Panther Island Adventures!

Panther Island is 2,800 acres of restored wetland and upland habitats situated in the northwest corner of Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary's 13,000 acres. It is home to numerous plants and animals including the Florida panther and the iconic wood stork.
The views expressed in user comments do not reflect the views of Audubon. Audubon does not participate in political campaigns, nor do we support or oppose candidates.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Critter of the week June 21: Pig Frog

Another favorite of mine is the pig frog. This native is sometimes confused with the bullfrog but can be differentiated by its pointed snout; its fourth toe also goes just beyond the webbing whereas in a bullfrog there is a noticeable extension beyond the webbing. In males, the eardrum (aka tympanum) is larger than the eye but is smaller or equal to the eye in the female. Their call is like the grunt of a pig.... hence its common name! They are found at the edges of lakes, marshes, rivers, swamps, etc. This species will eat a variety of items such as insects, small crustaceans, small reptiles, small amphibians, and even worms! For more information...

Monday, June 14, 2010

Critter of the Week June 14: Southern Leopard Frog

The Southern Leopard frog is one of my favorite frogs (although really I like all the native frogs!). These guys are found throughout the southeastern US, and their range overlaps with the Northern Leopard frog. They are distinguished from the Northern by 1) a distinct light spot in the middle of the typanum (yes, google that word!), 2) longer, more pointed head, and 3) just a few dark spots on the side of the body. They can be found in all types of shallow freshwater habitats, and interestingly, they even venture into brackish coastal marshes. Recently some herpetologists have started to distinguish a separate species as the Florida Leopard frog, but it depends on who you talk to! They forage on insects, small fish, and small crustaceans. When threatened they will emit one short high-pitched squeak. I felt so blessed to get the shots seen here. There were literally 100s of these guys in shallow puddles foraging on tiny fish on Panther Island. I must admit to laying in the mud to get most of these shots.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Critter of the Week for May 31: Green Anole

The Green Anole can be found all over the southeastern US. It is Florida's only native anole species though. These guys can change color some and can often be seen as a light brown. There are a variety of factors that influence coloring including temperature, background (camouflage), and emotion. In southwestern Florida, the green anoles cream-colored dewlaps, and yes both males and females have dewlaps. the males is slightly larger though. Green anoles have been studied extensively for their behaviors, adn much can be found about their breeding and territorial displays. They forage on insects, spiders and other small arthropods.