"Sunset over the preserve, Big Cypress National Preserve, 2015." by U.S. National Park Service , public domain

Big Cypress

Amphibians

brochure Big Cypress - Amphibians
National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior Big Cypress National Preserve Florida • Never feed wildlife. • View wildlife with respect. • All wildlife is wild and unpredictable. Stay a safe distance from any wild animal —15 feet is recommended. • All plants and animals within National Park Service areas are protected, and it is illegal to collect any wildlife without special permits. Cover photo: southern toad, NPS/JAN SHIREY N ati o n a l ese r ve EXPERIENCE YOUR AMERICA! se e Do Not Feed or Harass Wildlife ss Pr The tympanum of this Southern leopard frog is identified here. The Southern leopard frog can be distinguished because it has a yellow spot in the center of its tympanum. re Pr How You Behave Can Save oy Tympanum While visiting Big Cypress National Preserve, or any other natural area, remember: nj Drums in the Night Start a walk in the swamp at dusk and imagine listening to a symphony orchestra commence a soft prelude with the timpani drums beating with every step. As the sunlight dims, the music crescendos transitioning into the swamp’s own symphony of croaking. Seemingly on cue, males searching for a mate call out for females, veiled from predators in the darkness. Females hear the male serenades with their tympanum, the frog or toad’s outer ear located behind the eye. Amphibians use this tympanum, an ancient word in Greek meaning drum, because it resembles a piece of cloth stretched over a drum. Big Cypress Amphibians The thrill of watching a wild animal in its natural surroundings is spectacular and awe-inspiring, but please remember, you are the guest and they are at home. p Amphibians are animals that live a portion of their life in water. Some, like sirens, live their entire life in water. While the word “moist” may carry a negative connotation to some humans, most frogs and toads rely on keeping their skin moist to survive. Watching wildlife the responsible way... Big Cy Amphibians of the Swamp... rv e— t— P r o tec E Scientific Name Narrow-mouthed Toads ___Eastern narrow-mouthed toad Gastrophryne carolinensis Toads ___Giant, marine, or cane toad* ___Oak toad ___Southern toad Bufo marinus Bufo quercicus Bufo terrestris Treefrogs & Chorus Frogs ___Barking treefrog ___Cuban treefrog* ___Florida cricket frog ___Green treefrog ___Greenhouse frog ___Little grass frog ___Southern chorus frog ___Squirrel treefrog Hyla gratiosa Osteopilus septentrionalis Acris gryllus dorsalis Hyla cinerea Eleutherodactylus planirostris Pseudacris ocularis Pseudacris nigrita Hyla squirella Top to bottom: Eastern narrowmouthed toad; Southern leopard frog, one of the larger frogs of the swamp–only the pig frog is larger; barking treefrog. NPS/TODD PIERSON Amphibians tend to be highly sensitive to environmental changes, for that reason scientists often use them to determine the overall health of an area. True Frogs ___Pig frog ___Southern leopard frog Rana grylio Rana sphenocephala Aquatic Salamanders ___Everglades dwarf siren ___Greater siren ___Two-toed amphiuma Pseudobranchus axanthus belli Siren lacertina Amphiuma means Newts ___Peninsula newt Notophthalmus viridescens piaropicola * = invasive species Left: Cuban treefrog, an introduced species that has spread rapidly in Florida. These frogs disrupt the ecosystem because they eat smaller native tree frogs. The native green treefrog (right) can change to brown coloring, thereby confusing identification. However, the Cuban treefrog has extra large toe pads and much wartier skin than natives. It also has a skin fold starting from the eye towards the tympanum. NPS/Hardin Waddle, PhD Amphibian Checklist_FINAL.indd on HQ shareall, interp publications, 2,000 printed, 10/2011, stored at Oasis and WC

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