Monday, June 16, 2014

mind = blown

I confirmed something interesting today. Hyla versicolor, the gray treefrog, is not our only versi-colorful frog, as I think I've always sort of assumed.

I came across this (very large) female toad sitting on a stump in the woods. She is fairly colorful for an American toad. In two days, I'll be doing an "indoor field trip" for fourth and fifth graders, so she went for a ride with me to be a part of the fun.

She was placed in a terrarium with dark mud, some leaves, etc. Within an hour, and much to my surprise, she was a very different-looking toad. The field color had turned dark, chocolate-brown, spots containing the warts were still nearly black, and the only white left on her was the belly.

This doesn't come as a complete surprise. Amphibians are quite variable in their coloration and I've always sort of assumed there was variability at the individual level among different species. However, it's the first time I've seen an American toad make this rapid and drastic a change.

Now I wonder about those yellow green frogs...
~ MR Burne