Herp Adventures in SE Arizona

Recently, friend of the blog, herpetologist, and naturalist, Robert Anthony Villa went on a herping trip to a mixed desert-grassland area in South East Arizona Here are some awesome photos of a few of the things he saw…

1 & 2 - Mexican Hog-nosed Snake (Heterodon kennerlyi)

3 - Western Green Toad (Bufo [Anaxyrus] debilis)

4 - California Kingsnake (Lapropeltis californiae)

5 - Black-headed Snake (Tantilla nigriceps)

6 - Long-nosed Snake (Rhinocheilus lecontei)

Redwood National and State Parks - CA, USA
This handsome forest inhabitant is the northern red-legged frog (Rana aurora), which is often spotted hopping along trails deep in the forest during the summer, far from the ponds where they breed. This is fortunate for young frogs leaving these ponds, since adults will eat almost anything that will fit in their mouths, including smaller individuals of their own kind!

This handsome forest inhabitant is the northern red-legged frog (Rana aurora), which is often spotted hopping along trails deep in the forest during the summer, far from the ponds where they breed. This is fortunate for young frogs leaving these ponds, since adults will eat almost anything that will fit in their mouths, including smaller individuals of their own kind!

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Leaf-nesting Shrub Frog - Pseudophilautus femoralis
The genus Pseudophilautus consists of 65 known species, all of which are endemic to Sri Lanka. Pseudophilautus femoralis (Rhacophoridae) is an Endangered species whose distribution is restricted to tropical montane forests in central and southern Sri Lanka. 
It is arboreal, and associated with the understorey of tropical moist montane evergreen forest. Individuals are found on, or under, leaves. It is very sensitive to any disturbance of its habitat. Breeding takes place via direct development, with the eggs attached to the underside of leaves, hence its common name of Leaf-nesting Shrub Frog.
References: [1]
Photo credit: ©Sachindra Umesh | Locality: Sri Lanka (2014)

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Leaf-nesting Shrub Frog - Pseudophilautus femoralis

The genus Pseudophilautus consists of 65 known species, all of which are endemic to Sri Lanka. Pseudophilautus femoralis (Rhacophoridae) is an Endangered species whose distribution is restricted to tropical montane forests in central and southern Sri Lanka. 

It is arboreal, and associated with the understorey of tropical moist montane evergreen forest. Individuals are found on, or under, leaves. It is very sensitive to any disturbance of its habitat. Breeding takes place via direct development, with the eggs attached to the underside of leaves, hence its common name of Leaf-nesting Shrub Frog.

References: [1]

Photo credit: ©Sachindra Umesh | Locality: Sri Lanka (2014)

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Western Spotted Frog - Heleioporus albopunctatus
Heleioporus albopunctatus (Myobatrachidae) is a species of fat, globular burrowing frog, with granular skin, rather stubby limbs and toes with only rudiments of webbing. The body is chocolate-brown above; the back, head, sides and limbs are marked with scattered large white or yellow spots.
Endemic to Australia, this chubby frog is largely restricted to coast and ranges of south-western Australia.
References: [1] -[2]
Photo credit: ©Stephen Zozaya | Locality: Watheroo, Western Australia (2013)

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Western Spotted Frog - Heleioporus albopunctatus

Heleioporus albopunctatus (Myobatrachidae) is a species of fat, globular burrowing frog, with granular skin, rather stubby limbs and toes with only rudiments of webbing. The body is chocolate-brown above; the back, head, sides and limbs are marked with scattered large white or yellow spots.

Endemic to Australia, this chubby frog is largely restricted to coast and ranges of south-western Australia.

References: [1] -[2]

Photo credit: ©Stephen Zozaya | Locality: Watheroo, Western Australia (2013)

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Waxy Monkey Frog - Phyllomedusa sauvagii

Phyllomedusa sauvagii (Hylidae) is a large treefrog native to the Chacoan region of eastern Bolivia, northern Paraguay, Mato Grosso do Sul (Brazil), and northern Argentina.

Other common names: Painted-bellied Monkey Frog, Leaf-folding Frog, Rana Mono de Vientre Pintado, Rana Mono Chaqueña.

