Tuesday, October 11, 2011

A Blanchard's Cricket Frog (Acris crepitans blanchardi) along the Great Miami River...

Saturday I spent some time along the banks of the Great Miami River in Hamilton County photographing turtles with Paul Krusling. At one point I looked down and saw a tiny frog hop onto a leaf. He was no more than an inch long and very hard to see because he was crusted in sandy mud and blended in so well with the ground. The warty little frog was a Blanchard's Cricket Frog (Acris crepitans blanchardi), and he was as cute as can be...


...if you look carefully you can see a dark pattern of stripes behind all that caked-on mud. Cricket Frogs come in a variety of colors, from muddy brown, to grey, tan, or greenish. Our little guy definitely falls in the muddy brown category, although he does have mud and sand on him, parts are mud-free, showing as grey-brown.


A Cricket Frog's call sounds a little like a marble dropped on cement, slow at first, sounding once or twice a second and then increasing until it becomes a continuous rattle lasting about 30-40 seconds (source: "Amphibians and Reptiles of Indiana, Sherman A. Minton, Jr., 117). Click here for a recording of their call.


...the interesting pattern of bars on his upper lip reminds me of a skull!


Cricket Frogs have a dark, triangular spot between their eyes on the back of their head (Minton, 115). Our frog's triangle was a bit hard to see, but it was visible. I outlined it to make it easier to spot.

Our little frog is probably getting ready to hibernate. I read here that they seek out crayfish burrows or cracks in ponds or along the bank to hibernate in. They usually are tucked away for the winter by early November (Minton, 117). "Sleep" well little guy!

14 comments:

Gary said...

Great capture of a difficult subject!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

TexWisGirl said...

he's so cute! glad you were able to get some great shots of him - he's very well camouflaged!

Bob Bushell said...

Good work you've done.

Hilke Breder said...

Yes, a cute frog, Kelly, but you make it look big! So it's a matter of perspective... I wouldn't think it so cute if I was just an inch tall! Love the sound.. like Spanish castagnets.

Juan Pablo Prieto said...

Hello Kelly, very interestting your frog´s photograph, i like,

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Neat picture of the cricket frog, Kelly... You get to see some awesome critters when you get out in nature like you do... Love it!!!
Hugs,
Betsy

Jain said...

Superb camouflage, great shots!

Elaine said...

Such a sweetie!

Chris said...

Yeh he is cute but also strange to me as I had never seen it ;-) Beautiful pictures Kelly!

Guy said...

Hi Kelly

Boy you got some great photos with a lovely model. It was great to see a Cricket Frog I have never heard of them before.

Regards
Guy

Jim McCormac said...

Excellent photos of the pretty little beauty, Kelly! Saw a bunch of those myself the other day, and they're always a treat!

Montanagirl said...

What a cute little guy! He sure does blend in well with his surroundings. Great shots!

Banjo52 said...

In paying more attention to birds and nature in general the last few years, I feel as if I'm constantly being impressed by the camouflage business. Thanks too for posting froggie's sounds.

Kelly said...

...thanks, everyone! You're right, these photos are misleading because he appears to be a huge frog, but really he is tiny, only about an inch long. That's the beauty of a long lens! You can get up close even when you're standing six feet from the subject! His camouflage was so perfect, I would lose him if I looked away for more than a few seconds. To find him, I would look for the leaf...and then he would magically materialize! :-)