacked that flair, they still exhibited the characteristic dark green shade around the head, bright green streaks under the eyes, skin folds down the back, and black “tiger stripes” on the legs.

Northern green frog (Rana clamitans melanota or melanotus, Ranidae) on the edge of Crooked Lake. Photographed 09/02/2012 at Waterloo State Recreation Area, Michigan.

Within a few weeks freezing temperatures will be upon us and these frogs will seek shelter in the mud. They overwinter and hibernate under leaves and stones in the soil.

Northern green frog (Rana clamitans melanota or melanotus, Ranidae) on the edge of Crooked Lake. Photographed 09/02/2012 at Waterloo State Recreation Area, Michigan.

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About Jeremy Sell

Science and nature nerd.
This entry was posted in Vertebrate Zoology and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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