Thursday, September 29, 2011

Amphibians - Frogs

Herpetology - the branch of zoology dealing the study of reptiles and amphibians or creeping animals. This word derives from Greek herpeton = creeping animal or from herpein = to creep. Interesting, all the different things we can study.

The California Red-legged Frog is an endangered species. In 2004, we met 2 zoologists or rather herpetologists who were also birding (ornithologists) at Point Reyes National Seashore. Today, they were birding on their day off but they were also checking on the frogs at Abbott's Lagoon and we saw several of these endangered frogs. Since the camera was in my hands, I took a few pictures.

This frog species was once very abundant in California and was a favored amphibian in Mark Twain's short story The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County written in 1865.

But my interest in frogs starts with Blanchard's Cricket Frog which I saw this spring in Texas. I was impressed with the emerald green stripe on its back. This is a subspecies of the Northern Cricket Frog.

I have seen other frogs, including the Rio Grande Leopard Frog, but did not get good pictures.

Photo taken at Lake Mineral Wells SP, TX on 4/14/2011

Blanchard's Cricket Frog - Acrins crepanis blanchari

Photo taken at Murray Lake, MI on 7/14/2002

American Toad - Bufo americanus

Photo taken at Point Reyes NS, CA on 10/21/2004

California Red-legged Frog - Rana aurora draytoni

Photo taken at Pickerel Lake, MI on 5/27/2007

Green Frog - Rana clamitans

Photo taken at Patagonia SP, AZ on 3/28/2005

Bull Frog - Rana catesbeiana

Back in 2007, I wrote a blog about the next frog, a Gray Tree Frog.

Photo taken at Murray Lake, MI on 6/2/2007

Gray Tree Frog - Hyla versicolor

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Reptiles - Turtles

For years, I have been taking pictures of turtles that come up out of the lake onto the lawn and garden to lay their eggs. I have not done anything with the identification of these images. Most of these images were clicks in passing, where I did not put much effort in getting a good image of the turtle.

But now I have this field guide from the library with Frogs, Turtles, Lizards, Snakes, etc. It really is quite good. The pictures do not show all the species or sub-species but the text is excellent. I will have to try to find a copy to add to my own reference library.
National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Reptiles and Amphibians

I also found this website that helps you with identifying your turtle with key criteria and pictures.
Turtle Identification

All of my good images are from Michigan but we see turtles everywhere we travel. I will have to pay more attention to them now.

Photo taken at Murray Lake, MI on 6/16/2002

Blanding's Turtle - Emydoidea blandingi

Photo taken at Murray Lake, MI on 6/8/2002

Spiny Softshell Turtle - Trionyx spiniferus

Photo taken at Murray Lake, MI on 9/18/2004

Common Map Turtle - Graptemys geographica

Photo taken at Murray Lake, MI on 6/20/2010

Painted Turtle - Chrysemys picta