Meet Larry, a Southern Leopard Frog (Lithobates sphenocephalus). This is one of the true frogs. I don’t suppose that’s as opposed to an untrue frog. Or would that make the latter little liars?
Before I get accused of being a little liar myself, for all I know Larry may well be Louise. (S)he doesn’t hang around long enough to let me get a good look, not that I would be able to tell the difference anyway.
Strangely, this Leopard Frog has made a home, on land, under a Wax Myrtle shrub, in an area far from my pond, but close to the front culvert. I see him every day, as I sneak over with my camera. However, he is so well disguised that the only reason I can spot him is that he LEAPS high in the air and through the fence into some brush.
He’s a pretty good size frog in the 3-inch range. Fellow BWG author Donna Donabella gets his big chunky cousin the American Bullfrog (Lithobates catesbeianus) at her place. In northern reaches Larry has a counterpart, Lithobates pipiens, the Northern Leopard Frog. I wonder if L. sphenocephalus accidentally steps out of bounds at the Mason-Dixon Line if he magically transforms into L. pipiens.
Leopard frogs feed on insects, crayfish and other aquatic invertebrates. This might explain why this Southern Leopard frog is hanging out in the front yard. There are crayfish in the culvert and I don’t seem to have any in the back pond. Perhaps he has a taste for crustaceans.
Frogs are a welcome addition to the garden because they help control insect pests. The wonderful sound they provide at night is just an added benefit. If you have the room, a pond would be a great addition to your beautiful wildlife garden. If you provide one, the frogs are sure to come.
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