List of amphibians of Michigan

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A map of the state of Michigan, with an inset showing the location of Michigan in the United States
The state of Michigan, and its location in the United States

Michigan, one of the fifty United States, is home to twelve species of frogs, twelve species of salamanders and two species of toads, all members of the class Amphibia.[1][2] One species, Blanchard's cricket frog, is considered to be threatened and two species, the marbled salamander and small-mouthed salamander, are considered endangered – these are protected under the Endangered Species Act of the State of Michigan. Two more species, the boreal chorus frog and Western lesser siren, are considered to be of special concern, although they not protected under the act.[3] There are no amphibians native to Michigan that are included in the federal Endangered Species Act.[4]

Of over 3400 species of frogs and toads worldwide the majority live in the tropics. However, Michigan's species live where it is often cold, necessitating adaptions to freezing weather due to their ectothermic (cold-blooded) nature. Most frogs and toads become dormant in the winter; some frogs can withstand short periods of freezing conditions, but this is not true of all species, or even all species that are native to Michigan.[1] Some species of salamanders also hibernate during the winter, while other fully aquatic species remain active throughout the year.[2] Amphibians are vulnerable to many types of human encroachment, including water pollution, automobiles, the destruction of wetlands through farming and the use of off-road vehicles and the use of chemical pesticides. In Michigan, wetlands protection legislation is in place to prevent pollution and destruction, while additional wetlands are being reclaimed and restored after agricultural usage has ceased.[1][2]

Amphibian habitats in Michigan are generally split into four regions: the northern and southern Lower Peninsula and the eastern and western Upper Peninsula, with differentiations based on climate, soils, underlying bedrock and glacially-derived landforms. Region one, the southern Lower Peninsula, is generally characterized by a warmer, less variable climate. Loam and clay soils dominate the region, with a lesser amount of sand, and deciduous hardwoods are the dominant tree species, with some natural prairies and savannas. There is a greater diversity of plant life in this region, and it includes plant and animal species that are not found in any of the other regions. Region two, the northern Lower Peninsula, has a climate that is cooler and more variable, with greater precipitation, due to its proximity to the Great Lakes, more extensive uplands and more northern latitude. Sandy soils and glacial deposits are the dominant soil type, while forests of conifer or mixed conifer/hardwood predominate. Swamps and bogs are found more often in region two than region one. Region three, the eastern Upper Peninsula, has a climate profile similar to region two. Sand and clay dominate the soil of this region, and tend to be low in nutrients and poorly drained. There are extensive wetlands, dominated by coniferous forests, while upland areas provide mixed conifer/broadleaf hardwood tracts. Region four, the western Upper Peninsula, provides extensive bedrock structures. The temperature is less moderate than in the other three regions, and can see frigid winters and hot summers. Mixed conifer/broadleaf forests again predominate.[5]

Frogs[edit]

Scientific name Common name Description Image Notes
Acris crepitans blanchardi Blanchard's cricket frog Adults are approximately 1 inch (2.5 cm) long and are colored brown or gray. Acris crepitans blanchardi.jpg Considered a threatened species in Michigan.[3]
Hyla chrysoscelis Cope's gray tree frog Adults are 1.5 to 2 inches (3.8 to 5.1 cm) long and colored gray, green or brown. Hyla chrysoscelisPCCA20040509-1704B.jpg
Hyla versicolor Gray tree frog Adults are 1.5 to 2 inches (3.8 to 5.1 cm) long and colored gray, green or brown. Hyla versicolor.jpg
Pseudacris crucifer crucifer Northern spring peeper Adults are 1 to 1.5 inches (2.5 to 3.8 cm) long and are colored light brown or tan. Pseudacris crucifer01.jpg
Pseudacris maculata Boreal chorus frog Adults are approximately 1.5 inches (3.8 cm) long and colored pale gray or brown, with a few individuals being red or bright green.[6] Pseudacris maculata.jpg Occurs only on Isle Royale in Michigan,[7] considered a species of special concern.[3]
Pseudacris triseriata triseriata Western chorus frog Adults are 1 to 1.5 inches (2.5 to 3.8 cm) long and are colored brown with dark stripes. Western chorus frog.jpg
Rana catesbeiana Bullfrog Adults are 3 to 8 inches (7.6 to 20.3 cm) long and colored green, brown or olive. North-American-bullfrog1.jpg
Rana clamitans melanota Northern green frog Adults are 2.5 to 4 inches (6.4 to 10.2 cm) long and colored green, brown or olive. Northern Green Frog - Tewksbury, NJ.jpg
Rana palustris Pickerel frog Adults are 2 to 3 inches (5.1 to 7.6 cm) long and colored green or brown with dark square spots. Pickerel Frog.jpg
Rana pipiens Northern leopard frog Adults are 2 to 3.5 inches (5.1 to 8.9 cm) and colored green or brown with dark round spots. Lithobates pipiens.jpg
Rana septentrionalis Mink frog Adults are 2 to 3 inches (5.1 to 7.6 cm) long and colored a blotchy green or brown. Mink Frog.jpg
Rana sylvatica Wood frog Adults are 2 to 2.5 inches (5.1 to 6.4 cm) long and colored brown or tan. Lithobates sylvaticus (Woodfrog).jpg

