A Ticket to Florida's Amphibians

When visiting Florida an individual has the opportunity to see a variety of breath taking scenery and wildlife. Florida is a state that features many different environmental terrains such as swamps, marshes and bogs. The tropical climate of Florida is advantageous to a variety of animals. Located in the swamps, marshes and bogs of Florida are unique amphibians that make their home in these terrains. Some of these amphibians are exclusive to only Florida, while others are located throughout the United States.

What is an amphibian?

Amphibians are frogs, toads and salamanders. Amphibians are cold-blooded and they do not maintain a constant body temperature. As a result their body temperature depends of their surrounding environment. Most amphibians have soft, moist skin. The word amphibian means double life. Many species of amphibians live part of their life in water and part of their life on land. Amphibians tend to be nocturnal which helps them keep from being dehydrated.

Frog Species Common to Florida

One species of frog that is common to Florida is the Northern Cricket Frog. This frog has warty skin that is grayish tan to brown in color. The back of the frog has yellow, green or black patches. This frog has a rounded snout. The habitat of this frog is vegetation that grows along the edges of bodies of water.

Another species of frog found in Florida is the Pig Frog. Pig Frogs have smooth skin and they resemble bull frogs. They can grow to be between three to six inches long. They possess long, muscular hind legs with webbed feet. Their coloring is olive to brown with a scattering of dark spots.

The Gopher Frog also makes its home in Florida. These frogs are found near gopher tortoise burrows. The backs of this species is a dusky gray and is covered with black spots. They also have undersides that are cream with bronze ridges running along the sides of their backs. The call of a Gopher Frog sounds like snoring.

Species of Toads Common to Florida

Certain toads are commonly found in Florida. One such toad species is the Oak Toad. The Oak Toad is the smallest toad in the United States; it only grows to 1.5 inches in length. Oak Toads have a yellow stripe that runs down the center of their back. The coloring on their backs range from dark brown to a light gray. They also have three to four pairs of dark spots located on their backs.

The Eastern Narrow-mouthed Toad also makes its home in Florida. This toad features smooth skin with a narrow pointed head. Its toes are long and without webbing. The toad's coloring can be gray, brown, red or black with a fold of skin running across its body just behind its head. The habitat for this toad is under leaves or burrowed in loose soil.

Another toad species in Florida is known as the Fowler's Toad. This toad lives in backyards and irrigation ditches. Its belly and chest are white and may include a dark spot on its breast. The males have black throats and are smaller in size than the females. The toad also features a creamy white stripe that runs down its back.

Salamander Species in Florida

One type of salamander commonly found in Florida is known as the Rusty Mud Salamander. This salamander is a rusty red color. It features a yellow underside with red flecks. It makes its home near springs and streams. It can grow to be about 7.5 inches in length.

The Four-Toed Salamander can also be found in Florida. The coloring on this salamander can be a coppery red or brown. It has gray sides with a white belly with black spots. Its head and tail is round. It has four legs with four toes on each leg.

Also found in Florida is the Dwarf Salamander. This salamander is thin with a gray or yellow back. The Dwarf Salamander features a thin black stripe that runs down its back. It has a yellow belly and it grows to be about 3.5 inches. It lives in moist areas such as under logs or in submerged vegetation.

Endangered Amphibian Species in Florida

Some amphibian species that call Florida home are endangered. One endangered species is the Florida Bog Frog. This frog lives in shallow creeks and ponds. Its coloring is a dark green to a green brown. It has a yellow throat and features an irregular pattern of black patches on its belly. The Florida Bog Frog grows to be about 2 inches and is the rarest frog in the state.

Also endangered is the Southeastern Blind Cave Salamander. This species makes its home in water in caves. It has no eyes or pigmentation. It has long thin legs and features a finned tail. It also has gills which are feathery and red in color.

The Pine Barrens tree frog has also been designated as endangered. This frog is bright green in color with brownish purple stripes on the sides of its body. It features orange spots on its legs and groin. It also has large sticky toe pads and smooth skin.


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