Amphibians and reptiles of the FWG
Note: Links are to the web site of the Canadian Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Network (Réseau canadien de conservation des amphibiens et des reptiles), where you'll find photos, sound recordings (of frogs), descriptions, ranges, and more.
Bullfrog Lithobates catesbeianus Ouaouaron [CARCNET]
Only occasionally seen (or heard) at the FWG. The photo at the right was taken in August 2007 - a very large bullfrog, body about 15 cm (6 inches) long
Northern Leopard Frog Lithobates pipiens Grenouille léopard du Nord [CARCNET]
Uncommon at the FWG
Northern Green Frog Lithobates clamitans melanota Grenouille verte du Nord [CARCNET]
Our most common frog species at the FWG. Green Frogs can often be seen in our Backyard Garden pond as well as in the much larger Amphibian Pond. Green frog tadpoles overwinter and complete their transformation into adult frogs the following year. We often see tadpoles still active until late fall, surfacing for air until most of the pond is frozen over.
The tadpoles sink a little way into the detritus on the bottom of the pond for protection. They may also find shelter among rocks or the roots of aquatic plants, such as cattails. Tadpoles don't hibernate or enter a state of torpor. They will swim away if disturbed. But to conserve energy and lower oxygen requirements, they remain motionless in whatever hiding place they find. Their body temperature is always the same as that of the water they are in, which in winter at the bottom of our pond is about 4°C. If the water froze to the bottom, the tadpoles would die. They also require a certain amount of oxygen, so flowing water is preferred. [Source: Stephen Darbyshire]
- Eastern American Toad Anaxyrus americanus americanus Crapaud d'Amerique [CARCNET]
Also common at the FWG, toads of all sizes from 1.5 to 9 or 10 cm can be found in the Backyard Garden, woods, and fields. They gather in our Amphibian Pond in late April or early May to mate and lay eggs. See our blog for 7 May 2007. The toad pictured here was photographed in a field that was being mowed in July 2006.
- Gray Treefrog Hyla versicolor Rainette versicolore [CARCNET]
Gray Treefrogs have become quite common at the FWG in the last 3 or 4 years. Their call, which sounds a bit like a bird, can be heard all over the garden all summer.
- Wood Frog Lithobates sylvaticus Grenouille des bois
Can be heard in our Amphibian Pond in mid-April, usually for a week or two, before they return to wooded areas. Their call, which sounds like a quack, often has visitors looking for ducks in our pond.
- Spring Peeper Pseudacris crucifer Rainette crucifère [CARCNET]
Rare at the FWG; probably not breeding
- Eastern Snapping Turtle Chelydra serpentina serpentina
Tortue serpentine [CARCNET]
- Midland Painted Turtle Chrysemys picta marginata Tortue peinte du Centre [CARCNET]
- Blanding's Turtle Emydoidea blandingii Tortue mouchetée [CARCNET]
Blanding's Turtles are known to be "shy," so the FWG tends to be a bit busy for them; however, we do see one at least once a year. This one (right) was photographed in April 2006.
- Red-eared Slider Trachemys scripta elegans Tortue de Floride
Non-native species, probably abandoned by its owner.
- Eastern Gartersnake Thamnophis sirtalis sirtalis Couleuvre rayée de l'est [CARCNET]
First found at the FWG in 2013, when three individuals were observed: in the Butterfly Meadow, near the Interpretive Centre, and on the path between the parking lot and pond.