Toad rescue

by Greg Mayer I’ve mentioned in previous posts how I periodically engage in turtle or frog and toad “rescues”, taking animals that had fallen into human made traps, such as window wells and stairwells, and releasing them, sometimes after feeding them for a while in captivity to fatten them up prior to release. A couple […]

Frog defense: hiding, fighting, or both

JAC: Instead of “Readers’ Wildlife” today, we’ll have a report on frogs by Greg Mayer, who’s just visited Costa Rica. by Greg Mayer Although quite cryptic on the forest floors it calls home, the smoky jungle frog (Leptodactylus pentadactylus) in the photo below is too obvious to be a candidate for “spot the frog”. This […]

Their names should be legion

by Greg Mayer Following up on Matthew’s linguistic investigation of larval amphibians, I’d like to address another amphibian linguistic conundrum: the English words for adult members of the order Anura. Just as we have two standard words for a larval anuran in English, we have two standard words for the adults: frog and toad. But […]

The anurans of autumn

by Greg Mayer In a previous post here at WEIT, I’d reported on some toads and a painted turtle that I’d rescued from stair and window wells, and then released back into the wild last spring. I’d mentioned at the time that I periodically check these places, especially a deep (ca. 20 feet down) window […]

Spot the frogs

by Greg Mayer As a preview of an upcoming post on frogs and toads, a chance to practice your spotting skills. No real difficulty here, but you need to spot all of them. As we’ll see in the upcoming post, these are “rescue frogs”.

Spot the wood frog

by Greg Mayer Well, it’s not that hard to spot, but you can see how the wood frog (Rana sylvatica) is aptly named. My Minnesota correspondent found this fellow along Caribou Trail (a road) and Jonvick Creek near Lutsen, Cook County, Minnesota, about a half mile from the north shore of Lake Superior, on 10 […]

NASA launches a frog, and experimental biogeograhy

by Greg Mayer On Sept. 6, NASA launched the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) towards the moon, where it will go into orbit to gather data on the thin lunar atmosphere. But along with the rocket, a frog, apparently resting on the rocket or launch pad, was taken spaceward, before being thrown free. […]


by Greg Mayer As an Everton supporter, I am loath to praise anything Mancunian, but Andrew Johnson, a Manchester zoology graduate, has a marvelous website on the Amphibians of Borneo, which was brought to my attention by Matthew (yet another praiseworthy Mancunian). The site contains excellent photographs of many species of Bornean frogs. What struck […]

… breeding mulleins out of the dead land.

by Greg Mayer March continued its cruelty, and less than two weeks after they emerged in Virginia, mulleins emerged from the dead land of Wisconsin as well. The above was one of a number of mulleins Eric Hileman and I found and photographed while reconnoitering his Butler’s garter snake (Thamnophis butleri) study site at the […]

Polymorphism in vertebrates

by Greg Mayer Darwin’s theory of evolution (and ours), unlike that of Lamarck, is variational, rather than transformational: the process of evolution is a change in frequency of different variants within a population, not a transformation of the individuals.  Darwin thus made the origin, nature, and inheritance of variation key problems for biology; indeed, for […]