Another page that will be under construction for the rest of my life!! I’m hoping my Amphibian list will get longer. I’m learning the frog and toad calls so if I can’t see the little guys I can at least know they are there by their song.
References for information on these “herptiles.”
Brown Snake or DeKay’s Snake — Storeria dekayi
Bullsnake — Pituophis melanoleucus
Common Garter Snake — Thamnophis sirtalis
Eastern Plains Garter Snake — Thamnophis radix
Western Fox Snake — Elaphe vulpine
Some interesting reptile facts:
- Non-venomous snakes have a pointed tail!!
- Snakes do not have eyelids or ear openings
- Wisconsin snakes are usually active between April and October
- Shedding is triggered by growth and scale wear. Their vision is impaired while shedding and can be more irritable during this process.
- Their tongue is their primary means of locating food
- All snakes are carnivores
- After feeding, snakes will “yawn;’ this realigns their jawbones.
- Loss of prairie habitat makes maintaining and growing snake populations difficult
Eastern American Toad —Bufo americanus
Eastern Gray Treefrog — Hyla versicolor
Green Frog — Rana Clamitans melanota
Northern Spring Peeper — Pseudacris crucifer
Pickerel Frog – Rana palustris
Western Chorus Frog — Pseudacris triseriata
Some interesting amphibian facts:
- Wisconsin has 12 frog species; all are mostly nocturnal
- Amphibians shed their skin periodically. It is based on season, climate, and food supply. Many eat their shed skins for their nutrients.
- To avoid predation, their best defense is to remain undetected.
- Toads emit a burning sensation and puff up their bodies, making it difficult to swallow.
- They overwinter by producing a glycol-like fluid that allows their body fluid to freeze but not the cells.
- Habitat loss and fragmentation is the cause for population declines.
- Frogs and salamanders are indicators of environmental conditions because their skins are vulnerable to pollutants.
- Amphibs offer a number of benefits, from high-quality food for other “critters” to skin secretions that are used for medicinal purposes.
Other information of note:
Madison Audubon has a great CD of Wisconsin frog songs for sale. It’s easy to learn their songs.
You can participate in the Wisconsin Frog & Toad Survey. This website is packed with good information on toads and frogs.
We created boards to place around the property. We check these periodically with camera in hand.