The skin of this frog contains natural opioids (Dermorphin and HYP6-dermorphin) that are more potent than morphine but less likely to produce drug tolerance and addiction. These properties make them ideal candidates for the doping of racehorses to enhance performance during competition; however, Dermorphin is a banned substance in equine athletes.  

References: [1] - [2]

Photo credit: ©Milan Zygmunt | Locality: unknown | [Top] - [Bottom]

Zoo releases captive-bred endangered frogs back to wild
by Aldergrove Star staff
In continuing their scientific work and conservation efforts for the endangered Oregon spotted frogs (Rana pretiosa), last week the Greater Vancouver Zoo, BC, Canada, released more frogs back into the wild.
This is the second release of the year. The 127 frogs were bred in a captive environment while studying and marking them before finally releasing them back into their natural wetland environment.
For over a decade, animal care staff from the Greater Vancouver Zoo have worked on this important conservation project. Working alongside the wildlife biologists from the Oregon Spotted Frog Recovery Team, staff have helped with monitoring, research, habitat management and restoration of this endangered species.
The frogs were released into their natural wetland environment near Aldergrove, in an area specifically modified and enhanced to meet the Oregon spotted frogs’ habitat needs…
(read more: Aldergrove Star)

Zoo releases captive-bred endangered frogs back to wild

by Aldergrove Star staff

In continuing their scientific work and conservation efforts for the endangered Oregon spotted frogs (Rana pretiosa), last week the Greater Vancouver Zoo, BC, Canada, released more frogs back into the wild.

This is the second release of the year. The 127 frogs were bred in a captive environment while studying and marking them before finally releasing them back into their natural wetland environment.

For over a decade, animal care staff from the Greater Vancouver Zoo have worked on this important conservation project. Working alongside the wildlife biologists from the Oregon Spotted Frog Recovery Team, staff have helped with monitoring, research, habitat management and restoration of this endangered species.

The frogs were released into their natural wetland environment near Aldergrove, in an area specifically modified and enhanced to meet the Oregon spotted frogs’ habitat needs…

(read more: Aldergrove Star)

The Oregon spotted frog (Rana pretiosa) was once common in the Pacific Northwest, but habitat loss and invasive species have caused serious population declines. The Oregon spotted frog will now be protected as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. 
For more information: Washington F&W - Spotted Frog Photo by Teal Waterstrat / USFWS
(via: USFWS_Pacific Region)

The Oregon spotted frog (Rana pretiosa) was once common in the Pacific Northwest, but habitat loss and invasive species have caused serious population declines. The Oregon spotted frog will now be protected as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act.

For more information: Washington F&W - Spotted Frog

Photo by Teal Waterstrat / USFWS

(via: USFWS_Pacific Region)

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Mountain Hourglass Treefrog - Taruga eques
Also commonly known as Günther’s Whipping Frog, this frog is currently named Taruga eques (Rhacophoridae), a species endemic to Sri Lanka restricted to the Central Hill Country, which gets its common name by the hour-glass shaped marking its dorsum. 
It is supposed that Taruga eques is a species complex enclosing the Polypedates eques group.
This arboreal and terrestrial frog is considered Endangered on the IUCN Red List because its Extent of Occurrence is less than 5,000 km2, its distribution is severely fragmented, and there is continuing decline in the extent and quality of its habitat.
References: [1] - [2] - [3]
Photo credit: ©Sachindra Umesh | Locality: Sri Lanka (2014)

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Mountain Hourglass Treefrog - Taruga eques

Also commonly known as Günther’s Whipping Frog, this frog is currently named Taruga eques (Rhacophoridae), a species endemic to Sri Lanka restricted to the Central Hill Country, which gets its common name by the hour-glass shaped marking its dorsum. 

It is supposed that Taruga eques is a species complex enclosing the Polypedates eques group.

This arboreal and terrestrial frog is considered Endangered on the IUCN Red List because its Extent of Occurrence is less than 5,000 km2, its distribution is severely fragmented, and there is continuing decline in the extent and quality of its habitat.

References: [1] - [2] - [3]

Photo credit: ©Sachindra Umesh | Locality: Sri Lanka (2014)