Here’s the frog!

November 29, 2020 • 1:00 pm

(Actually, as several readers noticed this morning, it’s not a frog but a toad. I don’t know from toads.) I’ll insert here some words that Greg Mayer sent me when I just asked him the difference between frogs and toads, and whether each group is monophyletic (has all the descendants from one common ancestor):

The English language is inadequate for the diversity of tailless amphibians (order Anura), because there were only two kinds of anurans in England: frogs and toads. Each of them belongs to a family, usually called “true frogs”, Ranidae, and “true toads”, Bufonidae. The other 30+ families of anurans are shoe-horned into the two English common names. Sometimes there are species with the common name “toad” and “frog” in the same family.

The families of true frogs and true toads do express two major tendencies in anuran adaptation to the environment: long-legged, smooth-skinned, semi-aquatic jumpers, often greenish– frogs; and short-legged, warty, terrestrial hoppers, often brownish– toads.

The species in the photo is a true toad (family Bufonidae), but without a better picture and/or locality data, I couldn’t go further. It does look like a Bufo.

So, did you spot the frog toad in this morning’s photo from Alex Kleine? Here’s the reveal, with a circle around the beast and then successive enlargements:

8 thoughts on “Here’s the frog!

  1. Those toads are pretty smart. I had a farm light on a building when I lived in the country. The toads lived in the building but went outside in the light at night to get the bugs. Good eaten.

  2. Now that I’ve looked carefully at it, it does resemble an American toad (Anaxyrus americanus). Thanks for the post and the correction. Always happy to learn something new today!

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