Salamanders[edit]

Scientific name Common name Description Image Notes
Ambystoma laterale Blue-spotted salamander Adults are 3.5 to 5.5 inches (8.9 to 14.0 cm) long and are colored black with turquoise or pale blue spots. IC Ambystoma laterale.JPG
Ambystoma maculatum Spotted salamander Adults are 4.3 to 9.8 inches (11 to 25 cm) long and are colored black or dark gray with round yellow spots. SpottedSalamander.jpg
Ambystoma opacum Marbled salamander Adults are 3.5 to 5 inches (8.9 to 12.7 cm) long and are colored black or dark gray with white or gray markings. Ambystoma opacumPCSLXYB.jpg Considered an endangered species in Michigan.[3]
Ambystoma texanum Small-mouthed salamander Adults are 4.3 to 7 inches (11 to 18 cm) long and are colored black, gray or brown. Ambystoma texanum.jpg Considered an endangered species in Michigan.[3]
Ambystoma tigrinum tigrinum Eastern tiger salamander Adults are 7 to 13 inches (18 to 33 cm) long and are colored black, brown or olive with yellow or brown spots. Salamandra Tigre.png
Ambystoma tremblayi Tremblay's salamander A three-chromosomed hybrid between A. laterale and A. jeffersonianum; difficult to distinguish visually from the former.[8] Has been noted near Ann Arbor, Michigan.[8]
Eurycea bislineata Northern Two Lined Salamander Adults reach 3.5 inches (8.9 cm) long and are generally yellow with two dark lines running the length of the body.[9] Northern Two-lined Salamander Eurycea bislineata.jpg Only known to occur at Murphy Lake State Game Area in Tuscola County in eastern Michigan.[10]
Hemidactylium scutatum Four-toed salamander Adults are 2 to 4 inches (5.1 to 10.2 cm) long and are colored orange to gray-brown, with small black or blue speckles. Four-toed salamander dorsal.jpg
Necturus maculosus Mudpuppy Adults are 8 to 19 inches (20 to 48 cm) long and are colored black or gray-brown with dark splotches. Necturus maculosus maculosus.jpg
Notophthalmus viridescens Eastern newt Adults are 2.5 to 5.5 inches (6.4 to 14.0 cm) long and are colored olive green to greenish brown. Notophthalmus viridescensPCCA20040816-3983A.jpg
Plethodon cinereus Red-backed salamander Adults are 2.3 to 5 inches (5.8 to 12.7 cm) long and are generally darkly colored, with a red stripe on their back early in their life cycle. Plethodon cinereus1.jpg
Siren intermedia nettingi Western lesser siren Adults are 7 to 19.7 inches (18 to 50 cm) long and are colored gray, brown or olive. Siren intermedia 2.jpg Considered a species of special concern in Michigan.[3]

Toads[edit]

Scientific name Common name Description Image Notes
Bufo americanus americanus Eastern American toad Adults are 2 to 4 inches (5.1 to 10.2 cm) long with warty brown skin. Bufo americanus PJC1.jpg
Bufo fowleri Fowler's toad Adults are 2 to 3.5 inches (5.1 to 8.9 cm) long with warty brown skin. FowlersToad.JPG

See also[edit]

References[edit]

General references
Specific references
  1. ^ a b c "Michigan's Frogs & Toads". Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Retrieved 2012-03-09. 
  2. ^ a b c "Michigan's Salamanders". Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Retrieved 2012-03-09. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f "Michigan's Special Animals". Michigan State University Extension. Retrieved 2012-03-09. 
  4. ^ "Michigan: Endangered, Threatened and Candidate Species". US Fish and Wildlife Service. Retrieved 2012-03-09. 
  5. ^ Alan, Holman J. (Summer 2004). "Herpetological assemblages of the Michigan Regional Landscape Ecosystems". Michigan Academician 36 (2): 165–190. 
  6. ^ "Chorus Frogs". Checklist of Amphibian Species and Identification Guide. Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center , US Geological Survey. Retrieved 2012-03-25. 
  7. ^ "Western Chorus Frog (Pseudacris triseriata triseriata)". Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Retrieved 2012-03-09. 
  8. ^ a b Werner, Earl E.; Skelly, David K.; Relyea, Rick A., et al. (October 2007). "Amphibian species richness across environmental gradients". OIKOS 116 (10): 1697–1712. doi:10.1111/j.2007.0030-1299.15935.x. 
  9. ^ "Northern Two-lined Salamander, Eurycea bislineata". Checklist of Amphibian Species and Identification Guide. US Geological Society. Retrieved 2012-04-18. 
  10. ^ Soderberg, Nicole; Balash, Kim; Yoder, Teresa; Szuch, Ernest. "First State Records of the Two-lined Salamander in Michigan". Ohio Department of Natural Resources. Retrieved 2012-04-18.